February 16, 2009

Did you have a nice Valentine's Day/Friday the 13th combo weekend?

I never noticed the collision of the 2 dreaded days before. But I suppose it happens ever 7 years. Did I do the math wrong? I'm sticking with my theory. So, every 7 years we get the Valentine's Day/Friday the 13th combo weekend. Note every time this happens and only when this happens, Valentine's Day falls on Saturday. That Saturdayosity magnifies the romantic dimension of Valentine's Day, so it might be a good idea, when this 7th year rolls around, to lock all your doors, dish out a big bowl of Haagen Dazs...



...put "Wuthering Heights" in the DVD player...



... and curl up on the sofa in your Snuggie.



Because it's a risky place out there. For example, I was out driving, hundreds of miles from home on Friday the 13th, and I blithely made a right turn and drove a half a block before I saw the oncoming traffic in my lane. I quickly made another right turn at the corner, and immediately saw the police car lights in my rear view mirror. The cop — with his beautiful blue eyes — was very handsome — very heart-of-the-heartland handsome. I effused "I'm so sorry." He asked us where we were going. I didn't wisecrack, "the wrong way, apparently."

We said where we were going, and afterward, I wondered what the hell difference did it make where we were going? Nosy cop. Nosy handsome cop. Nosy adorable cop with brilliant blue eyes. I'm theorizing that he asked because the thing is to ask anything to get the driver talking so that words might be slurred, incoherence demonstrated, or alcohol smelled. It's not a speeding ticket he'd like to give me, it's a DUI. And maybe the whole point of making that street 1-way is to net drunk drivers. Why was the cop right there? I bet every 10 minutes, somebody goes the wrong way at that turn, each one a potential DUI, and that was a net that I slithered through. But maybe Mr. Handsome Blue-Eyed Cop let me off because he liked the place we said we were going. And I got lucky that way on Friday the 13th.

So, welcome to Monday. Welcome to the working week....



I told you people to be careful. I said: "If you're going to take any risks, I hope it's worth it for you." Did you take that risk? Did you make that wrong turn? And if you made the wrong turn did you get off easy and end up in the right place?

24 comments:

TMink said...

We had a family Valentine's day. I bought steak and lobsters and cooked them up. Instead of grilling the steaks, I seared them in a pan and finished them in the oven, they were happening.

Then we joined our new church on Sunday.

A great weekend! But I have 9 50 minute appointments on my schedule for today!!!!

Trey - who will be working weak by 7

George Grady said...

But I suppose it happens ever 7 years. Did I do the math wrong?

On average, (almost) one out of seven years. But there are complicated interactions with leap years.

Icepick said...

...very heart-of-the-heartland handsome.

That is to say - "White".

Ann Althouse said...

@Trey

Does Valentine's Day make extra work for therapists?

Ann Althouse said...

@Icepick

Have you ever been to the Midwest?

Icepick said...

We said where we were going, and afterward, I wondered what the hell difference did it make where we were going? Nosy cop. Nosy handsome cop. Nosy adorable cop with brilliant blue eyes. I'm theorizing that he asked because the thing is to ask anything to get the driver talking so that words might be slurred, incoherence demonstrated, or alcohol smelled. It's not a speeding ticket he'd like to give me, it's a DUI. And maybe the whole point of making that street 1-way is to net drunk drivers. Why was the cop right there?

The cop was right there because if he went to a scene were serious crime was likely he might get hurt. Cops are usually somewhat rational, and aren't going to do anything to put their own asses on the line unless they absolutely have to. Cops are absolutely useless.

Icepick said...

Have you ever been to the Midwest?

I once had to switch flights in Indianapolis. On another occassion I spent a night in a hotel near O'Hare Airport in Chicago. So the real answer is "No."

Ron said...

Icepick, Detroit. Detroit, Icepick.

k*thy said...

Well, I did take a risk - it was there on Friday, but didn't *take it* until Sunday. Funny was, that the result tied into the Haagen Daz simplicity.

