When in LA, do as the Romans do…

Today’s little anecdote validates why I love this country so much, especially this City of Angels. I had my first run-in with the law… technically.

It’s a perfect Sunday (as so many here, and they make it that much harder to go back to Mondays), the sun is shining, wind blowing through my hair (good thing I didn’t make an effort at styling today). I decided to take my bike down to the shopping area and meander amongst the other Sunday meanderers.

In Germany, we have police officers parole (do they actually parole? I’m not even sure now… I think they just go out when they are called) in their cars, with green uniforms (I believe they’ve been changing them to a more appealing dark blue and white… I really haven’t been in my country for a while). The German police men are quite the opposite of what one thinks of when one imagines an American “COP” – strong men in big cars with guns in their holsters and reflective shades.

One such model came to stop on his impressive COP motorcycle on the bike path next to me. He was wearing his COP helmet, his COP speaker system, and intimidating attire, when he turned to me and said “I’ll race you at the green light”. Needless to say, I was slightly shocked, but laughed… The homeless guy on the curb yelled “Oh, I wanna see that!”… This right here, ladies and gentlemen, is an interaction that I only find in this country. This alone would’ve made my day.

The light turned green and some cars were still congesting the intersection – they thought they could make the green waive… so we waited until they were through. The race COP passed me, but came to a stop at the next red light, which is where I challenged him to a re-match. He laughed. A biker came up behind us and instead of going straight and then turning left as he was supposed to, he turned left ONTO the pedestrian crossing and the COP’s time had come: This was his moment to shine and correct someone… In front of me! “EXCUSE ME!!!! YO!!!” he yelled, holding the ill-mannered biker to his fault.

He continued to lecture him, rightly so, but it was very obvious that he was showing off… because he could… and it was absolutely adorable. He went on to explain to the biker what exactly it was that he did wrong – I felt like an on-site spectator of Navy CIS (I know – not the same thing) or Alaska State Troopers (only in LA), and apparently so did he as he exclaimed with the utmost confidence: “YOU ARE IN VIOLATION OF CODE ……………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. (imagine a long pause…. And the COP drawing loops in the air with his finger, intending to jog his memory, as he came up with THE greatest code in the history of non-arrests) …………………………..…………………………… ……… ……… ………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………..THE RED LIGHT!”

I was in tears.

But I couldn’t show it. I was so lucky to have worn my sunglasses.

I didn’t want him to get upset at me… He was on a roll after all.

So I bit my lip as he finished his lecture speech to the other biker. He turned to me, nodded and confirmed “that’ll teach him”.

I could not continue riding my bike because I was laughing so hard. I did not race him, but wished him a nice Sunday instead as he went on his way. I pushed my bike the rest of the way, trying not to look like an idiot as I laughed uncontrollably. In violation of…. The red light.

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