"Ever notice that anyone who drives faster than you is a maniac, and anyone who drives slower than you is an idiot?"
-George Carlin (I'm sure I don't have it word perfect, but it's his sentiment, for sure)
So I drove home today. Most of the trip (four hours of a five hour trip) is on I-95 from Flagler Beach in Florida to Walterboro in South Carolina. For those living outside the US, on the West Coast, or under a rock, allow me to explain a bit about I-95.
I-95 runs from the Canadian/US border in Maine to Miami, Florida. It runs through, or near, most of the large cities on the East Coast (Boston, New York, Baltimore, Washington DC, Richmond, Jacksonville, Miami) and is three or more lanes wide for most of the trip, with speed limits set from 55 to 70 miles per hour (70 in the south; they don't fool around). Notice the gap between Richmond VA and Jacksonville FLA. There's two and a half states of nothing in there, nothing but empty space full of people trying to get from Somewhere North to The Beaches In Florida. So, needless to say, the speed limits aren't terribly well respected, or enforced, or paid attention to. (When the husbeast drove down last weekend I asked him how fast he drove. He said "I couldn't tell. The speedometer only goes to 85." but he was going the speed of traffic. To go slower means getting rear-ended.)
Ah, but that's not the interesting part. I-95 dead-ends in Miami, dumping out the few travelers left onto State Route One down into the Florida Keys. Miami and the Keys are the #1 drug importation route of the East Coast; small boats run in all sorts of things from the Caribbean (in Key West, you are in fact closer to Cuba than you are to the mainland USA). From there the illegal drugs are transferred to cars and, you guessed it, driven up I-95 to all points north, including all those drug-hungry cities. So to say this interstate is heavily patrolled is a great understatement.
I have heard tell, FROM ONE OF THE COPS INVOLVED, that an alert once went out to pick up a drug-runner of a certain description driving a certain car. So they saw a car driven by a person meeting all the criteria, pulled it over, jerked him out and flung him face down on the ground and handcuffed him. (The poor driver was going "What? WHAT??" the entire time.) After drug dogs went over the car, they realized THEY HAD THE WRONG GUY. So the cops pulled him up, brushed him off and uncuffed him and said basically "Dude, we're soooo sorry." The cop who told me this was still marveling that the guy hadn't sued.
So it's strange, to me, to go winging past cops at 85 mph - the same speed everyone else is going - and not have them bat an eye, while all the time I know if an alert goes out for a white Jeep driven by a dark-haired chick, I'm doomed no matter what speed I'm going. (The odds are slim, but still.)
At any rate, I made it home in one piece. So did The Baby. I'll be posting photos as soon as I find the camera.
The cat's been laying on me for three hours now; when I move she just follows me and jumps back up.
Oh, and whoever came up with the idea of cops using unmarked mini-vans in Florida? That was REALLY mean.