It was such a beautiful day and I was in no hurry. It was a sunny, lazy, Sunday afternoon. With windows rolled down and arm out the window, I made my way up the narrow, winding road with no shoulders, known as Crowder’s Mountain Road. Today, I felt of it as my own private road. It didn’t normally have a lot of traffic and right now, I just wanted to take it easy and enjoy the scenery. I wasn’t looking for any trouble.
Before long, I rounded a curve and came up behind a traffic jam. Five or six cars were barely idling along. The roadway was divided by double yellow lines and the lead car was obstructing traffic. There was no place for the vehicles behind it to safely pass, because the road was full of blind curves. I lagged behind for a few minutes, but the situation didn’t improve. Finally, I made my move to the position directly behind the root of the problem. It was a well-dressed man driving slowly and erratically, as he enjoyed and pointed out the beauties of nature to his family. I gave him a little slack, because I understood. We passed several places that he could’ve pulled off onto the shoulder, but he didn’t. Wasn’t he aware of the train behind him? … And didn’t he see that State Trooper on his bumper? Finally, I’d had enough.
I turned on my blue light and he pulled over. As I casually strolled up to his car, he got out. I stuck my hand out and introduced myself. We agreed on what a fine day it was and then I asked him to accompany me to the rear of his car. I didn’t want to embarrass him in front of his family.
“Sir,” I started out, “I stopped you because you’ve been impeding the flow of traffic. There were half a dozen vehicles behind you that couldn‘t pass.” I went on with, “From now on, when you want to look at the scenery … How about just pulling off onto the shoulder, when you want to look around.”
At this point, my intention was to just verbally warn him and let him go.
“I have you know I’m a Man of God!” He boldly proclaimed, “I’m The Reverend so and so, of such and such, good-sized Church, and I have you know … I don’t break any laws!
Well, I wasn’t ready for that. I found myself blessed and in the presence of … Someone better than most everyone else.
“Well Sir,” I replied, “None of us are perfect! I know I’m not! And this time, you were wrong by holding up the traffic behind you! I’m just gonna give you a warning ticket to remind you not to do it again”.
I’d changed my mind now! A verbal warning just wasn’t going to get it.
“I can’t accept that!” He angrily stated. “I’ve never had any kind of ticket in my life! I’ve never done anything wrong! You are absolutely mistaken!”
He continued working himself up into a sweat and before long … He even began cursing. His religion was wearing thin, and I’d had enough. That did it!
“Sir, I’m charging you with Impeding the Flow of Traffic.” I then calmly said, “I’ll be right back with the paperwork. “
I walked back to my car and wrote out the ticket … The Big One. As I was writing, it astonished me to see, that he had dropped down on his knees in front of my Patrol Car, God and everybody … And began praying.
When I returned, I could hear him as he audibly prayed for me (that I would realize my mistake and correct it before it was too late … blah, blah, blah). As I explained the ticket to him (costs, optional court date, etc.), he would not be distracted from his prayers … But I ignored his charade. I stuck the ticket into his shirt pocket, got back into my Patrol Car and backed up, so I wouldn’t run over him when I left. Then I drove off. His performance continued until I was almost out of sight, and I watched in my rear-view mirror as he finally jumped up and angrily stomped back to his car. Yes, for anyone watching, he had put on quite a show.
His Church members, I didn’t care about, because they had an option … They could get up and leave. I just felt sorry for his family and the daily hell they must have to go thru … Simply living with this man.
And I wondered how God felt.