So, I'm really glad that I changed the name and theme of my blog, because the events of last night go hand in hand in learning how to laugh at a completely obscure situation. Truly it was the last thing on the face of the earth that I envisioned happening and I hope I can translate it into enough hyperbole so that you can see the humor as well. If there was ever a cause to have a laugh over a "cherry" moment, this was it.
First let me start with telling you that my Tuesday evenings are spent with my friend Sandi. I'll pick her up outside of the base, because her car is in-op right now, and then we'll usually go to Starbucks for coffee and to talk about scripture and do a devotion. Now I can't get on base without an escort so Sandi usually meets me outside the gate. However, I can get on base to drop her off and then leave by myself, right? Well I thought so, because that's how it used to be, but things have since changed.
Our devotion went well and we decided to leave Starbucks a little early so that I could get to the gym (I need a bigger buffer before going skydiving). Anyway, while I was driving I asked Sandi to get my license out of my wallet, as I reached for my insurance and registration. Having worked in a security department I can tell you that it's very irritating when people don't have their paperwork together, so I try to be as efficient as possible. Because there's nothing like digging for your stuff and having the TJ Hooker wannabe on the gate fielding questions at you. It's very distracting and they're trying to get you to mess up so they don't have to let you on (TJ Hooker is an 80's TV cops show with William Shanter playing the lead role). But I digress.
I handed the patrolman, at the Charles Porter gate, my identification and here went the 20 questions (The parenthesis denote my inner voice):
Q:"Where are you going?"
A:"To barracks 12 to drop my friend off."
A:"Because she needs to go home."
Q:"What's your purpose for being on base?" (Dude are you listening to me)
A:"I'm here to drop my friend off and then I'm going to leave."
Q:"Where are you going to go once your done?"
A:"Back home to Coupeville." (Are you kidding me! Why do you care)
Q:"How do you plan on getting off base?"
A:"By driving off."
Now here's where it all starts to go wrong. . .
Q:"If your dropping her off who's going to escort you off base?"
Q:"I need an escort to get off base now?"
A:"You need to be escorted at all times."
Again, I'm not completely unfamiliar with this protocol, having done my security time, but this really is a new way of the base operating, because a couple years ago both my friend Heather and I, with NO Military I.D. mind you, were able to make it through the gate to visit another girl who had been visiting Bible Baptist Church; and in past months there was no problem to just drop someone off and leave. So BZ to the guys doing there jobs right, but he was really pretty hostile to me.
So Sandi jumps in and says, "Well, I can just have her drive me to the Langley gate, so she'll be escorted at all times. She can drop me off there and then she can leave." Sandi, I think was more embarrassed than I was having to get held up by TJ Hooker. He said "Fine", but (a big BUT) he supposedly, according to another patrol person, also said "turn around here". Which I did not hear him say. So I took off down Charles Porter Ave. to drive Sandi to the Langley gate and then leave. This is where a wrong understanding gets worse.
Conversing about how silly it looked to drive around on base to only drop her off from the Langley gate, when I could have just turned around to do it, I look up and see lights flashing in front of me and the security vehicle maneuvering to block my vehicle. I turn to Sandi and in jest say "Uh, oh there coming for me." Well they really were (from here on out I'm referring to the patrolmen as Ponch & John, the characters from the 80's TV classic CHiP's). So I turn off my car an wait to see what's going to happen next.
Ponch gets out of the car and starts walking around my car, to approach it from the back (a serious move so that the patrolman can see what's going on inside the car). Sandi hands me her ID so they can know that at least one of us is in the Navy, and he knocks on my window. As I roll it down he says "Turn off your vehicle." (Ummm, dude if you were really assessing the whole situation instead of being hopped up on testosterone, and possibly Creatine, you would know that I already turned it off) "Officer, my car is off." Now he's really filled with attitude. "Get out of the vehicle and let me see your hands." As I get out of my car and close the door, he shout, "Don't close the door." (Dude seriously take a Xanax, I really thought he was going to drop me) "Go over there to that other patrolman." (Obviously he has enough confidence in me to tun his back on me so he could do traffic control. What's going on?) So now it's John's turn "Why didn't you turn around at the gate like the security guard told you to?" "Well he said that I could drive my friend over to the Langley gate, since I can't take her back to the barracks, and since she'd be my escort the entire time. Then I was going to leave." "He told you to turn around back at the gate." "I didn't here him say that. He handed me back my paperwork and said to go to the Langley gate. So that's where I was going. I missed the first left hand turn so I was going to turn here (pointing to the corner I was stopped at) and turn back towards the gate."
