An Open Letter to the Assembled Law Enforcement Officers of the Various States I Have Visited or Resided in

Good evening officers and officerettes,

I think you will all agree when I say that something has gone terribly awry in this relationship.  Over the past six years, I have had impromptu and involuntary rendezvous with nearly all of you.  These little get-togethers usually begin poorly and inevitably end even worse.  In fact, I believe I am no longer on speaking terms with several of you.  But alas, after a half decade of court costs, license restrictions, and memorizing every word of a certain N.W.A. song, I’ve grown weary of our bickering.  Let’s put an end to this discord between us and bury the hatchet once and for all (I, of course, mean that in the most non-homicidal way possible).

While the lion’s share of the blame undoubtedly rests on you people – what with your coercing me to the side of the highway, forcibly entering my place of residence, appropriating my hard-earned American currency, etc – I am willing, in the spirit of reconciliation, to admit to my own failures as a citizen.

For one, my normal style of driving is comparable in many ways to one who is fantastically drunk.  In truth, I am usually only a bit tipsy.  Also, I live in a house surrounded by 80 year olds with preternaturally sensitive ears.  Correlating criminal activities include: remaining awake in my home later than ten o’clock p.m., and occasionally having four or five visitors in my home at the same time.  Additionally, these guests may from time to time speak to one another at volumes louder than a whisper.

For all this and more, I am sorry.  Still, I can’t help but think that you people have had it in for me from the beginning.  For example, our first interaction resulted in a $60 ticket for a burned out headlight.  While I thought this a bit over-zealous of the young officer, I recognized there was little else for him to do on a Saturday night since all the other teenagers were in nearby houses drinking, fornicating, and huffing household cleaning supplies.  I should not have been out on the streets.  Point taken.

However, since that first encounter we have bumped into each other a total of sixteen times; each as petty and pointless as the first.  Just last month one of you stopped me for failing to signal while making a left hand turn.  The very next night, I was pulled over for doing 39 in a 35.  One of you (you know who you are) once threatened to arrest me for throwing a snowball at a buddy’s car as he drove past my house.  Twice you people have raided “parties” at my house when less than four people were present.  Excuse me for saying so, but what the hell?

I understand that my existence is highly offensive to you; I just don’t understand why.  What is it about the vaguely ethnic kid in the Chevy Cavalier that perturbs you so?  Are other non-tattoed, non-drug trafficking, non-pornography proliferating citizens treated with such animosity? (Note: These questions are not directed toward the Oklahoma Highway Patrolmen who pulled me over two summers ago while I was attempting to change my pants.  I have a pretty good idea why he disliked me and, while his unspoken allegations about my mid-trip activities were incorrect, I don’t fault him for making them.)

I am airing these grievances not only as support for my proposed cease fire but also as an explanation of some recent behavior.  Several of you have commented on and taken offense to my habit of greeting you with a hearty “Oink, oink officer.”  One of you in particular seemed a bit put off by my reference to the distinct aroma of bacon, which arrived – coincidentally – at the same time as the officer.  I assure you, overt hostility of this nature is not typical of me, and would not have occurred if not for the provocation documented above.

But let’s face it, we’ve all said and done things we wish we could take back.  Why dwell in the past?  My 800 plus dollars in assorted traffic and civil fines aren’t coming back and neither is your high school sports career.  Let’s move forward and forge a new future together where we agree to ignore one another and endeavor daily to forget each other’s existence.  That sounds nice doesn’t it?

I understand that it is your sworn duty to hassle law-abiding citizens while the real criminals run rampant through our government, middle schools, and professional sports teams.  I get that sometimes you just want an excuse to turn on the siren and flash the lights.  I just hope that in the future you’ll do it behind someone else’s car and in someone else’s driveway.  Surely I’ve been punished enough for all my good behavior.

Kindest Regards,

Kent Woodyard


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