In 2005 when I was working in Northeast Philadelphia at the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), I had driven most of the way to work early one morning when I realized that I had forgotten my badge. While I probably would have been allowed inside and been assigned a temporary ID, I didn’t want to go through the bureaucratic headache, so I turned the car around and headed back home to retrieve the forgotten item.
Needless to say, I was not in the best of moods.
And when I came to a traffic light that was adjacent to a gas station, another car pulled out from the that gas station just ahead of me. Now as it happened there were two lanes at this traffic light; the junction was such that the right lane had a permanent right arrow and could make the right turn even when the light had turned red. And the stupid car had just turned into the right lane rather than the left, blocking me from making the right turn until the light had changed.
Now this was 5:30 in the morning and did I mention that I was not in the best of moods, having to retrace my route just for a stupid ID badge?
So I did what I never do. I honked my horn at that stupid driver who was blocking me from making the the right turn.
But I didn’t just honk the horn, I leaned on it.
Now understand that when I drove a car, I never honked my horn. I hated when other drivers did it, so I never did it myself. I hate unnecessary noise.
But this wasn’t a residential area; there wasn’t a house or apartment building in sight, so there was no one to disturb at 5:30 in the morning.
Except for that stupid, inconsiderate driver who had just pulled out in front of me and was blocking me from making a right turn.
No one, that is, except a policeman who was parked at the gas station. I hadn’t noticed him.
When the light changed and the stupid driver finally moved on, and I was able to make my right turn, the police car flipped on his siren and pulled me over.
He asked for my license and owner’s permit.
Then he asked why I had been making such a racket. Didn’t I know that he could write me up for reckless driving?
I explained that I had forgotten my badge and thus I was in a bad mood so when that driver had blocked me from making the turn, I lost my temper.
Badge? What did I need a bade for, he asked.
So I told him that I worked at DSCP.
As it turned out, he was a veteran, just back from the Middle East, so he was very familiar with DSCP and the functions we performed.
And his whole attitude changed. Suddenly we were pals.
And he let me go with a warning.