For those of you who aren’t familiar with my version of Babe Ruth, it’s an oldie but a goodie. Check this out and then come back…if you’ve already read it, you may want to refresh your memory.
Two years have come and gone since we first met Babe (I figure after all we’ve been through, I can use just his first name). Today, I had the opportunity to chat him up yet again. Guess what for. Yup…cell phone. I was sitting about 40′ from a stop sign when a pickup pulled up and stopped. I saw the driver holding what appeared to be a cell phone in his left hand and it was pressed up against his left ear. The driver saw me, did the quick “I’m guilty as hell” hand jerk down, smiled and drove on. I smiled as well…but for a totally different reason.
I caught up to him pretty quickly and hit the lights and siren. We were on a pretty curvy road with not a lot of places to stop (no shoulders and only a couple driveways). He passed the last street and just kept driving. He acknowledged me with a hand wave (not unusual…at least it gives me an idea that the driver sees me and is intent on stopping when there is room). Eventually (about a mile down the road), he pulled off into some loose gravel that dropped down about 4″ from the pavement.
I got on the P.A. and told him I wasn’t going to be off-roading today and asked him to make the next right turn. He got back on the road and proceeded to pass the next right turn. He stopped just a little way down the road and here’s where the fun starts.
MC (not recognizing Babe): Do you know why I stopped you?
Babe: No…and sorry I didn’t stop, I wanted to get somewhere safe.
MC: I appreciate that sir. So you don’t know why I stopped you?
MC: Seriously?!? I stopped you because you were on your cell phone.
Babe (disbelievingly shakes head): No, sir…I wasn’t on the phone.
MC: Well, why don’t you let me take a look at your call log.
Babe (hands over his Blackberry): Here you go.
MC (iPhone owner): Can you pull up the call log for me?
Babe: Gee, I’m not sure. I think so. Yeah, here it is. My mom just called as we pulled over (*accurate based on the time).
MC (inspects call log): Huh. I swear I saw you on the phone. Do you have your driver’s license with you?
Babe: Sure. I’m pretty conscious about not being on the phone.
MC (starts to walk away to run driver out and sees driver’s name…under my breath…and not without a smirk): You’ve got to be kidding me.
MC (returns to car): Well, hey there, Babe. Remember me? You know why your conscious about being on the phone? Because I cited you for it a couple years ago. Last time we talked, you lied to me about not being on a cell phone.
Babe: I didn’t mean to lie.
MC: Yes, you did. You lied right to my face. So, you can understand my hesitance to believe you. Hang tight. I’ll be right back.
I got about halfway back to my bike when inspiration struck. I realized something potentially odd about his call log.
MC (back at the car): Babe, you mind if I take a gander at your phone one more time? Why don’t you pull that call log back up.
Babe handed me the phone and I pulled up his mom’s recent call. It should be noted I’m an iPhone guy, not a Blackberry guy. I’m not super comfortable with how the Blackberry works; however, I was able to delete the call record of his mom calling in about five seconds. Cast your mind back to the two minute road trip Babe and I had while he was “looking for a safe place to stop”. Seem odd now? Yeah, I thought so, too.
MC: Well would you look at that, Babe! I deleted your mom’s call!
Babe: No. Not on my phone.
MC: I’ll be damned if I didn’t just do that very thing, Babe. Remember that two minute cruise we just took? Yeah, that’d be plenty of time for you to erase a call.
Babe: I wouldn’t do that.
MC: Not for nothing, Babe, but with the history we have, I’m not exactly inclined to believe you. Hang tight.
I walked back to the bike, scratched out a cite, and ran Babe out. Would you believe he’s had two prior cell phone violations? Damn the luck! And him being so conscious about it and all.
MC (back at the car and already writing the post in my head): Okay, Babe. Here’s the deal. I’m gonna give you a ticket for being on the cell phone; however, if you can provide me with a bill with a call history on it that you can’t manipulate and prove to me you weren’t on the phone, I’ll dismiss the ticket. Fair enough?
Babe: Uh, sure.
MC: Great. What’s your cell number?
Babe: Um, why?
MC: Well, Babe, I’d like to know so I can compare that phone to the proper bill.
Babe: Oh. Okay. It’s, uh, 555-1234.
I dialed the number and, believe it or not, his phone didn’t ring.
MC: Babe, that doesn’t seem to be the number. Let’s try again.
Babe: I just changed the number. I forgot. Try 555-4321.
I dialed the number and dammit if it didn’t ring again.
MC: Well, that didn’t seem to work, either.
Babe: You could give me your number.
MC: Babe, that’s just not going to happen. Tell you what. We know your mom is home. Why don’t you ring her and ask her what your number is.
Babe (calls mom): Hey, mom. What’s my cell number? Because I’m talking to a police officer and he wants my number. He thinks I was on my phone. Thanks, I’ll call you back. Try 555-1423.
MC (dials phone): There we go! Okay, Babe. I’m gonna give you until the end of next week to bring a copy of that bill in, alright?
Anyone want to take odds? Will the next time I see him be with a cell phone bill in hand or will it be the next time I stop him for driving and talking on his cell phone?
Oh…by the way…I also stopped his son. Twice.