Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I Fought the Law, and it was a Tie

So last night after work I hop over to Alexandria to visit my friend and his wife and son who just moved down (they didn't need my help with the move, as it turned out, because they lined up some random strangers in the building while I was at work), and as it turns out it was the kid's first birthday party. At this I was all "hey, jello shots for the kid!" but the parents said the strongest thing we could give him was formula. I asked if "formula" meant "kahlua" at which point they changed the subject and showed me around the complex, which has a number of pools, tennis courts, game rooms, and---A FREAKING BOWLING ALLEY. Now, my friend is Polish so I know what you're thinking--of COURSE he moves into a building with its own bowling alley. Right next to a kielbassa stand, no doubt (just make sure the German neighbors don't tresspass, if you know what I mean! Yep, Nazi reference). But it turned out to be a surprise to him as well, which wouldn't be the first time the Polish were surprised (yep, second Nazi reference).

So we bowl a few games, one of which I actually did a 109 (being only a smidgen Polish myself, that's a good score for me) and my friend who hadn't bowled in years despite his ancestral requirement managed to hit in the 130s each game. What made his rolls distinctive was the sheer violence of them--it sounded like the pins were screaming in pain when the ball sent them to their demise. The thing is, he was calm and collected while making these fearsome rolls. I asked if there was something he wanted to talk about, maybe the New Jersey Turnpike traffic got to him or something.

Anyway, I drive home on the Beltway later, and of course it's a maze of construction, blocking and shifting lanes everywhere, and I make the mistake of being several lanes away from the exit I need, so I slow quite a bit to make it and this attracts the unwanted attention of a County Cop. His thinking is--"this guy's a stewed prune, and I'm about to nab me a DUI! On a Monday night! I'll be a law enforcement hero, like Elliot Ness and the guy who ambushed Dillinger!"

So he pulls me over, and tells me I slowed too much on the Beltway and I agreed, not pointing out that there was little traffic and what's with all the construction cones, lock up the real criminals, like them Duke Boys and the fellows who thought it would be a good idea to block so many lanes of a major thoroughfare. Instead, I am agreeable, he asks if I've had anything to drink and I tell him no, but just wait until I get home. He then asks if my eyes "normally go like that" and I point out that I've had nostagmus since I was a kid, so yes. He points out that that could also be a symptom of drinking alcohol, and I simply say yes, though I had nothing to drink that night (which was true). I don't point out that perhaps he has it confused with drug use, because at this point the lack of alcohol on my breath leads him to take my word for it that I'm not drinking and driving, and I really didn't want to have to prove I wasn't on any drugs which would probably require a blood test down at the station or something. Fortunately, he let me go with a warning, which was fair--I shouldn't have slowed down so much on the highway, and would be a lot more careful next time, but really didn't need my driving record messed up over it.

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