Now how do I tell this story about a local policeman and not get someone in trouble?
Now that I got your attention, here's the story.
I was living in a certain town in a faraway galaxy many light years away a long, long ago.
I had left my motorcycle at Rochester Motorsports to be tuned up and it was now ready, but the guy who'd given me a ride home wasn't available, it was a beautiful spring day and I wanted to ride, damn it!
So I figured I'd thumb, for the first time in about 25 years. I briefly contemplated taking a teeny, tiny pocket knife for protection, but for some reason decided not to, walked down to the highway and began thumbing.
Wouldn't you know the first car to go by was a cop, but I didn't get the thumb down and act like I was just walking fast enough and he pulled over. Btw, who is that lucky?
Anyhoo, he gets out of the car and says, "You know, you're not supposed to be thumbing."
"I know," I said, "just trying to get down to Rochester to get my bike."
"I'll give you a ride," he said, "but I'm gonna have to pat you down."
"Whaaat?" I said in disbelief.
"Do you have any weapons on you?" he asked.
I momentarily hesitated, not remembering whether I had decided against the teeny, tiny pocketknife, at which he jumped back in alarm.
Feeling my pocket, I said, "No, guess not."
It was a little embarrassing to be patted down as traffic whizzed by, but I really wanted to get my bike and go for a ride ... hey, you do what you gotta do!
After that little bit of embarrassment I reached for the passenger door.
"Ah, no," he said. "You gotta ride in back."
"Behind the cage?"
"Yeah," he deadpanned.
Like I said I really wanted to get on the bike.
As we drove off, he said matter-of-factly, "If I get a call I'm gonna have to drop you off, but I'll come back for you."
"Oh, now problem," I said. I mean after the patdown and then being placed behind a cage in the back of a cruiser, I was all in, just glad not to have to wear the cuffs.
As we neared Rochester Motorsports, he opined, "Do you want me to drop you off at the Pink Cadillac, you know?"
Thinking it would probably look pretty weird to be getting out of the back of a cruiser to pick up my bike, I deferred to his wisdom.
That's it. I said thanks. He said, no problem. And drove off into the sunset, his white hat gleaming in the late morning sun.
I'm sure pretty much everyone's got a story about the time a cop helped you out, whether it was by running down a thief who'd stolen something of yours, helped you when your car broke down, or maybe even saved your life after an accident.
Today, Sept. 15, Thank A Police Officer Day, is the day to thank them.
Thank you, officer!