Chapter 2 Ė Please Donít
Trouble Yourself, Officer!
. "Oh, for crying out loud," I said. "What the heck does he want?"
"Is there a problem Fred," Hanna asked, reaching for the jewel-encrusted
dagger that was fastened to her short shorts by her belt.
"No. No!" I replied. "And don't touch that knife. This is a man
whose job it is to enforce the laws of Earth, and if you go for the knife
he might think you're planning to attack him!"
"Oh, all right Fred," Hanna said. "But I am ready to go into
action at a moment's notice if you say the word."
I had pulled over and the officer was approaching the driver's
"Good afternoon," he said.
"Good afternoon officer," I replied. "I do need to let you know
that my wife has a fixed-blade knife."
The officer took a step back and drew his gun. "Both of you put
your hands where I can see them," he ordered. Gentleman that I am, I already
had my hands on the steering wheel so I looked at Hanna and motioned with
my head and she raised her hands and placed them on the dash.
"Okay now," said the police officer. "Ma'am, with the thumb and
forefinger of your left hand, I want you to just barely grab the hilt of
the knife and then reach over and drop it out the window."
"What does he mean, Fred?" Hanna said.
"Uh, officer, she's just in the process of learning English and
doesn't understand every word you said. May I reach over and get the knife?"
"Okay," said the policeman. "But take it easy."
I smiled at Hanna to reassure her and reached over and plucked
the knife from her belt, then stretched over further to drop it out the
About that time another deputy pulled up. The new arrival slipped
on his gloves and then picked up the knife and took it back and laid it
on the hood of his cruiser.
The officers ordered us from the vehicle, one at a time, and
placed us in handcuffs and then patted us down. Next, they searched the
car for more weapons. Finally, they finished and came back and removed
"Sorry for the inconvenience," said the first deputy. "But we
had to do it that way for our safety. I appreciate you telling me about
"I understand, officer," I said. "But my wife is a little nervous.
This is her first encounter with something like this as she's new in the
"Oh yeah," said the cop. "Where's she from?"
"Barsoom," I said, without thinking. Then, "Uh...did I say Barsoom?
Sorry, officer. I meant Khartoum. I'm a little tongue-tied and nervous,
too, since my wife is pregant and she's due at any time."
"Well, congratulations," said the officer. "Look, I just pulled
you over because your license plate has a lot of dust on it and I couldn't
read the expiration date of your tabs. But now I see it's legal so I'll
just need to check your registration and license and then you'll be on
"Oh.......oh no," yelled Hanna in a shrill, pain-racked voice.
"It's coming. It's coming."
"Oboy!" said the deputy. "I've been on road patrols for a dozen
years and this has never happened to me before. I've always wanted to deliver
a baby in a car. Stand back."
"Oh that's okay officer," I blurted. "We're just a short distance
from home. We'll be okay. Honest."
"Can it," said the officer. "You're in good hands. Besides, state
law won't let me leave now. If I did, and your wife or the baby died, I
would be in hot water."
"Now don't you worry none, sweetie pie," he told Hanna. "You
just sit there on the back seat, lie back, and Deputy Dawson will take
care of everything."