Last night’s drive home from work was interrupted by a total nutter. There were four of us in the car: Jon driving, his wife, me and another freeloader in the back making fart jokes. The traffic slowed right down, as it always does near Conshohocken, because two major roads merge. Jon let a car merge from the slip road and carried on driving. This was the correct behaviour; one car lets one car in, it’s called the “zipper system”. But the next car to merge disagreed and kept driving, slow pushing left, despite there being a car, our car, in the way. We couldn’t believe the guy was doing this and watched while he slowly drove into the side of our car. Jon, appreciating that this guy wasn’t going to let up with his bizarre behaviour (courtesy, safety, and physics clearly not his key skills), braked to halt, letting our friend scrape past us and in front of us into his position of victory – where he remained until the next exit. Meanwhile, as the traffic was moving so slowly during this period, Jon had called the Police and given them the details, including the registration number (so clearly visible directly in front of the windscreen). All the while, the guy was giving us the finger. He got off at the next exit and we pulled over on the hard shoulder to wait for the law.
A state trooper was there in less than 5 minutes. He pulled up, fired blinding lights at us and swaggered up to the passenger window with another blindingly bright flashlight. He asked us if we wanted to file a report – and on being told that we did, asked us all for ID. In order to save you the tedious details of the ensuing conversation, the outcomes were:
- Even though we’d called the po-pos, he treated us in the same way they always do – as if he was doing us a favour for not nicking us.
- After an extraordinarily long wait, he returned our IDs and told us they were treating the incident as hit-and-run (good – the guy who did this is clearly not fit to be driving himself around).
- I was breaking the law because I didn’t have State ID.
This last point was news to me, and I understand that ignorance of the law is no excuse but…I gave him a green card! That is federal ID. It was issued by the Department of Homeland Schutzstaffel. I had to get photographed, x-rayed, fingerprinted, interviewed, and give blood for that, and yet he’s telling me I have to go down to the department of transportation with a gas bill and pick up a poxy “license not to drive” ? It didn’t occur to me until afterwards that he was clearly making that shit up. A compulsory^Wmandatory ID card is unconstitutional isn’t it ? I don’t know, so have asked the ACLU. We’ll see. All this goes to show that I forgot the golden rule: don’t ever, ever, ever involve the Police ever, ever, ever….unless you need to claim on insurance. As I’ve mentioned before (ignore the first bit about 70’s wallpaper), the Police aren’t there to help you. And they do it so well.