Driving back to Gloucester, MA on Interstate 95, I notice a police SUV pass me on the left. It’s dark out and the Windstar is traveling at about 65 mph. A few seconds after passing me, his car slows down.
“Uh oh”, I thought. “Did he see my headphones?”
The last time I listened to music on a cassette tape was probably sometime around 96′. I enjoy listening to music while driving, and the old 98′ Windstar has a cassette player; that’s it. I tried sticking my iPod in the slot, but it didn’t work. I’ve got some noise-cancelling headphones, so I decided to use those connected to my iPhone. Driving in the summer with the windows down and headphones on is actually better because they block out all of the wind noise.
“I’m just going to pretend I didn’t notice him and see what happens”.
He continues to slow down and stay on my left for a few seconds, then moves behind me. Moments later, he comes up along side my right. After hanging there for 8 seconds, he slows down again and goes back behind. Twenty seconds later, the lights come on.
“It looks like you were wearing some kind of headphones?”
“Yes”, I said. He shines his flashlight in the back and sees the bed, blankets and insulation. I’m curious what he was thinking, but he never said anything! He just looked and continued on like it was normal. After handing over my license and registration and waiting 5 minutes, he comes back.
“Okay you’re all set. You can wear an earpiece, but not over-the-ear headphones.”
Typing this story just reminded me of the first time I got pulled over for speeding when I was around 19. The officer was very nice and says “Do you want to take the ticket or go to traffic school so it doesn’t show up on your insurance?” I chose to just take the ticket. But something about the way he ended the conversation made me think we were done. So he walks back to his car and I pull away. 50 feet later he pulls me over again. “Why did you leave?!” he asked. “Sorry I thought we were done.” That was pretty embarrassing.