I’m no terrorist, but I do like my cigar even when we’re on Orange alert


I was stopped at about 12:30AM this morning by the Winnetka police as I unwittingly turned off the main road that runs from the north side of Chicago up through Evanston, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka and beyond, and onto a little dead-end road that leads to the Winnetka power plant.  How did this happen?  Well, two good friends and I went for our semi-regular drive around Chicago for a Big Gulp and a smoke.  Given that its winter here in the Midwest, it’s tough to smoke cigars outdoors and stay warm, so our like is to grab a Polish, a pop and then light up and go for a drive.

Tonight’s adventure took us along the north shore, which happens to be home to some of the most posh neighborhoods in the state, let alone the country.  As we drove through Wilmette admiring the lake front properties, a police car pulled up just behind my left side for ½ a mile or so and then turned away as we entered Kenilworth.  We took some side streets to admire some of the other homes.  As we turned onto one side street, I noticed two cars back a bit in my rear view mirror.  As is the case with most of these little streets in Winnetka, most dead-end at the lake front, with what we thought to be a lighthouse on the lake.  As I started my three-point turn, two Winnetka police cars pulled up with their lights flashing and a spot light shining in my window.  Of course, one of my brilliant friends was encouraging me to actually get out of the car.

Turns out the police officer tailing me through Wilmette ran my plates and called me in.  When the Winnetka police stopped me, they already knew my name and home address.  After asking what we were doing – having our New Years drive with Pepsi and a fine cigar – we were kindly informed that we’re still on Orange alert and that we shouldn’t be driving well under the speed limit and approaching the power plant as that tends to attract attention.  Personally, I think it was my beat up little Acura that was well out of place at 12:30AM in this neighborhood.  We were turned loose to continue our drive, with strong encouragement to drive the speed limit and avoid dead-end streets.

Odd thing is, when we went for our drive six months ago we ended up taking a “tour” of the west side of Chicago and couldn’t get a police officer to pull us over for the life of us.


Comments (9)

  1. Ed Kaim says:

    They stopped you without probable cause? Is that legal?

  2. Duncan says:

    Due to heavy fog and innexperience on my part I once turned into an RAF base at some speed in a long wheelbase landrover (I had taken a wrong turn). I’m very glad this was before the current state of unnease….

  3. Dennis says:

    First time I’ve ever heard of someone stopped for going too slow…I wonder why they think terrorists are slow drivers. Not many cars in Afghanistan, maybe, so they don’t get much practice? Sheesh.

    Good thing you didn’t have an almanac with you. You’d be rotting away in the Bay by now.

  4. They actually just passed a new ordinance in the city of Chicago that allows cops to pull you over on Lake Shore Drive (highway of sort) if you’re going to slow in the cop’s opinion.

  5. denny says:

    1) stupid FUD …. and all that.

    2) slow driving has *ALWAYS* been a red flag for cops, when cars are moving realy slow for traffic conditions. low-riders, drunk drivers, folks who are sick and ready to pass out, and burglars casing a job.

    thats just a few of the things they think of from past incidence.

  6. It probably didn’t help that we were almost stopped on the road admiring some "temple of all religions," wondering how they poured the concrete when a cop passed us heading in the opposite direction. Combine that with a ton of smoke coming from *within* our car and one could begin to imagine how we looked suspicious. However, once you look *into* the car, you find out that we’re pretty much just a bunch of idiots.

  7. Maybe it was the cigar. You should have given him one, it probably tastes better than the doughnut he had a few minutes before he stopped you. Next time take extra cigars with you. I buy my <a href="http://www.cubancrafters.com/weeklyspecials"&gt; cigars by the box and just keep them in my humidors so when I go for those drives I take extras. If I ever get pulled over I have something to bribe them with.

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