Last spring I traveled between Albuquerque and Alamogordo, NM, and the sunset took my breath away. I stopped along the side of the road to take pictures. When I continued my journey, I remained far more aware of the sunset than my speed. Enter a state trooper on the opposite side of the road.
I sat with my window rolled down, interior light on, and my hands visible on the top of the steering wheel (something all officers appreciate, but again, don’t ask me how I know this). After a slow exit from his vehicle and an even slower death march to my window, the following conversation occurred.
Me: I sure was hoping you’d ignore me.
Officer: Oh, why’s that?
Me: Because I was speeding. (I know, this is an unusual approach!)
Officer: May I see your license? (I handed it over.) Mr. Riggs, is there a reason why you were speeding?
Me: No, Sir. I even pulled over on the side of the road to take pictures of the sunset. I’m really not in a hurry at all. Did you see it?
Officer: Oh yes. We had some really pretty sunsets here a week ago.
Me: Yeah, well, I was actually texting pictures of this sunset to my family. That’s why I wasn’t paying attention to my speed. (What was I thinking???)
Officer: Mr. Riggs, did you know that traffic fines have increased around here?
Me: Are you trying to cheer me up?
Officer: I tell you what we’re going to do. Are you going to speed all the way back to Texas?
Me: No sir. I’m only going to Alamogordo tonight.
Officer: (I wish I could describe the look on his face!)
Me: (In response to "the look") But I’m not going to speed there either!
Officer: That’s what I was looking for! (We both busted out with laughter as he handed my license back without a ticket!)
The sunset now remains my second favorite memory of that lonely stretch of road!