I’m a rule follower. I wait in lines, I read signs, I take a number and I would never not obey the law (except maybe speeding, but never over 10 miles over and then I’m usually following the speed of traffic). I have always listened to what I am told and tried my best to do the right thing. WELL on this particular November evening in 1988, I was driving from Syracuse, NY to White Plains, NY to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my grandfather. I was a Junior at Syracuse University at the time and the drive was an easy 250 miles and about 4 hours if you stayed within the speed limit, which I did. About halfway along the trip, the highway was very dark and I felt very alone since I hadn’t seen any other lights either oncoming or beside me for miles. Then.....All of a sudden a car comes barreling up behind me and gets ridiculously close to my tail end. My heart started beating and I couldn’t figure out why the other driver wouldn’t just go around me because it was a 4 lane highway.
I started muttering profanities to myself and felt relieved when the car changed lanes and started to pass. Asshole!!! That’s all I could think so I held up my middle finger as the car passed.....BAD IDEA! Turns out the other vehicle was a police car and they saw my said finger. SOOOOOOO instantly the car pulls back behind me and the lights come on. OOPS. I pull over and start thinking about the blabber I am going to spew to explain myself and I am hopeful that the officer has a sense of humor. NOT...SHE was pissed! And I mean pissed! SHE wanted nothing to do with my “why” and how I thought she was just another driver trying to scare me. All she could say was “Hasn’t your parents taught you anything?” “Why would you ever flip off a police officer?” Me “That’s the point, I didn’t know you were a police officer.” Her “Well never flip off anyone!” I get that...and I learned a lesson. Now I keep my finger down and blow a kiss instead. It seems to drive the point home even better. Needless to say she issued me 3 tickets, none of which I deserved. 1. Failure to signal (I did), 2. Speeding (10 miles over) and 3. Disorderly conduct. It racked up close to $300 in tickets and I knew better than to try and protest. This story has been one of my favorites for 32 years.