That was a close one

Flashing lights in your rear view mirror — never a good sight. Twice in a week’s time and you start to question your driving ability just a little.

It all started on a trip to Las Cruces recently. I wasn’t rushed, didn’t need to push myself on the drive to make a schedule, just a leisurely Sunday drive. I’d just left Hondo headed to Ruidoso when I passed a state patrolman parked in the median. I didn’t even react to seeing him because I thought I was under the speed limit.

A minute later I see the lights in my mirror and imagine my surprise when I move to the right to let him by and he moves to the right behind me.

After handing over my license, insurance and registration the officer announced, “Mr. Terry I had you at 57 in a 45. I’m just going to write it at 54 though.”

Apparently I resumed my cruising speed a little too soon after passing through the hamlet of Hondo. The policeman knew right where to sit to take advantage of that fact and I wasn’t focusing my attention on where the speed zones changed. In fact he motioned without looking at the 60 mph sign a few feet in front of my car.

I was guilty, he was doing his job and now I’m $75 poorer.

The rest of the trip the cruise control was set right on the speed limit and I watched for the speed zone changes through every town.

About a week later, once again with my bride in the passenger seat, I went afoul of the law. I wasn’t speeding, this time I rolled a stop sign at the four-way stop a couple of blocks from my house. I don’t recall even seeing another vehicle when approaching the intersection. The deputy’s lights didn’t even come into view in my mirror until I was turning down our cul-de-sac street. Sure enough he turned down the street behind me and there I was three doors from my driveway with the bubble gum machine parked behind me.

The officer was polite, he never said where he’d been hiding but he quickly said it wasn’t the end of the world and he was going to write me a warning if my paperwork all checked out. I didn’t mention to him I’d just had that paperwork checked out roadside in Hondo, instead figuring it would be better just to let him go about his job.

It seemed to take him a long time and I imagined I could see all the neighbors peeking through the blinds to determine what type of criminal element had invaded their quiet neighborhood.

My wife began to think this was all a bit hilarious and began to laugh. I checked to make sure the deputy had his head down writing and I deftly reached across and slapped the giggles right off her lips.

That was a close one folks, I’m guessing that assaulting your wife in front of a county mountie would be greeted with a bit more than a written warning.

Karl Terry, a former publisher of the Quay County Sun, writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him

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