I like to think of myself as a fairly law abiding citizen. My last speeding ticket was when I was in college, nearly 20 years ago (and yes, I am knocking on the proverbial wood). That said, I had a brush with the law this week...
We had a group of folks over from the US this week, working with us on a future exercise we're trying to get together. While here, we went out to the depot for a visit, but before we left, I realized that I left my ID card in my computer. Rather than make us late, I decided that, since I'd done it before, I would just sign in after we got there.
We drove up to the gate and everyone showed their IDs to the security guard. I explained that I had forgotten mine, and would need to sign in, and then pulled over to the side. We waited for several minutes for the guard to come over with the clipboard. When he didn't, I craned my head out the window and looked back at them. They were standing in a gaggle, so I waved at them. They waved back at me like I could go on, so I shrugged my shoulders, and went on in.
After making a quick trip to the bathroom, we joined the rest of the group for a briefing. To save time, I parked on the grass, and we cut across to the warehouse. After our briefing, we went out to look at some static displays, and while standing there, a military policeman came up. I figured that perhaps he was looking for me since I'd parked on the grass. Sure enough, he was.
I went over and asked, "Is there a problem?"
The MP asked, "Is that your van over there?"
"Yes, it is," I replied. "Am I getting arrested?" I said that last with what I thought was a wry grin...
"It is an apprehendable offense. I've been sent to escort you off base," he replied, without a wry grin.
"You're going to arrest me for parking on the grass?"
"No," he replied, still not grinning, "You ran the gate."
Now, to me, running the gate causes visions of Al Qaeda type terrorists bashing through the entrance, and driving into the middle of the base to blow themselves up. This is not me. I work here. Hell, I live here.
"I did not run the gate. I pulled over and waited for the guards to come let me sign in. When I waved at them to get their attention, they waved as if I could go," I explained.
"I'm sorry, sir. Could you come with me to my truck?"
"Of course." I followed him, getting my wallet out as we went.
Once at his truck, we went through the information drill. Name. Rank. Social. Date of birth. Place of birth...all the while, thinking through the possible ramifications of having a criminal record. The reputation as a scofflaw...the bad boy persona, which would contrast nicely with my naturally geeky nature. If I were a Democrat, this would be a resume enhancer! Too bad I'm a right wing nut job.
After I gave him all my information, we headed back to the gate. He by this time realized that it was a miscommunication, and decided that he would not give me a leg up if I ever decided to run for Democrat office, and to let me off with a warning. I wouldn't even have to be escorted back on the base by my boss.
As we got to the gate, I turned around, parked, got out and went up to the shack so I could sign in. And proceeded to stand there. Then one of the security guards came out and went to talk to the MP. Then he came back. Then he called someone on the phone. I looked over at the MP, and realized that it was him. Then he hung up and went back to talk to the MP. I went over as well, and he just looked at me and said, "Don't worry about it."
"So I'm not going to make the blotter?" I asked.
"No. You're good."
So, I went on.
When I rejoined the group, one of the guys started singing, "Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you." The only thing I would have needed to do to make it like a "COPS" episode would have been to take off my shirt and say, "It ain't mine, man! I was just holding it for someone!!"
I have a big sign on my door, right above the doorknob, reminding me not to forget my ID card. It doesn't work very well, obviously. I can guarantee you that I didn't forget it for the rest of the week, though.
Otherwise, it was a good week. We're in the process of perhaps buying a house in San Antonio (where we're headed next), so that kept us busy as well. Gotta love the internet...you can do almost anything these days virtually.
We also spent last Saturday with our friends Ginny and David brewing beer and playing Clue. I don't know the last time that I played Clue...it has to be over 25 years ago. It turns out that it was "Mr. Green in the Dining Room with the Candlestick" though. Just now, they actually have little people figurines rather than colored pegs. We had a great time, made some great beer (hopefully...we'll go back in a few weeks for the bottling, and again a few weeks later for the drinking), and then went out for Indian food afterward.
We'll be celebrating Thanksgiving with them this week. For all of you back home celebrating, have a great Turkey Day.