I’m In An Episode Of Cops

Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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“Alright, Douglas,” said the nice policeman, (nobody calls me Douglas anymore except for Linda when she’s torqued at me about something) “just sign here and you can be on your way.”
On my way with a careless driving citation in my hand after sitting in the front seat of his Crown Vic for an hour while he filled out the necessary and excruciatingly detailed reports chronicling the three vehicle accident I caused on busy East 10th Street Monday afternoon.
I had decided to leave early, for a change, to a board meeting across town and wasn’t in any particular hurry as I approached the intersection at 10th and Cleveland. I could see the light was green and cars were moving. (Here’s where the careless part comes in)  It was sweltering in the car so I looked down to adjust the vents in hopes of getting a more direct flow of cool air. Out of the corner of my eye I could see that the car in front of me had stopped and I wasn’t going to be able to.  I hit the brakes and chirped the tires but it was clear that a collision was inevitable. Funny how many thoughts run through your mind during that split second before impact. In my case, I wasn’t going fast enough to be too concerned about any serious injuries or seeing life flash before my eyes.
No, all I could think about was how stupid I was for not paying closer attention..how late I was going to be for our meeting..how I hope I put the proof of insurance card in my wallet and how embarrassing it was going to be standing in the middle of 10th street backing up traffic on a hot afternoon.
Fortunately, the cops arrived within a couple minutes and after assessing the damage (none to my car other than a broken license plate bracket. The young guy, whose Honda I banged into, had what amounted to scuff marks on his bumper..or whatever that piece of plastic where bumpers used to be is called. What I didn’t realize is that his car had lurched forward and hit the Ford Focus in front of him..which prompted the young lady driver to immediately get on her cell and call mom.) we all parked in the Pizza Hut lot and were invited to join the officer in his black and white to sort it all out.  “Are any of you injured?” the officer asked. “Nope, nope, nope,” came the three replies. Then all was silent as we sat there inside the idling patrol car with the air conditioner set on low inside and the lights still flashing outside while he made out the reports in long hand. Crown Vics like this can idle a long time with the air on low.The silence was broken momentarily when the frantic mother arrived on the scene..understandably concerned about her daughter’s well-being yet somewhat unconvinced by the officer’s assurances that the girl was fine and a mark on her rear bumper was the only damage.
Finally, after nearly an hour, I was the last to be released..even though I had a 105 dollar ticket for stupid driving..it was good to smell the fresh air of freedom again.
Or, so I thought.
I got a call from my insurance company this morning to report that the young lady..two cars ahead of me..is now, according to her mother, experiencing some kind of injury.
So, now I’ve been instructed to bring my poor old Lincoln in for a mug shot so my company has photographic evidence as the severity of the crash.Other than a busted license plate holder, my 9 year old car doesn’t appear damaged. Maybe the dead bugs on my bumper cushioned the blow.
Non-Nordics often ask why Norwegians are so fond of using the term Uffda when they experience frustration, disbelief or anger.
I’ve been saying Uffda a lot today.

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