Bitch on the Blog

August 27, 2016


Leaving France’s fashion and mind police aside for a moment, has any of you ever had dealings with home grown and/or police on foreign ground?

Don’t be shy about it. If you have robbed a bank or dug up your grandmother’s grave to pawn her wedding ring, obviously that’s private. And doesn’t count. Desperate times warrant not so savoury measures.

I mean the common garden gnome variety run in with the law. And are you jumpy as soon as the blue lights flash and the siren howls?




  1. Why, have you? And are you?

    Comment by Friko — August 27, 2016 @ 16:04 | Reply

    • My dear Friko, have I [dug up my grandmother’s grave]? Not yet. Am I jumpy when the world and its lights flash around me? Not really. But then I do have nerves of steel and do love a uniform.

      Other than that: Answering a question by asking a question is a cop out.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 27, 2016 @ 16:29 | Reply

  2. No police adventures of any kind. Except for a reckless driving citation nearly 38 years ago for driving 76 miles per hour on an empty freeway in the middle of nowhere when the speed limit was 55. The little town nearby took my life savings ($60) and let me go.

    Comment by Looney — August 27, 2016 @ 16:26 | Reply

    • Oh, Looney, that is so sweet. Only you. And your sense of the injustice of it still palpable.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 27, 2016 @ 16:31 | Reply

      • Yes, the greatest injustice in the universe is always the worst abuse you experienced first hand! They stick in your mind like nothing else!

        Comment by Looney — August 27, 2016 @ 16:54 | Reply

  3. 3 speeding tickets and 2 parking tickets.

    …and, then, last week, Tuesday at about 4 PM, I discovered my jury duty dates were put into our (hard copy) calendar wrong. Unfortunately the two day trial was scheduled to begin that morning!

    I called the office number given on the jury duty notice letter. No one answered, but I could leave a voice message — I hate leaving voice messages — so I did.

    And nobody called back. I tried again the next day. Same result.

    So, Thursday, I went to the courthouse to find out if I was in trouble. The penalty for not showing up for jury duty depends on the judge — it can range anywhere from a slap on the wrist to community service up to 30 days in the county jail.

    There wasn’t anyone waiting in line for anything at the Circuit Clerk’s office, but all the workers were busy. A lady at the child support counter asked if she could help me, which seemed weird, but okay, maybe she could point me in the right direction. Actually, she knew someone in the office who would know, who just happened to be near where we were talking. And she did know!

    The trial had been canceled, so jury duty had been canceled.

    If I had called Monday after 4 PM like I was supposed to, I would have known.

    At least now, though, I don’t have to worry about being pulled over due to an arrest warrant for missing jury duty.

    (Hey, I should maybe copy this and make a blog post out of it. 😉 )

    Comment by Mike Goad — August 27, 2016 @ 17:29 | Reply

    • Yes, Mike, I too was once appointed to jury service. And excited. Unfortunately, it came to nothing. Which is a pity because, according to Cheerful Monk and she is right, it would have appealed to the drama queen in me. Cue Gregory Peck.

      Law is rigid. I once found myself in court – and am sure I have written about this particular incident before – on the most innocent of defenses. I had came round the corner into the street I lived in at the time, sick to my stomach. Given a choice between throwing up in the car or the privacy of my own bathroom I slammed the car into a free space outside the undertakers opposite my house and ran in [to my house]. Having cleaned myself up and ready to re-park ten minutes later I had been given a TICKET. Don’t ask, Mike. Ten bleeding minutes.

      Immediately called whoever. Explained. No deal. A few months later I was summoned. The magistrates took pity on me and reduced my ever escalating fee of over £500 fine to half. Kindly letting me pay it off in instalments. Not that I hold it against the judges. It’s written all over their stony faces that they have no leeway, no discretion. Obviously a job like that pays the mortgage and keeps your kids in education but, I imagine, must be pretty soul destroying. Last word I hear when walking out of said court “NEXT”.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 27, 2016 @ 17:56 | Reply

      • On my way somewhere (work, gym, I don’t remember), I was momentarily distracted and didn’t see that the driver in the car in front of me had come almost a complete stop to make a left turn — in the US, that’s a turn across oncoming traffic — into a small shopping center. I slammed into the back of her car.

