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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Marti Tangles With A Trooper

One small detail I omitted from yesterday's post was a funny thing that happened to us on the way to Branson.

We were driving on I-40 in Arkansas when we hit a major road construction site.  They highway was being closed for a time and then reopened for a time, causing major backups.  No worries, we carry our bathroom with us.

As we slooowly crept up to an exit, a deputy sheriff standing there motioned for us to take it.  I stopped and had a nice brief chat with him and he gave me directions.  I thanked him and moved off down the exit.

At the end of the exit was a crossroads intersection.  Left, right or straight back onto the highway.  Standing in the middle of the intersection was one of Arkansas' finest, a state trooper.  He was directing traffic.

The deputy had told me to turn left at the intersection, but the trooper motioned for us to go straight across the intersection.  Who am I to argue?  I went straight across the intersection like the trooper had directed me.

As I drove past him he started screaming "Stop!  Stop!"  So I stopped.  Then he started screaming "Back up, BACK UP!!!"   I opened my window and yelled back to him (standing at the rear of the Journey) that I could not back up.  He just kept screaming for me to back up and started pounding on the side of the Journey.

I had Marti jump out of the Journey and run back to the Element tow car to hold the wheel straight so I could back up.  As Marti came around the trooper she told him she was going to hold the steering wheel so I could back up.  He yelled at her to get back in the Journey.  Marti said in no uncertain terms that she had to hold the wheel or the car front wheels would lock up.  As she went for the car door, the trooper yelled at her that he would do it.  Marti stopped, he whipped open the door and stuck one foot in and held the wheel while is other foot was on the ground.  He screamed again for me to back up, so I slowly backed up through the intersection with the trooper holding the wheel and hopping on his one foot.  When I got far enough back that I could turn left, he, slammed the door and yelled at Marti to get back in the Journey and yelled "Why can't you follow everyone else?"

What ever.  Marti got back inside, I turned right and drove away.  I know he may have thought he was indicating for me to turn left, but instead of correctly using full arm motions, he was just using his hands and wrists.  So it was easy for me to mistake whatever way he was trying to point for the wrong one.

We've all read of police officers using excessive force and dragging little old ladies out of their cars at traffic stops.  I've often wondered where officers like that could come from.  Now I know that there is at least one in the Arkansas State Police.

We drove through the various turns, each one manned by a sheriff's deputy who pleasantly waved us though the turns until we arrived back on the highway.  Along the way, we passed the headquarters of the Arkansas State Police.  I briefly thought that maybe we should stop and file a complaint, but my PDD was kicking in so we kept on going.  Hopefully no little old lady gets stopped by that trooper.

Today we had a scrubbing bubbles day.  The Escapees campground allows you to wash your motorhome, so I started a top down, full spa treatment for the Journey.  Marti took care of the inside and spruced everything up, and steam cleaned the carpets, too.  Now the Journey gleams inside and out.  We like it that way.

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


  1. Boy I sure would have gotten his badge number and name. At least an email about how discourteous he was and how confusing his signals. Poor Marti.

    I really do hate to say this but I'm going to anyway. Many moons ago when I was a HS English Teacher I taught several classes of what was termed "skills" level students. I think you can imagine what that meant. In those class were a number of guys who wanted to be and became police officers of one kind or another. Several after being bag boys at local groceries and working at fast foods. Not generalizing just commenting on my experience......power does things to people in the "public sector".

  2. Barney Fife's brother has moved to Arkansas and joined the highway patrol. I thought they had screening programs for the over zealous idiots, probably just hadn't made it to Alley Oop land yet.

  3. I'm not sure I would consider that a funny thing. :I

  4. Hate to say it, but I've met more than my fair share of those over the years.

  5. Sam is retired police officer an even he admits law officers have changed. To try to make a long story short I was in Ohio for family function, made bad turn in unfamiliar area and got pulled over by Ohio State officer. He made me take 'drunk' test (I dont drink). At time I had a broken ankle, when I told him I could not stand on that ankle and let my other foot that I would gladly stand on opposite foot, I was arrested for refusing test, driven 30 miles to station, given breathalyzer. He was shocked I blew a zero. then took me back to my apology nothing. Seems there has to be a least one jerk on every department, but guess its like any other 'company' mostly good but some bad.

  6. I won't even start to tell you about our run ins with over zealous cops. Definitely not funny. Glad you got away from him without additional problems. Did you ever get Judy's rig washed for her? lol

  7. Wow! You said that was a funny thing that happened. I think it was awful. I think we've all had a few little situations where we've encountered an officer where their badge has gone to their head. Such was the case with this fellow. The big thing is you know YOU can't yell back. Glad you got through it without a ticket or worse yet.

  8. You both handled the situation well. Luckily (and hopefully) there are more better ones than bad ones out there. He was probably just pissed off because he had to be doing something he didn't want to be doing instead of rolling down the highway in his RV! ;)

  9. quite the travel day the two of you had!..but you handled it well!!..happy wash day!

  10. You know, there's nothing you can really do, except smile and hope they don't put the cuffs on you.
    I've had some encounters here with Austria's finest, and I have to say, even when I was totally in the wrong place (and not at the behest of some dim-witted traffic cop) they were not only tolerant of my stupidity, but borderline nice.
    Shocking, I know.
    Many, many years ago I was at a travel plaza somewhere in one of your fine U.S. States (I don't exactly remember where, so that way I won't get flamed for what I'm about to write) and as I was sitting there in the stall doing my "business", I couldn't help but look around at some of fine writing on the bathroom walls.
    Among other offerings, there was a little poem someone had scrawled. It went like this:
    "Here I sit upon the pooper,
    I just gave birth to a
    (blank) State Trooper"
    You can insert whatever State you may wish.

    As a naive Canadian passing through, I thought, "Well, that's not very nice".
    I finished my business and left.

    The curious thing is though, in the years since that brief snippet in time, I have to sadly admit that I've started to change my opinion just ever so slightly.....

    Good Luck to one and all.

  11. With the uniform comes the power. I've seen "staties" driving down the road, on their cell phones (we have a hands free law), speeding, etc. Some of them think they are above the law. Some can be nice too :)

  12. Hey now, don't be bad mouthing my home state troopers! :)) That one seems to have gotten out of bed on the wrong side for sure, mad because he had traffic cop duty!!

  13. You both handle things so calmly. I'm afraid I would have screamed right back at him...and then gone to jail :)

  14. For some people a badge and a gun is the only sense of power that have in life.

  15. I have to say that your story made me laugh! It was like a scene from a comedy movie! I love having The Jazz all clean and sparkly too but John loves it even more as he does the outside cleaning of it. It's hard to believe that you guys were living in a stick and bricks house this time last year! Life is good huh?!