news from the absentee fox

Duh MomentAnother FREE WEEK.  I know I’ve been the truant fox here.  I’m awful eyesorry about that.  I know, too, I’ve spent too much time on self-promotion here.  So there will also be no more of that at this time.  (I couldn’t find a picture of a woman trying to balance for police, so pretend that’s the case in the preceding picture.)

What to write?  How about if I entertain you with one of my “duh” moments?  (I’ve got a MILLION of them!)  Sorry about the length here, but I hope you’re entertained!  🙂



Welcome to my world

I sing in the choir at my church and there is an anthem coming up that I have a short solo in.  The name of the song is Jesus Be With Us Now and I practice it in my mind while I’m driving.

Yeah, well anyway, I was just driving home on I-5 from dinner one night after a book signing when I noticed traffic slow down.  Then I noticed the reason why.  A cop drove on the same highway.  So I slowed down, too.  But I still passed him.  Then I almost changed lanes into the front side of his car!  Crap!  If I had been paying attention and had not done that, none of this probably would have ever happened!

The cop pulled back and got into my lane behind me.  I knew he was watching me, and I got paranoid.  Then I started doing all kinds of dumb things, like swerving in my lane.  If I’m ever going to do anything wrong, it will be when a cop is following me.  I expected to see his lights come on at any time.  I was thinking that I’d remain calm if they pulled me over, and I remembered the rules:  The Too Much Information Rule-Don’t tell them anything unless they ask.  And do not get out of my car before they reach me and ask me to. That second rule I learned from watching a cop show on TV.

Sure enough, they did put their lights on and pull me over.    I was not surprised to see the lights when they started flashing.  And I knew exactly why I saw them.  That’s when I really started singing, Jesus Be With Us Now!  I pulled over just as the highway widened for an off ramp.

After I pulled over, across three lanes of traffic because I was in the far left lane, I waited and watched out my left window for the officer.  Then I heard a knock on my passenger window, which startled me.  That’s when my calm and controlled demeanor began to fall apart and my nerves set in.  Like an idiot I rolled three windows down before the fourth, and correct one, was opened for him to talk to me through.  I thought, Man!  They are going to get me…

A young cop poked his head into my down window and asked, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”

I smiled and said, “No,” Even though I did know.

Then he mentioned, “You’ve been swerving,” and asked, “Have you been drinking?”

At that point I was sure glad that I do not drink and drive.  I gave my head a shake and told him, “No.”

Then he added to his earlier reason, “You almost changed lanes into me back there.”

I slapped my hand to my forehead in the guise of an idiot and groaned, “I know.”

Then he asked, “Where have you been and where are you going?”

At that point my mind went blank.  I forgot the name of the town I had been in, then something that sounded right came to me and I told him, “Wilsonville.  I’ve been at an author event,” and against all rules of TMI I told him, “After the signing a few of us went out for a meal.  Everyone else there had an alcoholic drink with their meal, but I did not.”

Then he asked, “Wilsonville?” like he had never heard of the place.

That’s when butterflies rampaged in my inner core and I became concerned and wondered if I had gotten the name of the town right.  I thought that maybe I had named a fictitious town; because of course they would know the name of the town if it existed.

Then another cop with him saved the day when he half asked, half mentioned, “You’ve been in Oregon?”

I answered him, “Yes.”  Oregon sounded good to me because I knew I had been there, but I was so nervous, I could not remember the name of the town I had been in.  Then I told them, “I live in University Place.”

The first cop asked me, “Are you familiar with the area?”

I indicated my GPS on the dash and answered, “No.  That’s why I’ve got this up here.”  Then I considered that was NOT such a wise answer because U. P. was not very far away from where I was stopped.  They probably might think that I should KNOW the area!

Then my mouth just started moving.  I told them, “I probably swerved because I got paranoid that you were behind me!”  And then I informed them, “I knew that you were following and watching me.  I know that you are out watching for people to give tickets to.”  Then I realized that was probably not a good thing for me to say to police officers.  Broke the TMI rule again.

The trained cop came back immediately with, “That’s not true.  We are out trying to keep the roads safe.”

