Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Missed Photo Op

Where is my camera when I need it?

So, it was February 14th, (Valentine’s Day!) My wife, Cheryl, and I are dropping my sister, Kerry, off at the airport and then going out for dinner. We are in a massive traffic cluster on the way to Logan when sirens and blue light come up behind us at a street light!

The two cruisers stop right in front of us, one on either side of the street, (congesting the traffic even further, I should add!) and then one of the officer’s voices is heard over the loud speaker: “YOU ARE IN VIOLATION OF REVERE CITY ORDINANCE NUMBER 412: SELLING FLOWERS WITHOUT A PERMIT! STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR!”

The wife, the sister and I exchanged glances and gave a collective, “Wha?” at the announcement.

Within moments the arresting officer was yelling into the face of the obviously befuddled offender, pointing his finger at him, inches away from him, with a voice that we heard several yards away, in traffic with the windows up, (it was February in Boston, after all!) The policeman was hollering something about that money going back to such and such a country, (perhaps because "the accused" was Latino in ethnicity?) or something. The officer was loudly berating this guy, in the middle of the street for illegally selling flowers...

On Valentine’s Day.

For $5.00 a bouquet.

The level of surreality of the scene was on par with high-ticket entertainment.

Cheryl and Kerry were laughing about the degree of intensity and commitment this officer held about this particular offense, (one can only imagine that he lost his parents to rogue florists on this very day ten years ago, or something equally tragic,) but me? I was sitting there angry. Quite angry. Actually, I was pissed. You see, from my seat in the car, I had a perfect vantage point of this policeman haranguing and intimidating this guy with the hatred and venom reserved for traitors and in-laws because he was selling flowers without a permit, and here I was without my camera.

Y'see, I had decided against bringing it at the last minute. I'm still angry at that.

And although a photograph would have made this posting SO much better, I use this photo-less anecdote as a lesson for all to not go out of the house without your camera. Something funny is BOUND to happen.

Trust me. It always does.

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