License and registration.
Where are you going? (home, a friend’s house, the red light district)
Where are you coming from? (Pensacola, Zanesville, somewhere in Alabama, that place in town where the double homicide happened)
What is the name of your band? (Continnance, spelt incorrectly on purpose)
What kind of music do you play? (R&B/Country Jazz/Spoken word)
Do you know why I pulled you over? (you are bored/your wife beats you/the trailer lights don’t work)
Is there anything illegal in your vehicle? (only an illegal immigrant/merch guy, a suitcase of cash, a half pound bag of weed, and a dangerous amount of Mountain Dew, stolen and bloody hunting knives, unregistered guns…)
Do you guys smoke dope? (yes)
Are you guys gay? (often)
We have got pulled over five times in a three week period. Most times because our trailer lights don’t work, but also because of speeding, and the fact that all white vans with white trailers driving at 2am must be on drugs, coming from a pick-up/drop-off, or are holding a massive quantity of drugs in the vehicle. An air of fear. The etiquette between driver and patrolman is almost as unnecessary and based on fear as the traveler/border guard relationship. Twenty minutes from our destination. Every time.
When we finally arrived to an actual home in Fort Wayne, Indiana (USA’s Fattest City, which, through logic, must mean The World’s Fattest city), we arrived to a wagging greeting from the black lab Marley, and a large box of copies of the new album, released today.
The van has never got a ticket. The car in Florida got a $200 speeding ticket, and the lady cop that patted me down got a handful of the good stuff, but the old van has amassed a colourful collection of warning citations. At least we know that the world is a safer place, as we drive the interstate with our hazard lights blazing. Thank you figures of authority.