        (I hadn’t been planning on buying a new truck, but my Jeep was totaled, but that’s another story.)

        It happened in Dover, the small town closest to where we live. The Dover chief of police responded to the accident. He gave me a ticket for reckless driving (I think). However, he told me that I had two choices. I could either pay the ticket’s fine by mail or I could show up at traffic court, where he would recommend that it be reduced to a warning. I chose the traffic court and the charge was reduced to a warning without a fine. I’m sure it was because my record in Arkansas was squeaky clean. It’s the only time I have ever had to go to court for any reason.

        I got a speeding ticket in Virginia in 1976 and another in Nebraska in 1995. My parking tickets were (1) at the submarine base in Connecticut, (2) at a museum on the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and (3) on a beach front street in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. I got out of paying the first two parking tickets. But nothing in Arkansas, not even a warning, and we’ve been living here 36 years.

        Comment by Mike Goad — August 28, 2016 @ 02:58 | Reply

  4. I’ve never gotten a ticket, but years ago I got stopped and was given a warning about a “rolling stop”. I slowed way down at a stop sign but didn’t come to a complete stop. It was a Sunday morning on a college campus, clear visibility, not a car in sight. But it turns out a police car was hiding down the road and stopped me to give me a warning. The two policemen were clearly bored out of their minds.

    A few weeks later I was driving on the same campus on a winding road with one stop sign after another. I dutifully came to a complete stop at each one, and the policeman behind me finally had enough. He turned on his siren and zoomed past me, going through all of the other stop signs farther on.

    Comment by cheerfulmonk — August 27, 2016 @ 17:37 | Reply

    • That’s funny, Jean, particularly the second part.

      Talking about traffic offences: Once upon a time, when FOS and I hadn’t even promised each other to each other yet, there we were in the motherland (Duesseldorf to be precise) when he jumped a red light. Let’s not say that traffic police sleep on the job. As you said, there is only so much boredom one can endure without jumping into action.

      The motherland’s police have a bad reputation. Don’t believe a word of it. Try (yes, France) Spain. More of which later. So so sweet. As mitigating circumstance FOS pointed to me (passenger seat in my own car) and told them (in his most charming accent) that we had had an argument. Which was true. As evidenced by my red and tear sodden eyes. They took one look at me and FOS was waved through. No offence. No fine. No nothing. Don’t say the motherland’s police lack compassion.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 27, 2016 @ 18:13 | Reply

  5. 1. Got a parking ticket in Sicily – only the police men (3) asked around and discovered us in a nearby osteria, walked in and showed us that for now, they would forget it. No money changed hands.
    2. Was stopped and handed to police at Izmir airport because I had used clear sticky tape to keep my disintegrating passport in one piece. After a lengthy debate and almost real tears from my 21 yr old (disgusted with her mum) daughter I was let go and we were allowed to board – the plane had been waiting for us for almost 1 hr and we received icy stares all round. Nobody talked to us and daughter was disgusted for weeks.

    Comment by Sabine — August 27, 2016 @ 21:21 | Reply

    • You have touched on an odd phenomenon, namely how easily kids are embarrassed by a parent – in public. Many years ago – small airport, can’t remember now, either Stansted or Southampton – I lost the plot when check-in confiscated stuff worth a lot of money (they’d just introduced – unbeknown to me – the 100 ml rule on hand luggage). Both my son and my nephew, in their mid/late teens at the time, didn’t disown me but visibly shrank into the background. At least they thought it cool that – on my behalf – the plane was held for ten minutes. I myself? If other passengers’ eyes were daggers I’d be dead. Still, it was nice of the pilot to wait, an experience to walk the tarmac. A taxi would charge you for it.

