Sometimes I think I should have been a cop. Law enforcement never made it to the list of careers I seriously considered. That I don’t and never will own a gun, have never been much of a fighter, and am generally sickened by serious violence all seemed to point to other career options.
Then I got a driver’s license. Since then, not a day goes by without me yelling at someone for doing something they’re not supposed to do. That they can’t possibly hear me significantly reduces any threat of violence.
My zeal for law enforcement really kicked in when I started riding my bike and escalated when I started running. I berate drivers of cars that come too close to me as well as bikers who ride on the sidewalk or go the wrong way in bike lanes. I watch in stunned silence as police cars drive by these violators of bicycle safety laws without so much as shaking a finger at them.
The most annoying thing I see–which is also one of the most dangerous–is people fooling with their smartphones while their vehicle is in motion. Here in Georgia, texting while driving is illegal. I suspect these people feel like they are within the law as long as they don’t type any text. Reading a text message, looking for a favorite song on a playlist, or scrolling through contacts is apparently just fine.
I don’t know about where you live, but here in Athens the police have laptops mounted on the dash. Of course, everyone knows that police don’t really have to follow the laws. They’re always driving over the speed limit, parking in fire lanes, and otherwise thumbing their noses at laws the rest of us are expected to follow.
And that, folks, is why I now suspect I missed my calling. Not only am I good at picking up when others break the law, I also feel like laws don’t really apply to me. I’m at least occasionally guilty of all the things I yell at others for doing.
Of course, police do a lot more than just cite people for traffic violations. They catch bad guys, break up fights, and otherwise risk their lives to make the world a safer place. Even with a gun in one hand, a night stick in the other, and pepper spray on my belt, when confronted with a really mean bad guy, I’d probably just scream like a girl and run. Hopefully, that’s not something we’ll ever have to worry about here in…
My Glass House