Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Cost of being tall
Well, it almost cost me, but thankfully the State Trooper showed some mercy. Last night I was driving the ten to twelve miles home from the Spring Festival of the Arts at Oklahoma Panhandle State University. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and a great opportunity to make more connections for the soon-to-be pastor of this parish. As I rolled back into the city of Guymon, I was careful to observe the change in speeds from 65 mph to 35 mph. So, I was surprised when a State Trooper swung in behind me from the opposite lane and turned on his lights. I looked at my speedometer and it showed 32 mph. "What's this all about?" I thought. Though I have received only two speeding tickets in my life, this was the first time I DID NOT know what I was being stopped for.

What had I done that was so important to stop me on this highway known for drug trafficking? I was driving on a clear night with my fog lamps on! Yes, that's right, the technical infraction was "Failure to extinguish fog lamps". Then I was also chided for not having notified in writing the Department of Public Safety because my driver's license shows my family's permanent home address in Oklahoma City, while I reside in Guymon. I understand the need to update those things and I will. However, since 2002 I have been in three different parishes and the original plan had me moving this year too, so I didn't bother with annual driver's license updates because I thought I would wait until I knew where I would be staying for some time.

So, I received a verbal warning on the driver's license address issue and a written warning on the fog lamp matter. I am thankful that the Trooper was merciful. I honestly had no idea the darn lamps were on. I can only figure, based on the placement of the fog lamp button, that my knee must have hit it as I got into the car at some point. I am sure, had I been fined, I could have filed a lawsuit claiming discrimination based on height or claiming that GM Motor Company was actually responsible for the placement of the lamp button and therefore ought to pay the fine. The price of being tall...(almost).

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