brushes with wilting authority
Friday, January 25 2013
This afternoon I took the gas-powered chain saw down to the greenhouse area and cut up some very dry dead White Pine. One of the pieces I cut up was from a fallen trunk that had narrowly avoided falling on the greenhouse at around the time I was finishing its new upstairs. The other was from a standing half-trunk from a nearby tree that I had to cut down. There's a large dead White Pine just beyond these trees, and I worry that freakish winds could make it fall eastward (the way the tree that had nearly fallen on the greenhouse had fallen) on the greenhouse. But large White Pines generally don't fall in one piece at one time. Instead they gradually break up from the top down (as this large tree has already begun to do).
The evening I drove into town to get some plumbing supplies and all the LED bulbs recent events (and circumstances) have suggested that I buy. On my way into town, I merged into Hurley Mountain Road off of Dug Hill Road as I always do. There was a vehicle coming up Hurley Mountain Road as I did so, but I didn't think much of it. But then that vehicle seemed to be following me at a very close distance and I found myself thinking, "What, are you mad that I didn't wait for you at the Dug Hill Road intersection." But then the vehicle turned on his pull-me-over flashers, indicating he was some sort of member of the constabulatory. I pulled over in the entrance to one of those roads leading out into the corn fields and rolled down my window. As the cop marched up, the two dogs in the back snarled at him viciously. "No, no!" I told them, at which point I saw the cop chuckling disarmingly. He proceded to warn me about running a stop sign at the bottom of Dug Hill Road. "I could have sworn there was a yield sign there," I countered. "No, it's a stop sign," the cop assured me. At this point it was clear he was a state trooper. State Police, Police State, same idea. "Did they just change that sign?" I asked. "No, it's been that way for years," the cop insisted. By this point, though, he was trailing off and heading back to his car. He didn't even want to see my license. Evidently this is what it is like to be an embarrassed cop; the sign at the bottom of Dug Hill Road still says yield, as it always has (and as I confirmed on the drive back home). When Gretchen had an accident with a car at that intersection, she was charged with failure to yield. It seems that state troopers driving along main roads assume all roads joining it do so at stop signs. This simply isn't true for Hurley Mountain Road.
My second brush with wilting authority came as I walked out of Home Depot this evening. Evidently the LED light bulb I'd bought at the self-checkout had a magnetic tag that hadn't been erased, and the door alarms started beeping. I kept walking, as if it wasn't my problem (which it wasn't) but a woman followed me out and said, "Excuse me sir." I whirled around with a look of annoyance and said, "Yes?" "Never mind," she said, "he [her colleague] says let you go, he's reset the alarm." Now that I have a magnetic strip that is sure to set off Home Depot alarms, I think I will place it inside my shoe so I can set off alarms every time I enter and exit the store. This will condition me for whatever hassles result, eventually allowing me to boost anything I want as coolly as the Fonz.
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