      Sicily? Gosh. It’s one of the places I have always wanted to visit. Which, no doubt, is the reason I haven’t yet. Thing about Italian and Spanish police is that they have a soft spot for women. Protective. Regardless. They see you (depending on their and your age) as they would their sister, their daughter, their wife, their mother. As the Angel (that’s my son) would say: “It’s primal, Mama.”


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 28, 2016 @ 01:50 | Reply

  6. I have had one very bad experience – and many good experiences. One of them was The bad experience keeps coming up in discussions whenever our Indian politics comes up.

    Comment by Rummuser — August 28, 2016 @ 13:10 | Reply

  7. Upset a gendarme in Tours at 5:00am . Was woken by a huge amount of noise in the street below our window…. school trip… opened window and bellowed , “Oi shut up. We’re trying to sleep!” (forgetting exactly where I was). Gendarme raised vicious looking weapon in my direction and I ducked. Turned out that we were opposite the municipal Post Ofice/depot and they were receiving a delivery of mail.

    Otherwise all my dealigs with constbualry have been benign.College days, end of term, Rail strike….only train of the day from Honiton and I was a shilling short on the fair s was given the ticket… arrived Paddington with not a penny to my name so went to the local police station to ask how to get out of London to head for King’s Lynn and was given half a crown for a cup of tea along with directions and told to report to King’s Lynn Police when I arrived…..several lifts later, one with a Punch and Judy Professor, and I reported to King’s Lynn Police station. Greeted with , “Hello. We’ve been expecting you. You made good time. Here’s a blanket. I’ll show you to your cell.” I was woken in the morning with bacon and eggs and a cup of tea…… Over breakfast I was told that they had run a sweepstake on how long I would take…..

    My other run in was 2-30 am walking throgh Exeter with a small suit case, ” Excuse us sir. What have you ot in the suitcase?”
    “Books. I’m a student at St ………’s” and I opened the case to show them.
    “Where have you been sir?”
    I named the females’ Hall of Residence of the University I had been to for assistance with an Biology essay.
    “Oh, very good sir. Nice to know that some of our students study. Get some sleep won’t you?”

    Comment by magpie11 — August 28, 2016 @ 15:50 | Reply

  8. I hadn’t been long out of my marriage, and some mail was still going to my other home…(my ex/I still vaguely worked together, so mail wasn’t a problem). Anyway he handed me a envelope one day that clearly had “police logo” on it – and he was curious… (I never did tell him what it contained)

    It was a traffic-light offence – and at first I couldn’t remember if I had been in said area or not. I knew I had gone through that area in the evening but not at the time stated. Then I remembered!

    It was the first time I had used the motorway on my own – to get to another part of town – I had driven down an off ramp and up a longer road with many traffic lights – it was clear from the picture provided I had driven through on a red light! In some ways it was exhilarating… and loved paying the “fine”

    I now do not have a car… or for that matter a current drivers license 🙂

    (there was another time with drug squad across the ditch, when I wasn’t even 21 – but I wasn’t actually a suspect – more they were searching for someone else, I just unfortunately had been in his company – along with a few others who were also strip searched around 5am one morning. We never really found out what happened, and none of us wanted to “know”)

    Ursula, I’m sorry got behind with blog reading…life just got busier

    Comment by cedar51 — August 29, 2016 @ 20:15 | Reply

    • Catherine, life being “busier” is not a bad thing.

      Sparked by my own subject, namely “police”, so many memories are flooding back (both my own and those of others as related to me) I’ll probably feel compelled to write another narrative any time soon.

      Fact is, and to summarize, on the whole I think police (of most countries, though not all) are “good”. However, according to the Angel, and it was chilling when recently he recounted a rather nasty incident (in England) and he was nothing but in awe of the way the police handled the situation: “If that had been in the States (USA) the police would have kicked the shit out of them – innocent or not.” Great. Marvellous. Brilliant. It’s what a mother’s nightmares are made of.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 30, 2016 @ 15:18 | Reply

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