Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mean Old Trooper Lady...

Call me a, "weenie" but I despise the cold weather. My old arthritic fingers move slower, my body tends to shrivel in on itself and I resemble the hunchback of Notre Dame as I shuffle my frozen-toed feet from one warm spot to another, trying to escape the hideousness of winter. It kinda makes me sad as I reminisce frigid episodes of the cold, callused person I use to be...

When working as a road trooper during the wintertime, I remember not being as merciful or gracious as I had been in the fall or even the spring. Often, when the weather was unconducive to being outside for long, I would (and sometimes still do), find myself having less patience for ignorance or non-compliance to the law.

Take for example a frosty wintertime interaction which took place on the snow-covered shoulder of Interstate 35 a few years back. A petite little lady in black high heels, dressed in beautiful designer clothes and reeking of high-dollar perfume had the audacity to ask me if she could roll the window up because she was "cold" as the freezing rain and sleet slapped at my face and slid down my neck. This, while I stood and waited outside her car door as she searched everywhere for her insurance card. She was the one who had violated the state law by choosing to drive twenty (20) miles over the posted speed limit sign.

"No," I growled, "You can't, as a matter of fact, why don't you join me here on the shoulder for a moment and let's talk about your driving," I hissed. She handed me her expired insurance verification form with delicately manicured fingers that shook as she stared open-mouthed and wide-eyed at my request.

"But it's cold out there," she stammered. I glared at her beneath the rim of my "Smokey Bear" brown hat, my lips in a straight, nearly-blue, tight line. "Yes, ma'am, it most certainly is," I replied.

I waited, growing even more impatient and aggravated as I watched her dig around in her back seat for her long, fully-lined coat and slip her tiny arms inside. She made a production of putting on her black leather gloves on her chilly little fingers.

"Let's go, ma'am," I said as she twisted in her seat to look over her left shoulder waiting for traffic to clear before she dared open her car door. As if I hadn't been in danger when I exited my car or stood in the freezing rain, "visiting" with her for several long, miserable minutes.

"If you are too afraid to get out on that side, crawl over and exit the passenger door," I said, growing angrier by the second while she obviously stalled inside her warm car. The wind whipped at my face as a semi passed us and the force of it tried to take my hat off. The gust ripped at my hat wrenching a clump of my hair where the leather and buckle rested against the back of my head. It caused my anger to flash red hot as I reset my hat on my head and watched this woman, who was about my age, slowly get out of her car to meet me on the shoulder.

Without saying a word, I held a single finger up and left her standing on the shoulder for a moment and retrieved my citation book. When I returned, I did something that I usually don't do. I stood, right there on the shoulder of the interstate, with her beside me and wrote her a big fat ticket while both of us got splattered with sleeting rain that stung like tiny wasp stingers. The original citation that I turned into the court clerk was tattered and wrinkly from wetness, but it was legible.

I bring up the story in hopes of making a point...and here it is...IF, you choose to drive like a maniac when the weather is bad, you MAY have to endure said weather WHILE you receive a citation. So, consider not breaking the law ANYTIME, but most importantly when it's cold, wet and absolutely miserable out. Food for thought.

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