Never travel with cooking products laying about in your back seat. Funny story.
So, it's the night before I leave to go to Shreveport, LA to work on a movie and I'm driving back to my place after a night out and I of course, run into a speed trap, not even a mile away from my apartment! A headlight of mine, which I have been meaning to fix for a while, was out and the police officer wanted to let me know. I hand him my license and registration, he goes off to make his report. I sit in the car, astonished and in denial, I text my girl friend. A few minutes later the officer comes back and hands me my stuff. In the mean time another police car has pulled up and another office is approaching from the other side of my vehicle. The officer that pulled me over is going through what I do to avoid getting charged for the headlight when the other one interrupts him and says, "Hey, I think we got something here."
Thinking, Oh man, I'm fucked. This is really happening. They've planted something in my car like in the movies and I'm about to take a trip to be someone's jail bait for the night. Great, really great. I'm so fucked. I must have turned white.
At this very same moment, the officer writing the ticket puts his pad on the roof of my car. Thunk. And then he asks, "Is there anything you'd like to tell me about what's sitting in your back seat?" In a split second, his voice had gone from a mundane routine traffic citation voice to a commanding alert situational awareness voice.
Suddenly it hits me. It's a Christmas gift that I'd somehow forgotten to get out of my car after getting back home: fresh basil from my aunt's garden. Nervously I glance back there to confirm my thinking. Very calmly I tell them, "It's basil." Then I ask them if I can get it for them. Not wanting to draw any suspicion or alert them in anyway. The officer at my window tells me to sit where I am and that he will get it for me. He goes around the other side of the car, opens the door and reaches to get it out of the back seat. I should not have let him do this because I realized at the very moment he opened my car door that I gave him permission to search my car but it was too late to say anything.
A few more nervous seconds pass by.
Outside the car they examine the contents of the clear glass jar containing my precious basil. Upon opening it they immediately conclude that it really is in fact basil, and astonished they both look at each other, then at me, pausing when suddenly they bust out laughing hysterically! The one who had approached my car from behind asks, "Boy, you a chef or something?" Yes I like to cook. He bursts out laughing again. Still astonished, the officer writing me the ticket hands me the paperwork to sign and in between chuckles explains that they hear the whole basil thing all the time but to have it actually come true just made their night. When he said this, no joke, the other officer was laughing so hard he bent over. They told me I was done and could go and not wanting to stick around and have to trade recipes I left them, huddled in the dust chuckling about what the rest of the boys were going to think of their "basil bust."
Good times. Gotta get some sleep though, heading to The Shreve in the morning to stand on endless lock downs and screw up coffee orders.