Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Memorable Illinois

We have several friends who are or who were police officers.  Knowing each of them, I am certain that they are called to what they do, that they are skilled in that profession, and that they do not see it as an opportunity to wield their power over others.  Apparently they are the exception.  This story is in no way reflective of their ability to do their job.

A very young and exceptionally good looking couple were driving across the country and decided to pull an all-nighter.  Around 2:00 in the morning they pulled off the interstate to look for a restroom, get some caffeine, and a place to feed a baby.  They found a gas station that was lit up so they figured it would be open.  They pulled into the first parking space, coordinated the baby and all of his paraphernalia and started to feed him.  At this point the husband decided to enter the convenience store to use the restroom and make some purchases.  Unfortunately, after all that, he realized that the gas station was closed.  So, he settled back in the car for a snooze while his beautiful wife fed the baby.

About an hour later they were ready to head back out on the road, deciding to stop at another gas station first.  Just after turning out of the first gas station’s parking lot, they each realized that the station’s bright lights had fooled them into thinking the car’s lights were on so the driver took care of that.  Looking in the rear view mirror, it was noted that they were being followed.  After another block it was evident that it was a police officer.  Sure enough, as they pulled into the gas station, the cop turned on his lights.

Little did the officer know, he had just pulled over the only law abiding, never-purposely-breaking-a-rule person left in America.  I know.  It was me.  And I always follow the rules. Okay, I do put non-clothing items in the clothing donation bin at Arby’s.  It drives the Good Doctor nuts.  He believes rules are made to be broken but if you even suggest putting one teeny tiny non-clothing item in that bin, he goes ballistic.

He walked over and I handed him my license.  All of a sudden a second police car zooms in. Our officer had called for back up.  On me.

“Ma’am, why were you driving without headlights?”

“I’m sorry, Officer, it was just a second until I realized that the lights were not on.”

“Where are you coming from?”


“Where are you going?”

“With Nevada plates?” he asks with raised eyebrows in a got-ya-now-you-law-breaker look, “Where’d you get the car?”

“Enterprise.  Do you want to see the receipt?”

“No.  But sir, could I please see your driver’s license, too?  Can you tell me why you’re traveling from Utah to PA with Nevada plates and what you’re doing here?”

It was at this point that we realized that he had actually been staking us out back at the first gas station.  I picture him sitting there like Roscoe and his dog Flash in The Dukes of Hazzard, just waiting for the right moment to surprise law-breaking citizens.  Not that I’ve ever seen The Dukes of Hazzard because it was against the law in my house and I don’t break the law.  That was my brother.  I just looked over his shoulder.  The time it took me to turn on the lights just gave him an excuse he needed to pull me over. 

It was evident he didn’t want to believe a word we were saying so might as well come up with the most outlandish thing we could think of.  “Well, we’re adopting a baby who was born 3 months early so I’ve been in Utah with him and he was released yesterday so we’re on our way home.  The baby needed to be fed and we needed to use the restroom so we pulled into the gas station not realizing it was closed until it was too late.  Now we’re here because this gas station is open.”

“Uh huh.  Okay, I just need to talk to my supervisor and I’ll get back to you.”

Apparently he flunked the criminal profiling class at the police academy.  I’m pretty certain he went back to his car to call in an order of roses for his wife.  He was sure that he had just made the bust of the century; putting Ganesburg, Illinois on the map and giving him that promotion he’d been waiting for.  He wasn’t believing that cockamamie adoption, need to feed the baby and pee story one bit.  He ordered a dozen roses with plans to pick them up and take them home at the end of his shift.  He’d surprise his wife by telling her of his bravery in pulling over a seasoned criminal (he’d leave out the part about her being 5 ft. 1 in. and armed with nothing but a Mama Bear’s wrath), how he’d trusted his gut and followed these gas station hoppers, called back up just before things got bad, and came in for the kill.  She’d finally know that he was not just a rookie police officer on the beat but a superhero worthy of that elusive promotion.  They could move to a bigger house in a better part of town.  Life was looking really good.

Until his supervisor told him to call off the back-up; these folks were squeaky clean.  He had a choice; he could take me back in handcuffs for violating the clothing donation bin sign or he could do nothing, fess up to his mistake, and let the couple go.

He chose neither.  He gave me a written warning.  To remember to turn on my lights.  He asked us to buckle up.  We already were.  He told us to buckle the baby.  He already was.  I’m surprised he didn’t remind us to wipe after we peed.  Maybe a written reminder would have been helpful.

And then we did what we had planned to do all along, we went into the restroom to pee.

I don’t think his wife got roses when she woke up this morning.

That would make a good story all by itself.  Only, it doesn’t end there. 

As I drove back to the interstate, I realized that I was being followed.  Again.  By the same car.  He followed me back onto the highway.  I drove 5 miles under the speed limit and sure enough, he slowed down to maintain his following distance.  Apparently he also flunked the stealth class at the academy.  We considered pulling over to the side and waving to him as he drove by, much like Bo and Luke Duke would have done as they outwitted Roscoe once again.  But we didn’t.

Now every time I see a police officer, I’m certain he’s looking for us. He probably put out an A.P.B. for the car with the Nevada plates, coming from Utah, going to PA, with the folks who need to pee. 


  1. I am almost peeing my pants reading this! You have a GIFT for story-telling! :)
    Happy to read you're almost home!!!

  2. This story is more than awesome... Victor will love hearing it someday.... and will probably want to pee his pants!

  3. Oh my word! I can't believe you had to deal with that when driving cross-country!! It's fun to read you humorous spin on it. You made it!!!