Meanwhile, two other patrol units roll up on scene, one with a female, as protocol goes that when dealing with females there has to be a female patrolman on scene. (Hopefully someone in this group will be reasonable.) So Lacey (reference Cagney and Lacey, another 80's TV police drama), which I only use because I can't remember her actual name, ended up being that voice.
She ran interference between me and the CHiP's. They told her what I had told them and so she approached the confrontation very calmly and asked me basically the same questions, since I guess Ponch & John thought I was up to some sinister deed. Like wanting to go raid the PR hanger for a parachute for my jump in August, LOL. So Sandi and I, who is now out of the car and shivering just like me, tell her the same story that we just told Ponch & John. Which spurned a completely new and unexpected question from Lacey "So why then were you trying to out run the security vehicle?" Completely befuddled, I turn to her and say, now really taking a stand in my own defense, "It wasn't even like that, and if that's what those two are saying it's a lie. Obviously you can see where my car is parked and see that I stopped before I "overtook" any kind of car, and I honestly didn't know that those lights were for me. I stopped because I saw lights flashing. Only when the patrolman got out of the car did I realize that he wanted to deal with me. Had they attempted to come along side me and I was still driving then sure, I'd give them that, but that's not how it went down. Literally they came out of nowhere. It's a total misunderstanding. I used to work in security, I completely realize the weight of what's going down, but I wasn't purposefully trying to run the gate." (And please the speed limit is only 25, which I think I was doing 30, which was wrong, but it's still not a speed that would induce any reasonable person to think that I was trying to make a break for it).
Once she heard Navy jargon she went back to the Ponch & John and told them that it was a misunderstanding. That I really didn't hear the gate guard (TJ Hooker) tell me to turn around at the gate. She came back and told me that she could see where the misunderstanding took place, that Ponch & John were going to take my information (most likely for their report that they now have to write. That's gonna be fun reading for the watch commanders) and escort me off and then I could go, and that they were starting to make the crack down with people being escorted on base. So I said, "OK, that's cool." Then turned to Sandi and joked about how I was gonna be on the next RAM (Random Anti-terrorist Measures) list. Which made Lacey giggle a little and really got that I knew how things worked. Of course now I had to deal with John again, Ponch was busy taking Sandi's info. I gave it all to him, although I don't think he believed that I had a secondary number. Well I do, but I'm not giving those stooges my work number and besides I only ever use my cell phone. So they took our info.
Then John tells me that I need to move my car off to the side so that traffic can get moving again and hands me back my registration and insurance, but not my license. So I asked him if I could have it back and he said "I'll give it to you in a second." OK, this was a really smart allec thing of me to say, but I replied "Well how am I supposed to drive if I don't have my license. (The last thing I need is a ticket because these two want to play semantic games) This sent Ponch over the edge. "Just do as he says!" (Secretly I'm amused that I can push these buttons so easily. Hasn't he ever heard of the phrase "Never let 'em see you sweat"?).
Anyway, without much more action I was escorted off the base, but not without first giving a little wave and farewell hollar "Have a nice evening" out of my window. Far be it for me to hold onto my bitterness and not see the humor in the situation. Which it was really funny. On many levels, but primarily because I only wear skirts and those don't make for easy maneuverability. Can you imagine how hard it would be to maintain modesty while making a break for it, not to mention completely damaging my testimony. The contradictions just pile up at that point. Besides I'm way smarter than that.
Sufficeit to say that 80's TV Cop drama is alive and well and the NAS Whidbey gate. And if you have problems trying to get a hold of any of these series on DVD, via Netflix, you can rest assured that somewhere they're being put to good use by security personnel who are taking notes on new ways to stun and amuse random segments of the populations with their ultra cool moves;) LOL.
I fell asleep last night laughing about it and am still chuckling today. I hope that you did too. If I also might add, I believe I held myself with a great deal of aplomb during the whole ordeal (ha I used it in a sentence!).
Carolyn "The Gate Runner" Pivarnik signing out
BTW, it was probably a 10-0 "pursuit" code that went out for me. In case anyone was interested.