So, a fellow is headed downtown on a country road with a posted limit of 55. This fellow drives faster than 55, chiefly because he wants to get where he’s going without it taking all day – and because he knows there’s no reason – other than it being against “the law” – to drive 70 or so. The road is a rural highway; gentle radius curves, good sight distances and lightly traveled. Unfortunately, there are Clovers – and very few legal passing zones. Several formerly legal passing zones were recently painted over double-yellow, leaving two options when one rolls up on a Clover running ten under the already preposterous maximum legal speed:
Adjust one’s pace to the slow-motion pace of the Clover.
Or – pass him.
Double yellow be damned.
Well, our friend – who relayed this tale to me so that I could relay it to you – chose the second option this morning. He had just begun his pass – over the double yellow, but with plenty of time to execute the maneuver and get back in his lane – when up ahead, just rounding the bend, came Officer-Not-So-Friendly. Ordinarily, our friend would have been alerted to the presence of pork by his trusty radar detector. But this time, the cop wasn’t running his radar; he may have been headed back to his waller. In any case, it was too late. Our friend was committed. Over the double yellow – three-fourths of the way through his hugely illegal (but perfectly safe) passing maneuver. He faced the prospect of a major bust. Probably, a “reckless driving” charge.
There was only one thing to do.
Our friend had two crucial advantages.
One, he was already moving – fast. The cop had to stop, turn around – and then reacquire his target (our friend).
This leads to the second advantage in our friend’s favor: Just after passing the Clover – and the cop – the road becomes a series of sharp S turns as it descends (9 percent grade) down a mountain, to the valley below. Our friend wagered his skills as a wheelman were superior to those of his pursuer – and more to the point, that he stood a better than decent chance of getting out of sight before the cop could catch up.
And – so he told me – that’s just what he did.
Then he took a sharp left onto a winding country road – one he happened to know meandered for miles through the empty woods, with lots of dirt driveways – take your pick – to disappear down.
Somewhere out there, hooves are angrily scratching the earth; hot breath is visible escaping from flaring nostrils.
Because this time, one got away… .