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One rotten apple to spoil the whole bunch....

By 4:03 PM

Aftermath of the rainstorm that created bad road conditions yesterday
One of the reasons that I really dislike watching the news is because the news tends to pick out all of the rotten apples and report on it. I understand completely why they do it...people are curious by nature and tend to tune in when things are shocking and disconcerting. I know the news will often run a feel-good story, but it seems that 99% of what's on the news is sad, scary, and just otherwise unsettling. I don't necessarily need to know these things; I can be knowledgeable citizen without knowing that someone's house has burned down. 

Of course, the "news" isn't the only culprit. Sensational stories spread like wildfire across the internet and social media. 

Yesterday I was in an incident with a police office and my first thought was, "I hope he doesn't pull me over because I have Harper with me, and she is very protective of me and will obviously demonstrate that." I thought this because I have seen, over the course of the last few years, several isolated incidents where officers have pulled fire on barking/growling family dogs that were sufficiently restrained. These are obviously isolated incidents, but the things that impact us emotionally are the ones that tend to leave an impression in our memory. This hadn't happened to me, but I had had such an emotional reaction reading about this, I remembered it, and despite knowing that these were isolated incidents, I feared something similar happening to me. One rotten apple can spoil the whole bunch for someone.

Now onto my incident from yesterday.

I was driving to my dentist appointment when it was pouring down rain. I was travelling down the road and passing a big semi doing about 35, because I felt that I could drive faster than 35 safely and also because I hate driving behind semi trucks. Within a few minutes, a SUV had pulled up behind me and was obviously trying to push me out of the way and compel me to get into the other lane. I was going 55 mph in a 55 mph zone during some rainy conditions, so I don't think my speed was out of control slow...in fact, I wanted to be driving slower than 55. The SUV was less than one second behind me, and many authorities recommend a three second rule for only the safest conditions and more when conditions are hazardous. 

As soon as I could, I pulled into the right hand lane and let the car pass me, throwing up my hands in frustration, because I didn't appreciate being tailgated in the bad weather. The car then pulled directly behind me again and proceeded to tailgate me again. As we approached a stoplight, they pulled back into the left-hand lane.

The driver had obviously seen me throw my hands up in the air as I had let them over, so they decided to stop about seven car lengths short of the car in front of them at the stop light in order to be directly beside my car. They then rolled down their window and reached over to shake a police badge at me. 

I didn't respond, and the vehicle soon sped away and whipped in and out of traffic in order to get where they were going ASAP. I would say that perhaps the officer had been called in on important business (he was driving a civilian vehicle) but he had had the time to stop and flash his badge at me, so I won't give him the benefit of the doubt.

What bothers me is the motivation of the officer to show me his badge. Perhaps he didn't appreciate me throwing my hands in the air (there were no lewd gestures, only things I would be comfortable doing in front of my Granny) and thought I was being disrespectful and wanted to let me know that he was an office. However, the reason why I had reacted as I had was because the officer had been driving like a seventeen-year-old boy, and I had been frustrated at the unsafe conditions forced upon me as I was tailgated. The fact that the person doing the reckless driving was an officer made the entire thing worse.

A few minutes later, I gathered my thoughts and decided to call the police department. Unfortunately, I didn't gather plates or any concrete evidence, but I described the situation and the vehicle (which did have some unique decorations on it) to the dispatcher, who seemed to take the situation seriously and told me she would be calling the lieutenant. I have no idea, however, if I was calling the correct police department, I just felt that the behavior needed to be reported.

But this morning, as I was thinking over this situation again, an officer pulled out at an intersection, blocking both lanes of traffic. Initially I was kind of upset, because I was driving to work and really didn't have the time to sit in traffic for some unknown reason.

But then the officer hopped out of his car and ran across the intersection, where there was a car stalled. He then helped the driver push the vehicle off of the main road and onto a side road. Perhaps that was just his job: helping out. But I smiled a little bit, because just because there are a few stinkers in there doesn't mean that the whole bunch is rotten. 

I bet Officer McTailgate would've blocked the intersection and sat there as the guy pushed his own car across the road, but Officer Actually-Working did the right thing. 

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