A couple of months ago I was making the long drive to a family reunion when I saw the twinkle of blue lights in my rear-view mirror. My brother and I were late leaving and I was probably going faster than I should have been, but I didn't think I was going unreasonably fast.
Things didn't get any better when I gave him my license and registration. He took one look at the name and said, "Well, looks like I've caught a big fish today. I've seen you on the news, talking about that magic stuff. Pure crap if you ask me." I let out a sigh wishing that just once I could go somewhere without being recognized. "So where you going anyway?" he asked after a pause.
I decided to be humble, "We were going to a family reunion and we're running late, I guess I just wasn't watching my speed. There isn't much I can say, you got me fair and square and I'm very sorry for speeding officer."
"Don't you tell me sorry, tell that to the people you could have killed. I clocked you doing 65 in a 55 zone."
I had to stifle a laugh, while I was over the limit, traffic was blowing by us averaging about 70. I couldn't tell if he was a genuine jerk or if he was just being hard on me because of my standing, but I could see how eager he was to start writing the ticket and I decided to change tactics. "Of course officer. But can I ask you a question? What was it like heading to the academy right after college? It must have been hard for you and your parents."
He maintained his composure almost perfectly but his energy changed drastically, "How did you know that?"
"I bet your parents were very upset when you told them college wasn't working out for you and you were leaving it to join the force," I continued. "They probably wanted you to be come a doctor or something and saw law enforcement as the easy way out."
He was clearly stunned but he tried to act firm, "I'll be right back," he said as he left my window.
My brother looked over to me and said, "Ok, I give up, how'd you know that?"
"Look at his cruiser, tell me what you see."
"He's got a cord hanging from his rear view mirror. But that's about it."
"Good eyes," I said, "It's actually a cord for the Delta Lamda Chi fraternity. They were booted off campus four years ago for having too low of a graduation rate and too many alcohol violations."
"You've got to stop reading so many newspapers," he said.
"Speaking of newspapers, his cruiser is a Capri. Two years ago they switched to Corvettes. At his age, if he had graduated college, he would have been driving a Corvette."
He didn't get to respond. It was about that time the officer came back, looking as baffled as ever, and said, "Listen, I'm going to let you off with a warning, but first I want you to tell me how you knew that about me."
I took the warning from his hands and said, "Isn't it obvious, it's magic. I'd tell you more, but you don't seem to be very interested." He just stared at me for a moment, murmured something about slowing it down and sent us on our way, probably never to meet again.