Thoughts on Easy Rider, biker cinema, and riding and working on a vintage chopper.
I got profiled today! Not by FARK
for my insane blogging. Not by Street Chopper
for my insane working class chop and scary knowledge of Easy Rider
. Not by any literary review journal for my insane book
No, I was profiled by the Portland Police Department. Riding home from work on my chopper I watched as a squad car, upon sighting me, did an immediate Y-turn in the middle of the street to follow me. They tailed me for two blocks then turned around and headed back the other way.
It amuses me that cops not only do this all the time but that such strategies are actually part of police doctrine. They are encouraged to profile. I sometimes wonder what they are hoping to find. It used to make me giggle when I was a state employee returning from my night job of teaching college. If any of them had searched me they would have found me with a bag of text books, lesson plans, tests to grade, and an array of dry erase markers. Once my tail light had broken off and an officer pulled me over thinking it was a deliberate absence. He kept telling me that I had no tail light. Yes officer. I'll get that fixed right away. You have no tail light.
Yes, you've said that. I've got spare bulbs at home and I'll fix it there. He pointed out the spot where my tail light should have been. Oh My Gawd! I need a whole tail light! YOU BET YOUR DAMN FLAMING PHOENIX YOU NEED A TAIL LIGHT!
I could not keep a straight face at that moment. To hear him say that was well worth the repair ticket.
The times have changed and tonight they would have found on me a Swiss Army knife and a pocket full of cough drops. Maybe they were hoping I was one of those rough and tumble outlaw bikers who was driving with a suspended license and had three warrants out for my arrest. Perhaps they thought I had been drinking, since that's what ALL chopper riders do in their spare time. I can imagine their hearts sinking as my plate came back clear and I executed a near stop at a light that was about to change without wavering an inch and without putting my foot down for balance. This is a move more common amongst the Honda and BMW crowd, not some crazy chopper guy late at night.
I did resist the urge to give them the finger as they drove away. They don't need any more profiling ammo.