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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My Only Run-in With the Law Was Related to the Penn Relays

There was a time when I was carefree, energetic and actually had some spending money laying around.  (Yeah, I know, hard to believe.)  Those were the days when I never missed the Penn Relays Distance Night.  The Thursday night festivities always included many friends on both the track and the in the stands.  It's when a nerd could just be a nerd, without a care in the world.

So it was in the early 90's, when I found myself driving down to Franklin Field with a friend despite having 7:00AM surgeries the next day.  Not a care in the world.  Although I don't remember many of the events on the track that day, the stands were filled with friends and acquaintances from my 8 years of competitive running.  We had a ball, and the whole thing cost nothing.  I even had the opportunity to say "hi" to Coach Groves, back when he had only been to 40 or so Penn Relays.

We were even tempted to visit the Cold Molson's Party afterward, but I did have those surgeries starting at 7:00AM.  We made the decision to hightail it home with the possibility of returning for the Saturday events.  My Fuzzbuster was silent the whole trip home and the turnpike was clear, as if I was in the driving "Zone" like never before.  When the sign for my final exit flashed by at 75 MPH, I anticipated hitting the mattress at 1:30AM or so and getting enough Z's to be quite respectable the next morning.

And then...  Lights and Sirens???  I had never been pulled over before, so it was quite strange to be pulling over right on the exit ramp within actual sight of my home. (I'm not making that up.)  I quickly grabbed my license, registration, insurance information and knew my inspection stickers were all up to date.  I figured I was only a few MPH above the limit at that point and had a clean record, so it would be a small fine and I would be on my way.

But the cop just sat back in the car for going on 15 minutes?  I started to worry, as did my friend who at first had been quite jovial about the whole thing.  When he finally walked up, the policeman asked for my forms and seemed quite pissed off about something.  He said nothing more and returned to his cruiser with my stuff and another 15 minutes wound by.

By now I figured I would be locked up on some trumped up charge and was at the point of panic.  The policeman returned and finally let on what was the matter.  "Your registration, license and insurance all have different addresses on them.  Which one is correct?" 

I had moved numerous times in the previous year and had not kept up with the various agencies as law dictates.  The worst part was that in checking the 3 addresses on the forms, I noted that none of them were the correct one.  I had just moved into a new Condo with a 4th address!

This news really seemed to throw the cop, and I was just about to panic when he said, "I don't know how to write this one up, so I'll give you a warning if you promise to get all these forms up to date."  I stammered, "Yes, officer."  He then just walked away slowly shaking his head.  I was off the hook because I had technically broken the law 4 times instead of just 3.  But, I'll take it.

I was too afraid to return to Penn on Saturday. I'd let things cool down for a bit before venturing out.  I even did get all the forms up to date and remain a law-abiding citizen to this very day.

 At least until the government zombies come for my 401K...

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