Some time ago when I was there I caught an STD -- Special Treatment Display. I saw a black truck parked in the vicinity that had this rectangular black sticker, with a blue line through it, on the rear glass. If the adhesive itself wasn’t enough to alert people to the fact that the owner of the vehicle is in Law Enforcement, the rig being in a spot reserved for officers certainly was. I took a few snapshots of it, all the while thinking a) so much for policemen not wanting to be identified as policemen, and b) there’s nothing to prevent non-cops from slapping the silly thing on their own automobiles. Unfortunately, my memory card in my camera went kaput and all those pictures were destroyed. Not too long afterward, interestingly enough, a Massachusetts-based site (now defunct) I follow put up a post, complete with visual aids -- pun intended -- about these STDs.
So I’m on my way to speak to a court clerk about a ticket when I roll up on a car that’s got an STD. Now, the sedan isn’t nearly as snazzy as the pickup and I’m wondering if its operator is really an officer. Regardless, I tug my equipment out to take photographs. As he and I navigate the road I click the shutter here and there.
It occurs to me as I’m getting closer to my destination that I’ve not had to deviate from my intended route while trailing after this unknown person. In fact, the further along we ride the more I think we’re going to the same place. And the more I think we’re going to the same place the more I think he likely is an officer. I try to remember who’s supposed to be in court today, but it escapes me. When we get closer to downtown, he turns left and I proceed straight. I attempt a side shot as I pass him but I get a “card read error” message -- I’ve just lost every image I took. Abandoning the gizmo, I make a left at my preferred street, right at the next one, and right on the one where I hope to leave my ride.
The STD-user is parallel parking right in front of me. I wait for enough room to edge by, then pull my own parallel parking job two spaces ahead of him. A silver something-compact separates us. I shove a back-up card into the camera and, via my side mirror, snag the man I’d been curious about: Albemarle County officer Eric Kudro. I should’ve known.
Another ACPD man approaches Mr. Kudro and they chat briefly before splitting to take care of business. I exit, gadget-in-hand, and round the Hyundai getting images. Again the card malfunctions. I give up, and move off to do my thing.
When I return, his Sonata is still in place. I sit in my car for a few minutes and fiddle with the camera and storage device. It appears that, though the earlier pics are irretrievable, it’s performing once more. However I can’t hop out for re-dos because Mr. Kudro is back.
I pull out after he glides by. It’s not easy to photograph in this particular setting and I’m not pleased with my stabs at it. I don’t have time for this. I have somewhere else to be this morning, although, even if I didn’t, I do not have the slightest inclination to go traipsing after Eric Kudro. Blah. At this point all I want is just one single flippin’ picture of THE DANG STICKER IN THE CAR WINDOW!
Lucky me, we draw a stoplight. I raise the camera, psychologically cross my fingers, and press the button. I got it. I lower the contraption and peek down to power it off. I glance up. Surprise! Mr. Kudro is waving. At me. Well, it’s not like I thought he wouldn’t see what I was up to. Our bumpers are practically French-kissing! I laugh out loud. And wave back. I keep behind him only to my necessary path, and there we part ways.
Later, I recover some, not all, of the event’s images.
I have to pick something up shortly after two this afternoon. It’s too early to head to the location it’s at, too late to do much of anything important. I drum up an entertaining way to fill the time. There’s a Deputy with one of the two local Sheriff’s Departments who’s extremely fun to flirt with, so… I make use of a temporary parking space to hunt him down. I’m disappointed to find out he’s not around, but it’s nice to know he’s enjoying this sunny, beautiful day elsewhere. Good for him!
I start my car, step on the brake, peer in the rearview mirror. An Albemarle County traffic cop I recognize appears in the reflective glass -- he’s just come around the corner of a brick building, on foot.
You know how people make cop-and-doughnut jokes? Seriously, this fellow looks like he scarfs down a dozen Krispy Kremes every morning. Followed by three hours in a gym working them off. That man? Is beautiful. Yum. And I don’t usually find guys under 40 attractive.
I know where Officer Machismo’s vehicle is parked because I saw it when I was pulling in; he’s only got about 150 feet to cover to reach it. I sense, more than see, his eyes land on my car. Abruptly he spins on his heels and disappears back the way he came. Huh. That was weird. Maybe he heard one of his buddies holler at him or something. As I reverse, I mentally replay his odd move and have another thought. Jeez, I wonder if he thinks he’s the reason I’m here.
My sole exit -- proof I wasn’t cop-watching: I never would’ve left myself trapped like this under those circumstances -- puts me on the short side street, which, like many in Charlottesville, is one way. Ugh. This is so irritating! I need to go the opposite way I’m being impelled to go.
I roll by Officer Machismo’s unmarked ride. Signs at the intersection indicate I have no choice but to go right. I obey, and not just ‘cause it’s convenient. The upcoming road is also a one way, but it flows the direction I need and I turn onto it. A blue minivan in front of me has numerous bumper stickers. I read enough of them to determine the owner is probably an obnoxious White female without a husband, with two children, no gun, and a President she voted for but now contemns. Boooooring. My gaze shifts to a pedestrian who, up until that moment, has been obscured by the van.
It’s Officer Machismo. Ahck! Talk about takin’ the long way. So he was trying to avoid me! Sneaky little... I feel my lips shape to a smirk. He registers me a split-second later; I can tell as soon as it hits him because his face flashes a myriad of expressions, one of which come across as stunned, another sheepish. Darnit! Now he definitely thinks he’s the reason I’m here; it looks like I circled the block just to catch him. It’s evident the wheels are turning in his mind, too. Wait; he’s gonna do something. What’s he gonna do? His elbow bends, his arm comes up. He’s waving. I bite back a snicker. I lift my hand and wiggle my fingers in return. I burst out laughing, and in a blink he becomes nothing more than background scenery -- very-physically-fit background scenery.