Doc Stevens on Dealing with the Cops in the USA Part Two

Friday, July 31, 2009 7:13 PM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas

In the previous post, I shared my experience with being stopped by an American cop. When I caught up with Doc and Marilyn, I told Doc about it and he gave me some pointers for dealing with American cops. He has made his share of mistakes with them. Here are some of what he said to do and not to do.

Doc: You don't want to threaten the cop, like by tellin' him you ain't did nothin' wrong and you're gonna take his badge number an' report him, an' he's gonna lose his job. Even if you think you ain't did nothin' wrong, you wait an' tell it to the judge. You aint want to make a cop mad on the side of the road. He can 'cuse you of ANYTHING and the judge'll believe his word over yours. Don't threaten the cop.

Don't get funny or smart, neither. Don't ask' him if he were one of the Village People or nothin' like that. Don't do NOTHIN' that could set him off. You be polite. And if it's at night, like I said, keep your inside light on and let him see your hands at all times. Otherwise he could get scared an' think you're goin' for a gun and he could shoot you right there an' then.This is America an' you might be carryin'.

Don't tell him you're friends with a cop, or your neighbor is a cop. Hecops2 knows you is just tryin' to get out of a ticket. I tried that once an' he tol' me to take the ticket to my friend the cop and tell him that this cop wrote it. He were gonna give me a warnin' til I said I was best friends with this other cop.

Don't get mouthy and talk yourself into a ticket. If he's black, don't tell him he's a racist and just stopped you cause you're white and he don't like rednecks.

See, Tondy, when a cop pulls you over, his 'drenlin is runnin' high an' he is nervous cause he don't know if you is gonna try to fight him, cut him or shoot him. He mighta just come from coverin' a fatal accident by someone drivin' just like you was afore he stopped you. He might think he's savin' your life an' you're mad cause now how you gonna pay your rent if you get that ticket.

My friend's boy what is a cop says that cops go from bein' bored stiff to bein' all excited in just a few seconds. He might sit there in his patrol car for a hour just bein' bored an' then he sees a car speed by, an' he thinks you might be comin' from a crime or somethin' an' BLAM! He's out there chasin' you! Just a few words over the radio gets their heart rate boosted up!

Like, how would YOU like to be a cop pullin' over a carload of drunk rednecks at two in the mornin ' who don't want to be stopped, and knowing that your back up might be 15 minutes away - and asleep or hookin' up with his girlfriend? That's how it is, accordin' to my friend's boy what is a cop.

So I try to be as nice as I can to cops, even if I ain't really did nothin' wrong an' I feel like he's pickin' on me cause my truck ain't too nice.

Stay in the car, Tondy. Inside lights on. Hands where he can see them. Don't lie and say you was doin' the speed limit. Don't say you was goin' to the hospital to visit you're granny, cause he knows you're lyin' an' he MIGHT just have you step outta the car an' frisk you an' find some dope on you what you ain't even had, if you know what I mean. It ain't worth it. Judge ain't gonna believe it weren't yours.

Doc Stevens on Dealing with the Cops in the USA Part One

Saturday, July 18, 2009 11:00 PM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas

Tondeleo: I am a careful driver, particularly when I am driving abroad, and even more especially when I am in the States. Last week, I was in the US briefly, and got pulled over by a county Police officer for driving 18 miles per hour over the speed limit. He told me that he had also witnessed me running through a red light, which I told him I thought was still amber.

As soon as I pulled to the side of the road, I got out my billfold containing my Drivers License and I got the registration card for the rental car I was driving, and got out of the car, and headed towards the police car.

I felt that I was being cooperative and hopefully demonstrating that I was innocent and friendly. Yes, I confess, I was trying to avoid a summons.

What happened? The copper got out of his patrol car, and began to shout at me to get back into my car, and close the door! I stopped dead in my tracks and said, "I have my driving permit and registration for you, Officer!" He shouted again, this time even louder, "Back in the car, Sir! I am not telling you again!"

He acted as though I was a criminal that was threatening him. I Tondy5weigh maybe 8 stone and am quite small. Do I look like a threat to you? I am not a threat to ANY one!The officer was at least 6'2" weighing perhaps 15 stone! And he acted as though he was threatened by me!

I returned to my car, and he came to my window, which he commanded me to roll down. I did, and handed him my paperwork. I could tell that he was a bit nervous and could see he was sweating. He gave me a warning instead of a citation and told me that the next time an officer pulls me over, to stay in the car, and wait to be approached. I thanked him and continued my journey.

Later, I was telling Doc Stevens about my encounter. I thought that he would not believe me. But, strangely he did. It also was the beginning of several conversations about American cops. Doc knows several local cops - actually American Sheriff Deputies - and has an understanding and a level of respect for them and what they do. I was surprised, actually. I recorded much or our conversation. This begins after telling Doc about the cop shouting at me when I got out of the car and walked towards his patrol car.

