Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A shocking story

Today’s Freeman had a shocking front page story.

No, not "Jail investigators focus on political donations"; not even "BOCES principal changing sex."

I’m talking, of course, about “Cops on ATVs join city push.”

Why shocking? Read on.

I was driving down Henry Street after work, minding my own business, as people like to say, when I saw the new police ATVs parked on the side. There were also two patrol cars.

An SUV was blocking the way, stopped by one of the patrol cars. I tried to go around them. Then, an officer standing outside indicated to me with his hand to get behind the other vehicle.

I stopped close to him.

“How are you doing?” he said, looking at my seatbelt and registration and inspection stickers.

“Good,” I said. I started to drive again.

His hand went up and his palm was facing me. I stopped after moving an inch or so forward.

“What are you doing here?” he said.

“I came from the bank, I said, referring to the Bank of America at the corner of Henry Street and Broadway. "Can I go now?" I moved another inch.

“No. Where are you going?” he said, hand firmly up.

“To Keegan’s,” I said referring to the popular Kingston brewery in St. James Street. I was now nervous, and that had made my accent thicker.

“What?” he said in an “I don’t understand you” kind of way, which told me that my accent had indeed gotten thicker or that the cop didn’t know Keegan’s.

“To Keegan Ales, I’m taking Prospect (Street) down there,” I said, trying to enunciate every word, which must’ve sounded weird.

He waved his hand, letting me go.
Was I, again, Driving While on Henry Street?

I know what you are going to say: “If you have nothing to hide ...”

Yet, every time I hear that, I ask the person to give me his wallet or her purse and, if they do, I start perusing through their stuff, making them righteously angry.

I felt like somebody had just done that to me. And as justified as it might have been, it just felt wrong.

So I was shocked, and went to have a beer.