Night time driving. In the semi-truck. Cruising along, minding my own business. Everything was going great. Until... Until I see the red and blue lights come on behind me.
I knew why the cop was pulling me over - the truck I was driving had only one headlight working. Now by law, I’m supposed to carry a spare headlight but I didn’t have one. The company I drove for at the time had no use for that particular law so they didn’t provide spare headlights. They reason, they said, was that the drivers would steal them. We all knew they were just being cheap, but it always sounds better to blame it on the drivers. What it really said was they didn’t trust their drivers with a twenty dollar light, yet they gave them a quarter million dollar truck to drive. Yeah, that makes sense.
In the interest of full disclosure, even had I been carrying an extra headlight, I wouldn’t have changed it. Not that night anyway, since it was raining cows and horses (that’s a lot like raining cats and dogs but heavier). I didn’t feel like getting soaked.
After enduring a short lecture about how dangerous driving with one headlight can be - apparently, the other light just waits for that very moment to go out as well - I was ordered to change it before the truck moved again. The cop scribbled some notes in his handy dandy notebook and left.
I knew he’d be waiting down the road somewhere. I also knew I didn’t have another headlight. That wasn’t a problem for long. Bracing myself for the drenching rain, I got out and removed both headlights, putting them back in on the opposite side. Then climbing back into the truck, I headed on my merry way - still with just one headlight.
Sure enough, I’d only gone about fifty miles when once more I was being invited to pull to the side of the road. The same cop came to the door and seeing it was me said, “Didn’t I tell you to change that headlight before you took off again?”
“Yeah. And I did change it.” I didn’t mention exactly what the change consisted of in this instance.
The officer could see that I was soaked but still he gave me a dubious look like he didn’t believe me. Checking his notebook, the trooper slowly nodded his head. “It was the other side that was out.” Then, again assuming his arrogant and condescending tone he said, “That’s why it’s important to change those right away. You just never know when the other side will go out and you’d be driving blind.”
“I see that,” I said, resisting the urge to comment on how brilliant he was.
“Don’t suppose you have another extra light with you now, do you?”
I shook my head. “Nope. But I’ll be to the terminal in about twenty-five miles.”
“Well, all right,” he said. “Make sure they replace it when you get there. And be careful, driving with a single headlight is dangerous.”
No kidding! It had already gotten me pulled over twice!