I promptly gave him a smile and a nod, in agreement with him.  Just trying to dig myself out a little bit, there.

The first cop returned with, “Could I see your license, proof of insurance and registration?”  The license part was easy.  I pulled its little compartment out of my purse and, with a smile, asked, “Would you like me to remove it for you?”

He said, “Yes.”

Of course he would like me to pull it out for him.  I gave it to him and while he looked at my license, I fumbled with my wallet looking for my insurance card.  I could not find it because I could not remember which compartment I had put it in.  They saw it before I did.

“That’s it, isn’t it?”  It was in the same compartment my license had been in.  I thought, well, duh, of course that’s where I put it!

I gave him my insurance card and reached into my dash box to find my registration for him.  I was SO nervous.  I emptied my folder where I keep papers like that and found the registration and handed it out the window.

He looked at it and told me, “It’s expired.”

That’s when I really began to panic and act like a drunk, even though I had NOT been drinking!  I lost control and started pulling out registration after registration for them, but they were all expired!

I heard the second cop tell the first, “She does have current tabs.”

Hearing that, I brightened and told him, “If I have my new tabs that means that I have a current registration, too!  Right?”

He didn’t say anything.  He DID tell me, “You do not need to keep all your old registrations.  You should get rid of them.”

“As soon as I get home I will clean the folder out!” I assured them.

By then my nerves had put me into hyper-drive and I began to pull everything out in search of the current registration that I KNEW I HAD!  I was so intent on finding my registration, that the entire front passenger seat and console in my car were covered with papers!  I was in uncontrolled overdrive.  I could not find my registration.  Never did.

The officers finally gave up on it.  They were trying to get my attention so we could move on to another part of the stop and they had to ask me, “Ma’am?” several times before they got my attention.  I then stopped searching for that darned piece of paper that I KNEW I HAD!

Then they asked me, “Would you be willing to get out of your car for some sobriety tests?”

I looked at them.  My smile by this time permanently attached to my face, I told them, “I suffered a head injury in ’79 and I cannot keep my balance, anytime.”

They acknowledged that fact, but then the second cop told me, “This is a new officer and I’m training him.  Would you mind doing it for us anyway?”

I agreed because I definitely wanted to keep these guys in a good mood!  Then I went to get out of the car.  When I looked in my side mirror for oncoming traffic, I could not see a thing except for the flood light on the patrol car.  I looked back over to them and said so.

The second cop then told me, in reference to the other cop with him, “He will stand at the front of your car and motion to you when it is safe for you to get out.”

After I stood in front of my car, the seasoned cop told me, “Since I am training him, I will just be standing here off to the side to watch and see that he does everything he is supposed to.”

First the cop in question asked me to do some kind of a walking maneuver, I forgot what he called it, and he said, “You’ve probably seen it on a cop show on TV.”

I forgot about the “Rule” I had learned while I WATCHED those shows on TV, and told him, “I do not watch those shows.”  And then in a reminder of what I had told them, before I got out of my car, I said, “I cannot walk in a straight line, anyway.”  Then I told him, “You’ll have to show me how it’s done.”  He never did show me, we just moved right along.

In the first test, the cop held a pen up and asked me to watch its tip, without moving my head, as he moved it from side to side.  I guess I did that satisfactorily, even though I’m sure I forgot and moved my head from side to side some.

The second cop then asked, “Would you be willing to allow him to put you through some more tests, just for training?”

I said, “Okay!”

“Thank you, for your time, ma’am.”  His tone, expression and mannerisms told me that he was sincerely appreciative of my cooperation and generosity.

In return I thanked him by saying, “I thank you because I think you are not going to give me a ticket!”

The experienced cop got a faint smile on his face and I knew I was off free!  Then it got fun.  🙂

Anyway, then the first cop asked me to touch my thumb to each of my fingers twice.  I did so and said proudly, “I can even do it without looking!” and I demonstrated.

The second cop then said, “Most people can’t do that.”

The younger cop then told me, “I want you to stand with your feet together and maintain your balance.”

I balanced for him for a few minutes and told them, “I impress myself because I am keeping my balance!”