The risk I took, that I had been putting off, was to 'save' a hot-air ballon mural on my daughter's bedroom wall. The room is getting turned into a guest room - repainting, pulling carpet, the works - thing is - this mural, painted by a good artist friend, needed to be saved. Sky and clouds were painted around the balloons to give the allusion of a window. I'm no artist, but it actually worked. The final piece was to finish it off with a faux window frame. This won't happen. The blue sky against the celery green walls looks pretty damn good, as is.

traditionalguy said...

The Wuthering Heights vision of happiness in this life seems so dated now that we can have Haagen dazs in our snuggies. The wife had flu like symptoms, so we stayed home Saturday night and slept in Sunday. We put in a DVD of the new movie version of Brideshead Revisited. I was amazed at how easily I understood everything the author was saying at age 63, when I had little clue about his meanings when it was a PBS masterpiece theater series some 40 years ago. We do grow in our understanding, and that alone is encouraging. As a result we used no gasolene at all this weekend, and this balanced out the gas used by our well travelled Professor. Welcome back, sweet road warriorese.

Theo Boehm said...

RE Icepick on traffic cops: Massachusetts is, like every other place on the planet, suffering from a budget crisis. State aid for cities and towns is being cut. What do do?

Lightbulb on: Write more traffic tickets!

Icepick's ticket for 39 in a 30 zone has become absolutely typical and vanilla-flavored rather suddenly around here. But only on back roads. They still drive like maniacs on the major arteries. Been on 495 lately? The Mass Pike is better than it used to be, but you still see a lot of 85 mph out past Sturbridge.

The basic problem with Massachusetts drivers is that they're effing insane, but that's nothing new, and a lot of people say the same for their colorful locals as well. But the thing that struck me on moving here all those years ago is that you could write almost anyone in the entire state a ticket at any time, and be perfectly justified. How cops chose their victims was a great mystery, and has only been understood, like many things in New England, by living here a long time.

And now they've turned the whole damned place into a speed trap.

I'm not going to live long enough to figure this one out.

Kylos said...

If I calculated right, it's never seven years between occurrences. Rather, it is most often 6 years, occasionally 5 years, and once in a great while, 11 years. Then of course, usually the turn of a century will throw a monkey wrench into things (though we didn't have to worry about it last time, and won't again for 91 more years.)

Michael E. Lopez said...

That's just good community policing. Ask where they are going, maybe where they are coming from. Get a few extra minutes to just give the car a quick look over and make sure nothing's amiss.

I mean, you went the wrong way down a one-way street. That's not something people normally do, so I think it makes sense that the police officer would want to satisfy himself that you hadn't just kidnapped someone, weren't drunk or high, and weren't fleeing some sort of crime scene.

Questions like that save lives from time to time, and they're perfectly Constitutional. I suppose it's possible he was just trying to give you a DUI in some sort of malicious or money-grubbing sort of way, but let's do try to be charitable.

Icepick said...

Theo wrote, "Icepick's ticket for 39 in a 30 zone has become absolutely typical and vanilla-flavored rather suddenly around here. But only on back roads."

Exactly so. I also wouldn't mind that so much if they would enforce other laws. For example, how much more did they need to catch the guys that invaded my mother's house? They had an independent eye witness who told them who had committed the robbery, where they live, and where the stuff had been stashed. The cops couldn't even catch the guys with that head start. The didn't WANT to catch the guys, because it would have meant going into the houses of gang bangers. "Can't do that, it might be dangerous!"

This gives me idea for another stimulus package: We could save an enormous amount of money in this country by eliminating almost all police agencies and just buying everyone a fire arm. And if we buy nice American-made fire arms we can even give the economy a double boost: Cut taxes by due to decreased government spending AND give a boost to a fine American industry.

(Hopefully I have now met Dudley Do-right's requirement of discussing the stimulus package in the comments of every single effing blog post on Althouse. No doubt Dudley is another useless cop.)

Icepick said...

Theo also wrote, "How cops chose their victims was a great mystery, and has only been understood, like many things in New England, by living here a long time."

