To get to my job, I have to drive through the Liberty Tunnels. For you lucky non-Pittsburgh folks, it’s a two-lane tunnel that takes you downtown, but every day at 2pm, the right lane becomes right-turn only. There’s even some orange traffic cones set up in an arc at the end in case people feel compelled to keep going straight and thereby causing a maybe pile-up. For the most part, this goes smoothly, but there are still the occasional assholes who like to speed all the way down the less-trafficked right lane only to slam on the brakes at the end and try to merge back over. For that reason, there’s usually a cop at the end of the tunnel, though he NEVER pulls any of the people over that I put window down to yell “That’s illegal!” too. I’m sorry, but I’m not trying to die in a tunnel car crash.
Henry has been driving me to work so I don’t have to lose 3/4 of my pay check to the parking lots. Plus, it’s just more convenient. For me.
Yesterday, we suffered through the slow-moving left lane, me re-playing the same song over and over, and him trying to act like he knows stuff about the world. Chooch was in the backseat watching inappropriate YouTube videos on Henry’s phone. Finally, the end of the tunnel appeared, and right as we were about to emerge into the overcast day, a barrel-chested, mustachioed prick of a cop clad in aviator sunglasses and a boulder on his shoulder stepped out in front of us, swooped his arm to the side and bellowed PULL OVER.
At first, I’m like, “Oh my god, there’s a terrorist on the roof on our car. Thank god this gentleman caught it before we drove this bomb into the city.”
Then I thought maybe we were the 1,000,000,000,000,000 car to make it through the tunnel without any collapsing incidents, and I wondered what sort of gift or cash prize we would get for that. I started thinking of my statement for the evening news but then laughed because my name is not Ben Roethlisberger.
The cop stomped over to the driver side window and when I tell you he hollered into the car for Henry’s license and registration, I really am not joking at all. Please, yell at us a little harder, I’d love for my four-year-old to be traumatized and scared of you pricks for the rest of his life, you mother fucker. You’re real cool. What’s wrong, got kicked out of the army in 1985 for fucking your bunk mate and now you have to take it out on poor demure families which is not what mine is, but still?
“What exactly is the problem?” Henry asked. We all had our seatbelts on, the tags were (miraculously) up to date, and there was no way we could have been speeding when we were practically crawling through the backed-up tunnel. And of course, all the drugs were stowed neatly up Chooch’s ass.
“Oh, like you’re going to try and tell me you weren’t weaving in and out of the lanes in there,” he said with snide laughter. I bet he smokes cigars. And I couldn’t imagine why he wasn’t marching around some barracks somewhere, whipping naked backsides and stepping on necks.
I don’t like cops, and I’m not afraid of cops. I have certainly never CRIED in front of a cop. If anything, I get extremely self-righteous around them and have this incredible desire to backtalk. So in tandem with Henry’s calm and collected objections, I plunged across his lap, shouting, “HE DIDN’T SWITCH LANES THAT’S ILLEGAL!”
And you know what this fucking douchebag said to us? With contempt dripping off him like your grandma’s pearls, he sneered, “I don’t believe a word you’re saying, but I’ll let you back out into traffic.”
Oh, but he was SO SURE we had gone all Fast and Furious in the tubes with our son in the backseat navigating. Only to just let us off the hook? And ew, the way his lip curled up into the most condescending half-smile, it gave me chills for the rest of the night.
He knew we didn’t do it, but god forbid he should break his Dickhead Cop Oath and admit that he might have pulled over the wrong car, sending us off on a positive note. And you know, we didn’t even notice any cars around us switching lanes, for that matter.
Meanwhile, Chooch didn’t even know we had been pulled over and had Beefy Bulldog’s steroid-coated false accusations wafting through our car.
As we drove across the Liberty Bridge, I laugh-yelled, “Well, those are your friends, Henry!” Because he is ALWAYS defending cops. ALWAYS. Yes, some are good, but I need to encounter at least 2 dozen more good ones before they can sway my opinion away from the hundreds of dickish ones I’ve encountered in my (very legal) days.
Henry started stammering some nonsense about how all cops are God-like, it’s just the ones on motorcycles that are mean.
OH OK. Erik Estrada was pretty awesome, but whatever.