Doc: Heck, Tondy, you coulda got yourself shot. That cop thought you were bein' 'gressive. He thought you mighta been high on drugs... skinny as you are, you looked like a crackhead to him... you mighta had a gun on you.. youlooked like you was threatenin' him.

Marilyn: You DO look like a crackhead, Tondy! You look all eat up!

Me: How could I have been a threat to him, Doc? He was a really large bloke! I couldn't have hurt him if I wanted to!

"The worst thing in the world is to be pulled over by a scared cop."

Doc: See, Tondy, in America, when a cop pulls you over, he don't know what you just done or didn't do. Even if you're little and skinny like you. You mighta robbed some place, or kilt your old lady. He is pulling you over for speeding, but you mighta just done a crime, and you migh think he's pullin' you over for that. You might be aimin' to shoot him an' make a getaway.

When you got outta that car, he probably thought you had a dead body or drugs or something you were tryin' to hide or cover up. So he wanted you back in that car. When you're in the car, he at least can keep an eye on you. That's what that's about.

Plus, you don't know where he just come from. He mighta just come from a crime where he busted someone or he mighta been in a fight on the side of the road and been full of 'drenaline. And coffee and sugar. And doughnuts.

Marilyn: American cops eat doughnuts, Tondy. They get them free and free coffee at 7 - Eleven so they could be on a sugar and caffeine high!

Doc: Anyway Tondy, last thing you wanna do is make that cop nervous. He gotta gun, he gots pepper spray, he gots a tazer an' he don't know what you might be carryin'. He ain't scared of YOU, he's scared of what you might be thinkin' and what kind of gun you might be carryin'.

When a cop pulls you over, you best stay in the car, keep your hands on the steerin' wheel and if it's at night, turn on your inside light. The worst thing in the world is to be pulled over by a scared cop.

Even if you is in the car, and reach for your wallet too fast he could think you're going for a gun and might go for his gun. Cause if you DID pull out a gun real fast, he would have to be faster so he could stay alive. So you get your wallet out R-E-A-L slow, like this.

Same with the registration. If it's in your glove box, you tell him. Heck, I sometimes ask him if HE wants to get it out. I ain't wantin' no scared cop feelin' threatened and then shootin' me on the side of the road.

Me: Why would he be scared of you getting your registration? What is scary about that?

Doc: Tondy! This is AMERICA!!!! THE U - S - A!!! WE GOT GUNS HERE! You might have a gun in your glove box and come up shootin'! Americans carry guns under the driver seat, beside the driver seat if you got bucket seats, in the console and in the glove box and in the waist band of they's jeans!

Cops gotta deal with that every day! That's why they is all pumped full of 'drenaline when they come up to the door. They gotta treat you like a million bucks and they also gotta be ready to kill you if they have to! This is AMERICA, boy. It ain't no ENGLAND!

Doc Stevens Independence Day post, "Who Would Jesus Hate?"

Saturday, July 4, 2009 11:59 AM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas

Tondeleo: I am spending my free time going through old notes and recordings of conversations with Doc and Marilyn and their friends. Some of the things that are said are not quite worthy of a post, they are just little glimpses into the minds of these rural Americans. This is one of those brief little snippets that I felt was worth passing on.

Doc has strong opinions on people being allowed to come to America to work, and on the American Independence Day, I thought it would be appropriate to post some of his thoughts on immigration and the American dream.

Doc and Marilyn had been playing music at an outdoor barbecue and pig picking outside of Herndon, VA. A barbecue is of course where the meat is cooked over an open flame, and is marinated in a tomato sauce, mixed with molasses, peppers, onions, garlic and other "secret" ingredients. Nearly every American has his or her own recipe for making barbecue sauce. A pig picking is having an entire gutted pig on a large barbecue grill, with a lid on it, and has cooked overnight. The fat is mostly cooked out of it, and the meat is tender and seems to nearly fall off the bone. The pig in its entirety is on the grill, head to tail.

While they were coming back from Herndon, the first thing in the morning after the barbecue party, they stopped at a convenience store, where there were Mexican immigrants out in the car park waiting to be hired for day labourer work.

Doc and Marilyn know what it is to struggle and to attempt to earn one's own living rather than to depend on public assistance. It is particularly difficult for Hispanic immigrants, due to not speaking English for many of them and no documentation. They get taken advantage of by their employers and feel that they have no recourse. It is very sad.

If a Hispanic immigrant does somehow find a means of getting assistance, Americans get angry. But Americans also get angry of they want to work! As Doc explains it to me, all they want is a better life for themselves and their children, just like all Americans do (except those on welfare, Dc points out).

Doc said to me, "I seen a guy with that WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) bumper sticker on his truck down there hasslin' the Mexicans and the people what was hirin' them.

He was cursin' them, tellin' them to go back to Mexico, and hollerin' at the people what was givin' them work. And he had this WWJD bumper sticker on his truck!

I'd like to see a bumper sticker what says WWJH. Who Would Jesus Hate. I'd give that guy one of those, if I had one. Jesus aint hate nobody.