I don't know how they do it Mass., but in Maryland they did it by skin color. I lived there three years, drove around a lot, and only saw a white person pulled over by cops on one occassion: They had set a speed trap at the 795 off ramp that exited into the Baltimore subway station parking lot. They people driving into that parking lot were almost entirely white. But on the roads of Maryland I never saw a non-black person get pulled over by the cops.

Icepick said...

I just realized I forgot to answer the questions!

Did you take that risk? Did you make that wrong turn? And if you made the wrong turn did you get off easy and end up in the right place?

No, I did not take that risk. I did not make that wrong turn. With the luck we've been having in my family the last two years I don't NEED to take any risks. In the last twelve months alone we've had four human deaths, with another pending, and at least one other person dealing with cancer. And that's only the tip of the iceberg. What are you trying to do, Althouse, get me killed?!

Ann Althouse said...

"Questions like that save lives from time to time, and they're perfectly Constitutional. I suppose it's possible he was just trying to give you a DUI in some sort of malicious or money-grubbing sort of way, but let's do try to be charitable."

I didn't say the cop did anything wrong. My main objection is to the intersection design. I didn't see the 1-way sign, and it was a 4-lane street in a low-traffic area. Why would that be 1-way? That was weird. The cop was great. He was incredibly polite and well-mannered. It just struck me as funny afterward that he'd asked an irrelevant question. And it's odd that we reveal personal information to a cop when asked. I didn't need to account for where I was going just because I'd committed a traffic violation. And I do understand that once you do something that justifies the stop, he should try to discern if you're using a substance and take the appropriate action if you are. That's the reason, I think, for asking an irrelevant question. He just needed to ask me something that I would go ahead and answer to open a flow of evidence that could be used against me. If I had been drinking, I would have had a huge problem.

Michael said...

During the last budget crunch in California they pushed through a new, much lower threshold for being considered drunk while driving. (.08)

Within 6 months damn near everybody I knew who worked in or hung around any local bars or restaurants had what is referred to as a DUI or 502. This included people who seldom drink, but with such a lowered threshold, woman were really hit hard because of generally being smaller and not having to drink much to be considered "legally" intoxicated.

The citation resulted in $3,000-4,000 in fees, fines, etc., along with all kinds of meetings, loss of license for 3-6 months, AA meetings and a complete disruption in any working person's life for an entire year. (Even if you were a fireman, a cop or even a doctor or paramedic...you still lost your license, even for driving to work)

But everybody knew what it was really all about: A massive infusion of money to help out with the budget crisis.

Mark said...

Does the semaphore version of Wuthering Heights count?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oHw6niE9e8&feature=related

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Last speeding ticket the cop asked me, "What's your hurry?" Which I thought was an irrelevant question, because he was going to write me a ticket anyway; he'd already started. After I answered that I didn't have a hurry, I was just driving too fast, he was very polite.

Gahrie said...

The ne that kills me is seatbelt laws. What right does the government have to mandate that I wear a seatbelt, and then give me a ticket when I refuse to do so?

TMink said...

Althouse, in a word, yes. It is interesting (most of the job is to be sure.)

I cannot give away a session between December 18th and New Years. I usually come in one day just for the people who actually will keep their appointment, and I spend most of that day doing paperwork.

AFTER spending time with their families, EVERYONE wants and appointment! I have a huge rebound in early January.

Report cards also mean an upswing in the desire for new appointments, but then I see kids too.

Guys and girls who are adults and not married do have interesting things happen to them around Valentine's. June too, as their friends are getting married.

So far, I have not had anyone coming in with a really horrible Valentine's story. The people that make my appointments just scheduled me too many!

Trey

Duncan said...

But I suppose it happens every 7 years. Did I do the math wrong?

For the next hundred years starting last Friday, it happens 15 times or every 6 2/3 years 6.666666 etc.

I love Excel. You can cheat.

2/13/2009 =WEEKDAY(A1) =IF(B1=6,1,)
2/13/2010

Grab the two entries in the first column and drag them down to create a list for 100 years. Copy the second and third columns down to the bottom and sum the third column. It will show 15 occurrences of Friday 13th in February.

Graham Powell said...

I went down to Mardi Gras for the weekend with some friends. Took a risk, and now one of them is a Special Friend.