The scene: I-16 near Dublin.
Sirens wail: Waaangh! Reep! Reep! Reep!
“Driver! Pull your car over immediately!”
“Officer, have I done something wrong?”
“Sir, I clocked you in the left lane going 87 miles per hour!”
“Gosh, I am sorry. I was in a hurry to get to an all-day singing in Dudley. In my excitement, I must have let my speed get away from me. Thank you for stopping me. You and I both know that speed kills.”
“Actually, sir, that is not why I stopped you. I stopped you because you were going too slow in the left lane and holding up traffic. I assume you didn’t see those big rigs tailgating you? They are doing 94 miles per hour, and you are poking along at 87. That is against the law, sir.”
“You are kidding me, aren’t you? This is one of those reality shows, and you are an actor pulling my chain. This is great! When will this episode run? I want to give the family a heads up that I’m going to be on television.”
“Sorry, sir. I am not an actor. I am a Georgia State Patrol officer, sworn to uphold the law, and the law says that if you are in the left lane and someone wants to pass you, you have to move over.”
“Since Rep. Bill Hitchens, who is a state representative in Rincon, watched his colleague, Rep. Rick Jasperse from Dawson, get a piece of legislation through the House of Representatives that would allow us to pack heat in our houses of worship. It’s called Guns for God, and it solves a problem that doesn’t exist. Mr. Hitchens said if Jasperse could do it, why couldn’t he? Georgia can never have enough weird laws. After all, sir, this is the Legislature we are talking about. Weird laws are their specialty.”
“You’ve got a point there, officer. But let me ask you a question.”
“Have you driven in the right lane on I-16? It’s like riding on a buckboard. The left lane is much smoother.”
“Sir, surely you don’t think police officers drive in the right lane. Hahahaha! That’s a good one. I have to give it to you, sir. You have a great sense of humor. Wait until I tell the guys at tomorrow’s roll call. Police officers in the right lane. Hahahaha!”
“But, officer, I am serious. If I am getting my teeth rattled driving in the right lane, why can’t I drive in the left lane at the speed limit?”
“Because you are holding up a bunch of idiots who want to drive at the speed of light, and these idiots vote. How do you think weird laws like this get passed? Idiots demand them.”
“So, this means if people are driving at the posted speed limit in the left lane, they are subject to being ticketed, thanks to Rep. Bill Hitchens. And if they go over the speed limit, they are subject to being ticketed under existing laws. And if they drive in the right lane, they are likely to be in need of a serious wheel alignment before they get to Nunez. And this is how the Legislature serves the people?”
“Congratulations. You got it, sir.”
“Is there any recourse for us?”
“Well, sir, you could always run for the Legislature yourself and come up with some weird laws of your own.”
“Maybe pass a piece of legislation that says if you are driving at the speed limit in the right lane and somebody can’t get past you because of all the trucks doing 100 miles per hour in the left lane, you have to pull off on the side of the road, swallow your car keys and walk to your destination.”
“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”
“Actually, it’s not as dumb as getting a ticket for driving the speed limit in the left lane. I would suggest you remember the Bill Hitchens rules of the road in Georgia: ‘Left ain’t right unless you are traveling at the speed of light.’ Here is your citation. Have a good day, sir.”
Email Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org or write him at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139.