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J.R. Buchanan


Damn Yuppies, or A Heap Of Trouble Part III

Around 1993, my then wife and I went to a car dealer and took out a Pontiac for a test drive.

This was at the time that GM started putting Daytime Running Lights on cars, the headlights were on all the time.

I pulled out of the dealership and accelerated up to about 35 mph. I didn't know what the speed limit on this street was, but that seemed reasonable for the conditions.

I'd hardly gone a block when I got pulled over by a very angry cop.

He asked if I knew why he'd pulled me over. I said, "no". He informed me that I was going 5 mph over the 30 mph speed limit, but that he'd actually picked me out of the crowd because I was one of those damn fool yuppies who thought it was cool to drive around with my headlights on in the daytime.

I tried to explain Daytime Running Lights to him, but he wasn't having any. He got really menacing and asked what I'd do if he impounded the car. This baffled me, impounding a car for 5mph over the speed limit, especially since he had already radioed in my info and had to know that I had a clean driver's license. Surely he'd noticed the dealer plate on it as well...

I guess I was feeling a little cocky, since I said, "I'd walk over to the car dealer (pointing), and tell them that their car was impounded. Then I'd drive my truck home."

He didn't like that one little bit, but there wasn't much he could do but sputter and write up a ticket for 35 in a 30 zone.

It didn't work out too badly for me. I had just heard of something called the "Prosecutor's Discretionary Fund", where someone with an otherwise clean driving record could, without admitting guilt, pay the prosecutor directly, not have to go to court, and receive no points on their driver's license. I jumped on this, and it worked. I had to avoid a ticket for the next year, or the deal was off. I managed that, in fact, I've managed to avoid a ticket for twelve years now, seventeen or so if you don't count that one. Which the state didn't...

By the way, we bought the Pontiac.