This has nothing to do with my pet detective work but I figured my blog readers would enjoy a good chuckle.
I received an e-mail that a reporter is developing a story about traffic tickets. She was asking traffic cops to submit the “worst excuses” that driver’s gave for traffic violations for an upcoming article on “The 10 Worst Traffic Ticket Excuses.” I couldn’t resist sending in (and now blogging about) what I considered to be THE BEST ticket excuse I’d ever heard back when I was a police officer who pulled many people over. I’m not sure if my story will be selected (since I’m claiming it as “the best” excuse and the reporter wants “the worst” excuse), but here’s what happened:
I have a fantastic and unique excuse that someone used back in 1996 after I pulled them over for running through a stop sign. I was a police officer at the U.C. Santa Cruz Police Department working the graveyard shift. I was parked and was bored when a car rolled up and right through a stop sign without stopping. I pulled the car over and discovered it was two young students on their way back to their dorm. I asked the nicely dressed driver for his license and registration and asked if he knew why I’d stopped him.
The driver said, “Officer, I didn’t stop at that stop sign because I didn’t want to knock over my food art.”
OK. I was intrigued.
“Food art?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said. “I’m a chef and I attended a graduation party and they had a food art contest and I won first place.” He pointed to an object teetering on the edge of his dashboard.
I shined my flashlight and low and behold, he had a very creative (and quite good I might add) replica of the England Stonehenge made of parsley and tiny carrots. Having a good sense of humor, not to mention the fact I was delighted that I’d actually pulled over an artist who was not only graduating, but was sober, I decided to have some fun.
“I’ll make you a deal,” I said to the driver.
“Yes officer?” he said.
“That excuse is, by far, THE BEST, excuse for not stopping at a stop sign that I’ve heard in my career. If your buddy there will take a picture of you and me with your food art, I will let you go with a warning.”
“You got it!” he said.
I still have the Polaroid picture of me smiling next to a very talented (and lucky…and somewhat HOT, although if I say that now I could be called a “cougar”) food artist!