Conversation With Highway Patrolman
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[This piece was rejected by McSweeney's. As passé as McSweeney's is, we still get a huge kick out of publishing their rejects.]
Conversation With Highway Patrolman, Modified So That I Am 28-Year Old Woman, Patrolman Wants To Implant Me With Fetus Wife Is Unable To Carry
Patrolman: Good Afternoon, MA'AM.
Me: Good Afternoon.
Patrolman: May I see your license and registration, please.
Me: Of course. Is there a problem, Officer? OH, HAS MY SEATBELT COME UNDONE?
Patrolman: NO, I WAS LOOKING AT... SOMETHING... EXCUSE ME. I pulled you over because of that unsafe maneuver back there.
Me: I'm sorry, Officer, I was trying to avoid a pothole. This road is really full of them.
Patrolman: Well, I understand that, but it doesn't excuse you being in the wrong lane. ALTHOUGH IF YOU'VE GIVEN BIRTH RECENTLY, THAT WOULD EXPLAIN IT.
ME: NO, I HAVEN'T, ACTUALLY...
PATROLMAN: OH... REALLY...
Me: WELL, ALL THE SAME, I apologize. I guess I swerved too much, didn't I?
Patrolman: Yes you did. BUT DON'T LET IT TROUBLE YOU. YOU PROBABLY HAVE A LOT ON YOUR MIND THESE DAYS... MARRIAGE... CHILDREN... BELIEVE ME, I KNOW HOW THAT IS...
Me: I SEE... If there had been a car coming the other way, I assure you I would not have swerved.
Patrolman: I should hope not. BUT THEN WE NEVER REALLY KNOW HOW THINGS WILL TURN OUT, DO WE?
Me: NO, WE DON'T. UM... ABOUT THAT MANEUVER, I'm really very sorry, but, it's just, they said on the news that hitting a pothole that size can raise your premiums and, being a such a young WOMAN, I know they'd double my rates. So that's why I swerved like that. But it was unsafe driving. I agree.
Me: I'm very sorry. I promise it won't happen again.
Patrolman: I believe you. As young AND INNOCENT as you are, I understand why you are concerned about your insurance. THEY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF WOMEN, THESE COMPANIES...
Me: Yes sir. I SUPPOSE THEY DO...
Patrolman: OKAY, WELL, WE BOTH HAVE PLACES TO BE... SOME MORE IMPORTANT THAN OTHERS... I'm going to let you off this time. Please drive more carefully from now on. I'D HATE TO SEE SOMEONE WITH YOUR POTENTIAL WIND UP IN A WRECK.
Me: Yes sir. I promise I will.
Patrolman: Have a good day, MA'AM.
Me: Thank you, Officer, you too.
Malcolm McLean makes a good woman.