Happy Sesquicentennial to Me
This is my 150th (or sesquicentennial) post. I would celebrate by attempting to 'pop a wheelie' on my motorcycle while not wearing a helmet but somebody already beat me to that stunt. Here's what remains of his motorcycle after he lost control and slammed into an unuasually sturdy metal railing. I'm not sure why the railing was installed along the side of the street (except maybe to keep reckless motorcyclists from ruining the perfectly manicured river-rock landscape look).
The driver usually wears a helmet but told his friends minutes before the crash, "I don't need a helmet; It's the weekend." I'm not sure what his reasoning was but he's now in the hospital with a ruptured spleen and some nasty road rash.
Remember the telegraph game you played as a kid where someone whispers something to the person next to them and he then whispers to the next person with the message being delivered subsequently to each person in the circle? By the time the last person receives the message, it's totally distorted or even unintelligible.
Even in the high-tech modern world of advanced communications, police officers are sometimes met with challenging messages from witnesses. Awhile ago, I received an urgent call from a witness who saw a man hitting a woman as she held a baby. He then fled the scene in a red crew cab truck. The police helicopter was overhead and soon spotted a red truck getting onto a nearby freeway. Two officers gave chase while I sped to the scene to check the victim's injuries and get her account of what happened. As I neared the parking lot where the assault occured, I listened to my squadmates conducting a traffic stop of the red truck on the freeway.
I drove into the parking lot and was met by an off-duty federal agent on his cell phone still talking to the 911 operator. "I'm the one who called." he announced and produced his badge. "I told the dispatcher I'd be waiting in this red truck so you could find me easily."
Standing next to the agent was a calm man holding a baby car seat. An infant was strapped in the seat and gurgling happily.
"What happened?", I asked.
The man told me he was holding his son when his girlfriend got angry and slapped him in the parking lot. The federal agent saw this and called 911. The man was not injured and did not want any charges pressed against his girlfriend for the slap. This personal account was quite different than the information given to me and I realized there was no emergency.
Meanwhile, a completely innocent man was being patted down for weapons at the side of the busy freeway for happening to own a red truck. I can only imagine the confusion and anxiety he felt when told he was being stopped for fleeing the scene of an assault on a woman and child.