We were headed to Atlanta when it happened, X and I. We had left her Aunt's place for Charlotte in the morning and decided to continue on down I-85 to Atlanta, and maybe head west from there to Alabama. Just because.

I was making excellent time. When the speed limit is 70 and your cruise is set at 80, cities just fly by. So do cop cars.

I saw the trooper as I blew past him in the left lane. For some reason, my radar detector hadn't gone off. I immediately slowed down to the speed limit, at which point he paced me in the lane to my right, effectively trapping me. I thought this was odd, and wondered when or if I'd get pulled over.

1 mile, 2 mile, 3 miles later, I finally get fed up, and slow down to 55 just enough to get behind him, and I am able to move to the right lane with the intention of getting off the highway. He must have decided he had teased me enough and he moved behind me and the lights came on.

I pulled my car to the side, not realizing I was about to have a new life experience.

I shut off the car, and in a sudden fit of paranoia, I shut off the A/C and the stereo too. Silence except for the cars blowing by. The officer came to the passenger window, and demanded my information, as is the norm. As I reached for the glove compartment, my hand started shaking terribly. I should hae taken it as a bad omen.

I handed him my info and he had me walk to the back of my car and wait there. He asked if I knew how fast I was going, I was honest and said "75-80 I'd guess." He said "I clocked you on rear motion radar, which is why your radar detector didn't save you, and you were doing 76. This is a 60 zone."

I had already accepted the fact that I was getting a ticket. I noticed the laptop in his car and tried to play my trump card. I said "Hey, I think my brother-in-law has the same model in his cruiser." "Huh?" he replied. I explained, "Oh, my brother is a sheriff in Deer Park, Texas, outside of Houston. Last time I was out there, he showed me around the car. Neat stuff."

It had worked! He gave me a warning ticket. I was getting off! Then it happened.

"Anything in the car I should know about?"
"No, sir"
"No guns, knives or other weapons?"
"No, sir"
"No drugs?"
My mind raced. "No, sir"
"No marijuana?"
Of course I had my bowl with me. With just enough weed for a light buzz. But I wasn't telling him that. "No, sir"
"No cocaine, methamphetamines, or any other illicit substance?"
"No, sir"
"Would you mind If I searched your vehicle?"
"Well, actually, we are trying to get on our way and I'd rather not." "Well you are refusing the search?" "I guess so." "I'm going to have to call in a K-9 unit then."

At this point, I knew I was screwed. He strolled to his vehicle to radio in, and I started to shake worse than before. I knew I had to come clean or I was really toast. He came back and I said,

Sir, um i was thinking and I had taken a road trip with a buddy who brought along some weed. He may have left it in the car. I'm really worried he might have, because I don't smoke, but he might have left it. I haven't cleaned out my car since, so it might be under the seat or in the armrest.
I hadn't cleaned my car either, so it was a mess, so it was plausible. He explained that the dog would still have to come since I refused, but he was glad I told him.

While we were waiting, I asked why he had decided to search my car. He cited my trembling, pointing out that I was shaking like a madman at that moment. I explained that I had once been beaten by a police officer in Washington, D.C. (another story for another day) and that i had this inherent fear ever since.

The dog showed up and was instructed to smell around the outside of my car, which is perfectly legal without my permission (sneaky, eh). The dog, of course, smelled something and that gave the officers cause to search. So they did. And found my weed exactly where I told them it probably was.

I was about to piss myself in fear. What was my mother going to do? What was X going to do, since she couldn't drive my car and would need to get home since I was in jail?

Then I was told I was just getting two tickets. One for possession, and one for possession of paraphernalia. Each for $425. for a total of $850. Holy fuck. What luck and what a ridiculous amount of money. But at least I wasn't being carted off to the stripey hole and I didn't have to show my face in a South Carolina court.

i got back into my car, in absolute shock, lit a cigarette and started the engine as inhaled a huge drag. I merged into traffic, only to get off at the first exit. I pulled into a McDonald's ordered. and sat staring at my food. X laughed at me, out of tension.

We never made it to Atlanta.

This story is true. All true. Amnesiac in an act of divine charity saw it fit to donate a large sum of money to the cause, seeing as how I am currently unemployed. Send him mad props!

This, however, gave me an idea.

Perhaps the one thing I do best is make mix cd's. Give me any topic and I'll whip you up something special. For a $20 donation to the "Save the GFG fund," I will make you a cd in any topic you request, from "College Radio Love" to "Baroque quartets pieces for hot monkey loving." I would do it for less than that, but then I'd wind up making 100 cd's which would break my computer. Think of it like the PBS telethon.

I feel really greedy, but I need a way to earn the money for the tickets.

/msg at /msg gfg me for details or examples of my work.

Donations so far have been received from, or promised by, the following: (Send them your love)

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