I mean Christopher Columbus was a Mexican, well he was a Spaniard, immigrant without no papers. He was just like the rest of us. He had a dream and came to America and it wasn't even called that yet, but he came over to find his dream.

Most the people what's hatin' the Mexicans, their people was immigrants, too, and aint had no papers. So where do they get off just because Mexicans want the same thing?

As long as there is a place where a person can be free to work all he wants and to raise his children to have a better life, people is going to come there to try to make a better life. It really aint right for the first bunch to come over here for all them years without permission, without papers or nothing, and then say "ain't no one else allowed in!"

I say we ought to round up all the Americans what's on welfare and won't work, and what is sellin' drugs to their friends and neighbors, and send them to Mexico. Except guess what? Mexico don't want them!

Big Dave gives Marilyn a Tip about Finding a Good Man ... and more

Thursday, July 2, 2009 10:01 AM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas

Tondeleo: In the UK, we don't have the equivalent of the big American backwoods hillbilly. We don't have any backwoods, to be quite honest, and there are no places where groups of people can live unscathed from most of modern society.

That is one thing that fascinates me about rural Americans. Some of them can live geographically near a large city and cultural center, yet be completely uninformed and unaware. Worse than that, they are uninformed that they are unaware.

One can tell this when looking at the clothing,the hair styles and interactions amongst them. There are still many rural Americans who wear their hair (and have their children wearing their hair) in the spiked "mullet" hairstyle of the mid 80's. And they think it is perfectly in style. Of course, in all fairness, in their circles, the mullet hairstyle IS in style, and probably will remain in style for the next 50 years or more.

The same evening that we (myself, Doc, Marilyn and Big Dave) were trying to muddle through an understanding of "you are what you eat," (see previous post), the conversation drifted as it does quite commonly, to dating, relationships and understanding the sexes.

I am always intrigued by both the insights, which many times are shrewdly wise, and help me to understand why these backwoods people are able to proliferate at the rates that they do, and also some of the information that to me is just weird.

After the evening meal,Big Dave Kitchen Big Dave was giving Marilyn counsel on how to find a decent man. He allowed how Marilyn's big problem isn't finding a man, it is finding one that she can respect and look up to: One that is clean and sober, gainfully employed, who is not already married, not an inmate, pervert, lazy or out of control.

Marilyn wants a clean living church man... and she doesn't want one that is ignorant. She has quite a list of traits that she will not accept in a man. She says, "I have kept myself on the straight and narrow and I want a man who's done the same thing."

Big Dave said that the only one who would be fit for Marilyn already came through, but they crucified him, so she'd better learn to settle. Marilyn said she "ain't settlin'" and would rather be alone with the Lord than to be with a man who "weren't any good."

Then, Marilyn said she thought Big Dave was too backwoods to get a decent woman. She didn't see how on earth a woman could kiss a man with a big thick beard like his. Without blinking an eye, Big Dave said "a woman don't mind going through a little brush to get to a picnic." Marilyn said, “Yuck,” and then Big Dave said that the first course on a picnic with him is a obstacle course. But, of course he is worth it. And their "aint no ants at my picnics, 'cause I spray down."

Marilyn started shrieking, Doc busted out laughing, and the dogs started barking at all the excitement, and I was too busy laughing and being grossed out to follow the rest of the conversation. But, as Doc says, "there ya go."

"You are what you eat." Never mind.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009 7:09 AM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas

Tondeleo: Some humour is universal. Some humour, you only THINK is universal. Like the variations on "you are what you eat," which I thought was universal.

I was eating with Doc and Marilyn and Big Dave one night and I commented that "you are what you eat." And then I said, "So Marilyn, you must eat a lot of bratwurst."

Marilyn: Why would I eat a lot of bratwurst, Tondy? I ain't even know what it is..."

Doc: Marilyn aint no brat. Where you get off talkin' like that at my table, boy?

Marilyn: Yeah, Tondy!

Tondeleo: No, it's a joke, Marilyn. Like, you are what you eat. So you must eat a lot of BRATwurst, because you are the WORST BRAT...

Marilyn: A-w-w-w... Tondy. That was mean. I can be mean too. YOU'RE a Brit. You eat Britwurst, then.

Doc: No, I get it, Tondy. It's like, you must eat a lot of chicken, right? Cause you's scared of everything. That means you eat a lot of chicken. You're a chicken.

Tondeleo: Well, that's the idea, Doc. At least you get it.

Thirty seconds of awkward silence passes. Big Dave12

Big Dave, talking with his mouth full: My boss must eat a lot of skunk monkey.

Tondeleo: Uh... yeah, sure, Big Dave. (I am NOT going to argue with Big Dave about anything. He scares me.)

Marilyn: And Uncle Doc eats a lot of barbecue!

Tondelo: And why is THAT, Marilyn?

Marilyn: Because Uncle Doc LIKES barbecue a lot! So he EATS a lot of it!

What can I say?