(with apologies to Chamillionaire)
by Joe Buonfiglio
The blue-and-red rollers in my rearview mirror left me with no doubt; the PoPo were trying to catch me dietin’ dirty.
COP: “License and registration.”
FAT JOE (Uh, that’s “ME.”): “Sure, officer. Did I do something wrong?”
COP: “License and registration.”
I tentatively hand the deeply tinted-bespectacled representative of North Carolinian law enforcement the requested documents. This was no American version of the serious, yet genteel French gendarme. This bear of a man would just as soon see me dare to resist his Carolina mountain-bred charms unto the inevitable hellish consequence.
ME: “Yes, officer. Here you go, sir.”
He viewed the state-issued papers for so long, it seemed as if time was being rendered a mere illusion.
ME: “Is there something wrong officer?”
He peered into my car, grimaced, and then handed me my vehicular-oriented documents.
COP: “Step out of the car.”
ME: “What? Why?”
COP: “Step out of the car, sir. NOW!”
Was it that cold? Why could I not stop shivering as I complied with his much-more-than-a request.
COP: “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
ME: “Was I speeding? I may have been a little, but it couldn’t have been more than 5 miles per hour over the limit. Isn’t there like some kind of grace zone of at least 5 miles an—”
COP: “Do you know you damn near killed a family of five back there?”
ME: “What?! How?”
COP: “Stay there.”
The police officer walked back to his car and removed four bloodstained family-sized bags of cool ranch Doritos from its backseat.
COP: “These flew out of your rear window a few miles back.”
ME: “Oh my God. I’m so sorry. I’m usually much more careful not to litter. If there is any associated fine, I will of course be happy to—”
COP: “They flew into the windshield of the minivan behind you.”
ME: “There was a minivan behind me? I had no idea there—”
COP: “Which completely obscured the driver’s vision.”
ME: “Oh boy. Look, I am so sor—”
COP: “The car full of kids went careening off the road.”
ME: “That’s terrible! Is everybody all ri—”
COP: “Breaking through the guardrail and plummeting down the mountainside.”
ME: “Well that’s not— That’s not good.”
The cop leaned in and looked into my car. It revealed itself to be a massive trash pile of chips’ bags, candy wrappers, empty soda cans, ice cream sticks and various forms of fast-food residue and leftover dietary carnage.
ME: “I get hungry.”
The cop scowled.
ME: “I’m on a REALLY strict diet and I just, well, snapped.”
The cop’s eyebrows bent downward in anger to the point that it looked as if they’d pop his nose right off his face.
ME: “You know how it is when you’re on a long road-trip. It doesn’t matter how good you’ve been on your diet; it becomes snacking warfare. All bets are off. It’s permission to chow down nonstop, because around each turn is a burger haven of comestible delight. Each gas stop offers up sweet—”
I’m not sure if it was an actual nightstick he slapped me with or just a heavy-duty flashlight. Regardless, I woke up with my car probably somewhere in Georgia on a used car lot with its VIN number filed off and me in a dank cell with no hope of ever even seeing a bail bondsman, let alone the light of day.
They had caught me dietin’ dirty and my penance was to become the cellmate of a somewhat aggressively flirtatious mountain of a drunk named “Homer.” With absolute certainty, I will not enjoy the odyssey on which he now wants to take me.
In retrospect, perhaps using my one phone call to order pizza delivery was not a smart move.
© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio All Rights Reserved.