What is Drastic + Dramatic

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Heroinism Kinda Feels Weird

I can dress the part, but don't know that I'd really be a good heroine. I always feel kinda bad for people—even deserving people—when they get cuffed n' locked up. But, since their own choices lead them into trouble, trouble is wont to befall them—so, better that they take the fewest possible bystanders into trouble with them, right?

Well, if singling out the 'bad guy' and saving possible bystanders is what a heroine does, today I was kind of a heroine.

My roommate and I were driving to go get groceries at Costco, then later to Winco, a trip that took a total of two hours. On our way to Costco it was 6:20pm, about 95 degrees, and traffic was slowly moving north up University Ave.

The pickup truck in front of us was leading a graceful waltz across the painted lines of the road, and he was also starting up from the red lights sluggishly and then driving really slow. As we nervously passed him by, I took a good stare at him. The evening sun filled the cab of his truck, making his bronze skin and orange shirt appear the same in color. His eyes were squinting against the light and his head was nodding under the heavy heat. The poor dude looked exhausted. When his eyes were open, they were hardly slits. He was in a real subconscious gutter . . . if that makes any sense.

It doesn't, really. Oh well.

So, I wasn't sure if his driving was a real emergency (we all get tired, right . . .) but I shot a text to my cop friend and he said that it's a danger and gave me the non-emergency dispatch number, prepping me to have the license number, vehicle description, and direction of travel ready to report. He also told me the driver might be under the influence of something, so it's better to call. Both my roommate and I thought he looked like such a nice, clean, super tired old man—that just never occurred to us. See, I really just give people the benefit of the doubt. I'd be a real sucker of a heroine.

I called 801-852-6210. Call this number if you have questions. If it's an emergency, the number's 911 ;) heh. okay, but really, the first number will ask you first if you want English or Spanish, then all these other "choose [number] if you need [what you need] or stay on the line and you'll be connected with dispatch." There was no "press [number] if you need to report suspicious driving/drivers," so I stayed on the line). When I was connected to the polite and professional female voice, we began communicating, but at this point we were no longer following the dancing, drowsy driver. I'd looked at the license plate, but now that Utah has letters and numbers that aren't segregated, I have a harder time retaining them in my short-term memory. (Does anyone else feel that way?)

"Hello, Provo Police Dispatch."

"Um, hi. I'm calling to report a drowsy driver headed north on University Ave."

"Okay, can you describe the vehicle?"

I proceeded to list things I remembered about the license plate, car, driver, etc. We interrupted each other a couple times, and I felt like a very clumsy, tattle-telling citizen, but she managed to get all she could out of me. She even asked me for my name and phone number, which I was curious about at first, but now it makes sense, cuz if it ever turned out to be a serious matter I reported, they might need to contact me for witness stuffs.

"Okay, we'll send an officer over that way, thanks."

We said our adieus, the voice and I, and then Lori and I commenced our important mission: grocery acquisition.

Two hours later, laden with fine foods and returning home, we were driving south on the same Univ. Ave., and I was actually thinking to myself, "hmm, we'll never know if that guy made it home safe or what." Up ahead I saw some flashing red-and-blues on our side of the road; I hoped there wasn't an accident. Accidents are rarely happy, and they often tend to cause traffic, which is less than happy. But as we cruised at normal speeds closer to the Police SUV, suddenly my mouth dropped.

The SUV was pulled over behind the truck I called in! The drowsy driver wasn't in his truck, and the whole scene just had a strange feel to it—first because I knew I'd had a hand in the deal, and second, because if it had just been a "go home and get some sleep" situation, perhaps the driver would still be in his truck, or at least not closed up in the police car, right? He'd be trying to pass the test of walking in a straight line while trying to touch his fingers to his nose with his eyes closed, and reciting the ABCs backwards. All the cop shows teach us this.

So my roommate and I bubbled with curiosity, mostly amazed that two hours later he was still on the road, this time headed the other direction. Curious, right?

Well, turns out he'd been DUI! What was he U the I of? I don't know, but he'd been seriously swerving. I guess that sucks that he got arrested, will have that on his record, et cetera (because what if he'd never done such a thing before in his life? What if his wife just passed away and he'd irrigated his sorrows with booze? What if somebody slipped something in the manure in the back of his truck and he was just an innocent bystander himself, high off the fumes? See, we just never know), but better that he didn't cause an accident, right? Maybe he'll be smarter in the future and respect the other drivers on the road by not driving when his abilities are seriously impaired.

And I hope he's not sending hate vibes out into the universe toward me. Not that such nega-rays would affect a superb heroine such as myself. . . . This week I donated blood, dropped off your generous birthday-gift donations to United Way, called in a DUI. You know, all in a week's work.

That same roommate and I saved three lives each on Monday. A heroine's life never rests, so long as she has blood in her veins! ;)

1 comment:

Stef said...

Way to go! It may have felt weird calling something in when you're not sure if it's a real problem or not, but always better safe than sorry. I doubt he's sending hate vibes to you. Not only did you do the other drivers on the road a favor, but you did him a favor. He's lucky he got a ride in a police car after a trafic stop rather than a ride in an ambulance after a crash.

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