Rousted While (Mostly) Innocent
By Jeff Salter
[Note: this incident actually happened – five years ago – and I recorded it at the time… so as to be completely accurate as to what occurred.]
The Safety Officer thoroughly eyeballed me, my truck, and presumably my Mom in the passenger seat… then drove his Patrol cruiser all the way around the parking lot and pulled in tightly behind me so I couldn’t flee the scene. I wondered if he intended to drag me away in handcuffs because I had squeezed the Charmin.
He asked if I had a handicapped sticker (since it was one of the 29% of my Kroger visits with my Mom that I actually found an empty handicapped slot to park in). I said yes we did [we hang it from the mirror] and started to explain that my Mom had already put the sticker away (in her carryall) while I was loading the groceries. But the Officer interrupted me and said, “You’re required by law to DISPLAY the sticker if you’re using the handicapped slots.”
So I started again to explain that we HAD displayed it while we were parked… but that my Mom quickly put it away while I dealt with the groceries. But he interrupted again with more bureaucratic-ese.
Then my Mom started in with her continual refrain, “I’m nearly 91 and I have old bones…”
That didn’t phase the Officer in the slightest. His retort: “I’m not far behind you, lady, and I have old bones too.”
He voiced a final reproach about keeping the sticker posted while using the slot, and then he trudged away to his cruiser.
While he was surely still in ear-shot of my Mom (who talks VERY LOUDLY since she’s nearly deaf), she waved the sticker in my face and said, “It’s a good thing he didn’t look very close at my sticker because you let it expire last month.”
I think I was the victim of ‘profiling’ today.
What about you? Have you ever been interrupted repeatedly, to the point that you were not even allowed to explain?