Have you ever been pulled over by one of these?
Imagine pulling up to the lock your bike outside a bar, slipping your helmet-hair free, and looking down to see a motorized tricycle cruising up next to you.
‘Driver’s license please’
For my bike?
‘This is an English license’
Indeed, it is.
‘Do you know the American rules of the road?’
All of them? ‘Drive on the right, stop at red lights…’
‘Do you know that bikes are meant to ride on the road, not the sidewalk?’
In the resulting silence, he strenuously copies down information from my license to a ticket pad. In saner moments, I may have agreed that yes, bikes should do a better job of sticking to the rules. Yet, when it dawns on me that he is going to charge me for the 5 feet of pavement that I rode along to lock up my bike on a signpost, I’m not sure if I should laugh, scream or roll my eyes.
He gets bored of waiting for an answer, ‘I have a mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmotorbike and I can’t just pull up and d d d d d drive on the sidewalk whenever I please can I?’
He stutters. It shocks me for a moment. It pushes away the anger, “No, no you can’t. I won’t d d d d d do it again.’
I don’t stutter on purpose, I don’t do it to get his sympathy. And yet, it changes something.
I think about mentioning the National Stuttering Association, or even my book, but the moment isn’t right. It might look like I’m pushing my luck.
He lets me off, with a warning, and the bar buys me a round on the house.