Then he told me, “Hold your head back for what you think would be 30 seconds, with your eyes closed.”

Before he had finished telling me about the 30 second part, I tilted my head back and closed my eyes.  It was obviously too soon for him.

When I did so, he told me, “Don’t do anything until I am finished telling you what to do.”  I couldn’t help it!  I kept trying to be ahead of him with everything he told me to do!

When I had finished I asked, “How did I do?”

He looked at his watch and said, “Thirty seconds.”

That’s when I totally blew it and said, “Within 30 seconds!  That’s pretty good!  Huh?”  Duh.  Thirty seconds was the time I was supposed to stand with my head back, I was thinking that I came within 30 seconds of doing it for 30 seconds!  They must not have caught my “Duh” moment that time because they said nothing about it!

Then they asked me to balance on one leg and I reminded them I could not do that.  I remembered the problems I have when I exercise and told them, “I try to do it all the time, but can’t.”  Since they had asked, and being as cooperative as I could, I tried anyway.  I thought that I’d see if I could do it, but I couldn’t, just like I told them.

I thought about all the cars going by and people watching the “drunken” lady that had got caught, trying to balance on one leg, but instead bouncing all over the place!  I figured that was their problem and did not let it bother me. It satisfied me that they could wonder why I was smiling at the two cops who “they” thought were writing me up!

Then the more seasoned cop told me, “He (his trainee) will tell you how to get back on the highway,” and then he went back to his car.

I told the first cop, “I imagine it would be better to just get off and then back on,” and I designated the off ramp we sat at.  The young guy agreed, “That would probably work, but I first still need to tell you how to do it.”  Then he proceeded to tell me, “You could take the off ramp, or you could just follow the road to its left.  See where it says College Street?”

I said, “Yeah?”

“That will take you right back onto to the highway.”  WRONG!

Of course, he didn’t know who he was talking too.  I can get lost ANYWHERE!  I’ve been told that I’m the only person who can get lost while using a GPS.

I went his way and, oh yeah, that road did take me to another road that took me back onto the highway, but not before I went through some sort of area.  Maybe it was a school, or some other sort of business parking lot?

Anyway, I drove around in circles for a while and then, finally, found a way to merge back onto the highway again.  That came after I remembered that I had to tell my GPS to take me home again after I had turned it off while chatting with the police.

Hope you enjoyed my Duh Moment!    🙂  How about you?  Have you had many “duh” moments?

About pjharjo

Janette is an author of Romantic Paranormal Fantasy. CONNECTIONS, her first series, is Indie published. You can follow her or sign up for her newsletter, and learn more about her new releases as they become available, at She lives in the beautiful and prolific Pacific NW of the USA.
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6 Responses to news from the absentee fox

  1. jeff7salter says:

    If they had a patrol car camera, this segment is probably already being aired on “Cops”.


    • WERE you aired on “Cops”? That is some tale and I hope you are a bit more mindful.You are lucky with the officers you met.


      • pjharjo says:

        Yeah, those officer s were great! :)) I was really afraid of them to begin with, but once I met them it got easier. I could tell they were nice. And then when I saw the lead officer’s hinted smile I knew I was off. YAY! I can’t think of the word I want, but I think my attitude with them was the key to my “Off Free” status. I’m much more observant and careful now, especially since my recent accident! I don’t know if I was on COPS, but it would be fun if I was!


    • pjharjo says:

      Now I’m going to have to keep track of the Cops show! I’d love to see it aired! LOL!


  2. Laura says:

    This tale hit too close to home. When I got pulled over, at 3AM, for “touching” the white line the young officer accepted my explanation that I had been up for almost 24 hours but had not been driving more than an hour and had only 5 miles more to go. It did not help that I was wearing blaze orange. He figured I had been at a deer cabin drinking.
    He took my license and went back to his in car computer to “run” me. I said to my passenger, the truth was I was watching that YAHOO in my mirror. I wonder if those cameras pick up the conversation in our vehicles. But I did not get a ticket.


  3. pjharjo says:

    I’m glad you didn’t get a ticket. There are some nice cops out there. 🙂


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