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Buckled In For A Fun Ride

, , , , , | Legal | September 29, 2018

In the late 1970s, my partner and I were sworn federal investigators with a then-obscure federal law enforcement agency. As befitted our low budget, our official government vehicles were a bunch of very un-cop-like AMC Hornet sedans, obtained when the federal government bailed out a failing automaker. We wore plain suit coats and ties, and our vehicles were unmarked.  

One afternoon while returning to our office in Norfolk, we approached a stoplight on a public street and stopped. An obviously de-commissioned Virginia State Police trooper-car, still with its door mount spotlight and a cheap mono-color repaint, pulled up alongside us. The driver was obviously a young Navy sailor, wearing a wife beater T-shirt and dark sunglasses.  

The light changed, and we drove up the street to the next light. All the while, the sailor behind the shades was giving us the once-over and scowling at us. At the next stoplight, the sailor in the ex-cop car again glared at us, resting his left hand on the spotlight control, giving an unconvincing impression of a real law-man.  

All at once, my partner burst out laughing. He explained that our sailor, while still glaring at us, reached down and brought something to his mouth and began talking into… his seat belt buckle!

As the light changed, my partner reached down, tapped the yelp button on our siren just once and grabbed our real microphone. Over the car’s loud-hailer, he called out, “Better re-buckle that seatbelt, sailor.”  

As we pulled away, this embarrassed cop-wannabe hit his brakes and pulled over to the side as we quietly drove away.

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