November 13, 2009

getting waved down in flagstaff

In 12 hours of riding around Flagstaff this pornographer was stopped by the police 3 times. They were usually pretty polite and respectful and thankfully none of the interactions resulted in any tickets being given. This could be due to the excellent police handling we have received over the years.

The 3rd and final confrontation began at the intersection of the rail road tracks and San Francisco St. after 3am. The train had just passed and the light was about to change. This biker was rolling though a yellow that changed to red while in the large empty street. This conversation took place in the middle of historic route 66.

[BLEET BLEET] (can someone else suggest a better onomatopoeic word for a police horn?)

  • Bicycle Pornographer: Yes? Hello?
  • Bored Police: You need to follow the law.
  • BP: The #1 law is care of yourself. Look around, there is no cross traffic. You are the only car on the street. You are the only source of danger.
  • BP: I will write you a ticket if you want.
  • BP: No sir, thank you.
And while that interaction was actually not as snarky as is sounds (quite the opposite it was entirely heartfelt), our friends and co-pornographers from Tempe who drove 2 hours North to see the show were stopped twice while leaving town after the show. Thankfully they had a designated driver but apparently the police they dealt with were not as respectful:

... that didn't stop the cop from giving Mark (the only person in the car that hadn't even had a beer that night) a 30 minute sobriety test. That guy was a dick. - Lindsey B.
Even our host at the Foto Barn said that he was recently arrested and spent the night in jail (and nearly missed going to Burning Man) for jaywalking. He was not friendly to the police he was in fact quite irate. And justifiably so. When downtown business owners are not able to cross the street because a police officer decided that you "did it in an unsafe manner and while we are talking let me run your identification" that borders on some 4th amendment stuff, never mind the question of whose interests are you protecting?

This all wouldn't make us feel so bothered except that it does reek of classism. On one hand if there are going to be armed people who can detain and/or kill citizens at their discretion we want them trained and compensated well enough that they are not shaking anyone down for protection money. On the other hand no one on the bike porn tour has health insurance. Meanwhile, here is a list of the benefits of being a Flagstaff officer:

Medical, dental, vision, life insurance

Deferred compensation

11 days vacation

Flexible Spending Accounts

11 paid holidays

Annual wellness assessment

12 days sick leave

Repetitive Motion Therapy

Public Safety Retirement

Credit Union membership

Bereavement leave

Direct deposit

Jury duty leave

Cell phone discounts

Military leave

Promotional Opportunities

Family & Medical Leave

Continuing Education

Employee Assistance Program

In-house training opportunities

Yes, it is true we ARE jealous of their "benefits package" which includes repetitive motion therapy, anal wellness, and even house training! (For those who qualify)

That said, we are totally grateful that we were able to leave town giving them only time. Lots and lots of our time. Again, and again, and again, and again, and again.

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