My St. Patrick’s Day encounter with a pig, and he wasn’t pink.

Pigs.

Scum sucking pigs
What kind of bullshit is this?

Last Wednesday, St. Pattie’s Day, I headed straight home.
No funny Guiness business for me. No Bushmill’s. Drinking all that shit on March 17 is such a cliche.

The same thing…when people suddenly decide they need to drink Dos Equis on Cinco de Mayo.
I understand the principle of holiday frivolity. I seem to have issues dealing with frivolous.
Am I an old stick in the mud?
Gawd I hope not. Please slap me if I am.

So there I am, driving home directly after work on Wednesday. Pull out onto Sunset, head East towards my Beauty part of town. Dial the cell, cradle in my right shoulder because I’m too cheap to buy a legally-required California cellular phone earpiece add-on, so I cradle. I make it look like I’m driving with my head slightly tilted, done it forever. Never had a problem.

Maybe it was that whole Drinking Holiday vibe that makes police peer into cars more often than normal.
I was chatting and as the conversation turned intriguing, I let down my guard.
Let it down. Way down.

For suddenly, there on my right, the black and white combo of death. Black and yellow to harmless insects, black and white to urban drivers. Shit.
I literally dropped the phone in my lap, rather slyly I thought. Continued driving and the black and white conspicuously held back in its tracks. I was playing cat and mouse with L.A.’s finest.

Drove on, stopped at a red at Bronson.

The light turned green and I proceeded. He switched lanes behind me and there it went. The fucking lights. And then the short siren wail to grab my attention. Yeah yeah, I hear you.

Turned right and parked on the side street and there they came, an Asian cop on my right, the Hispanic on my left, so Goddamned racial rainbow L.A. style.

Initial legalistic rigamarole. Then before he returned to his car with my DL and insurance and registration (love the judicial bureacracy, all the red tape rules) he tells me as an afterthought, “you were driving while using the cell phone” and I nodded in agreement.

Caught with my pants down, what could I say. No contest your Honor.

Him and his Asian partner stood on the sidewalk with their radios. Rush hour traffic roared by. No doubt people cursing at us for hogging up the lane with our stupidity.

It took forever.

I started getting nervous.
You see…I have a “rich” traffic offense-related rap sheet.

Even though it’s all taken care of, everything is financially paid up and I’ve paid my emotional dues, the machinery that is the legal bureaucracy frequently falls prey to institutional Kafkaesque evil. A wrong keystroke, something misfiled…the possibilities are endless. Next thing you know, they run my CDL and the dispatcher pipes back that I have a bench warrant and they’ve shackled my wrists in cold handcuffs and carted me down to Parker Center before I can say “Rodney King.” And I’m stone cold sober, which is the worse state to be in if you are forced to share living space with other inmates in a drunk tank on St. Patrick’s night.

All this shit was pulsing through my head.

It was the first time I’ve been pulled over by the police since my 2005 fiasco.
Oh God.

Please God, tell me those civil service government pencil-pushing grunts did their job correctly. I don’t want to go to jail mommy! So much for atheism…

Finally.

Officer Hispanic comes back with my documents and hands me the ticket which I need to sign. A promise to appear, not a revelation of guilt. Which I do, gratefully.

I’ve redacted the juicy parts, sorry.
If you are looking for a hot time and want my address, email me…sorry, I actually have a sense of privacy and I suppose I should maintain the pig’s privacy as well.

OK.
Kidding.

I’m kidding about the “pig” thing.
Really I’m not saying that because I’m trying to kiss legal ass.

My ass is buried. I’m paying the fucking fine and calling it a day.
I have no reason to blame anyone but myself.
My parents didn’t raise a crybaby with no sense of accountability.
I messed up.

And the cop? Not a pig. Or, I should say, I have no idea what he is. But I can’t call him a pig because I don’t know him.

My encounters with the LAPD have generally been fine. They are actually a nice bunch. More than I can say about other certain suburban law agencies in the L.A. area. How can I complain about the LAPD? They were the ones who let me off with a verbal warning while I was pushing my old Ford Maverick to 85+ speeds down the Glendale Freeway one afternoon.

I know, cops have a shitty job.

It’s impossible to maintain that bizarre cowpoke Mayberry RFD demeanor while you’re patrolling L.A. on a daily basis. But I’ve run into many police officers who have morphed into psychopathic and scary Nazi’s…must be all that second-hand criminal-element smoke they have to deal with.

And why is it some agencies seem to attract more of this type than others?

There is one agency in particular which I’m thinking of. They are located in the San Gabriel Valley and I won’t name the city for fear of driving through there, but I’ve never had a pleasant, or even neutral, encounter with them.

I’m attempting to fine-comb my opinion of police.
Can you tell?
I feel guilty if I find myself sinking into the lazy practice of generalization.
So much of that in the blogosphere.
Generalizations.
What good do they serve?
I can sit here and say all cops suck.

Cops suck insofar as we suck because we are unable to obey the law.

Why the temptation to generalize?
We generalize genders, races, socio-economic groups, demographic groups…man, generalizations are rampant amidst human conversation and they especially clog the drain of human discourse on the blogosphere.

Generalizations are useful, I suppose. To make grand, sweeping points. I use them myself. Let’s face it, they are the laziest tool we have at our disposal. When it comes to non-thinking. Non-analytical thought.

Generalizations allow us to simple-mindedly and lazily reduce the human population to random statistical or anecdotal curves without really bothering to get our hands dirty in the sludge of human behavior.

They say there is truth in generalizations or stereotypes.
So?
I’d rather talk about individual flukes and absurdities. I don’t care about groups.
I’m an individual and my life is made up of dealing with individuals. When I talk to you or laugh with you, I am interacting with you, singular, not all that your background represents. Generalizations are depersonalization. They represent social, emotional inabilities to nurture human interaction.

No surprise generalizations are the greatest currency of social scientists.

Generalizations are a reaction to an accelerated sense of time’s march, as well.
Slow down.
Enjoy the ride. Live in the moment, in the lifetime, in the day. In the person.

Not all cops are pigs.

Well, except for that one city.