I was driving the big obnoxious tv truck on a busy street in North Houston at 10:00 at night. At a light, a guy in a small car starts blasting his horn and waving at me and yelling through the window. Now you have to understand, when you drive a big obnoxious tv truck, this kind of thing happens all the time. People randomly flip you off. People throw things at you. People reach out of their cars to pound on the side of the truck. People try to ram you off the road. Once I got a full, hairy moon out the window of an SUV at 80 mph. There's a lot of strange, angry people out there.
You get used to it. You ignore it.
But the guy in the car was persistent. He got behind me and started flashing his lights. Beeping his horn. Waving out the window. At some point it turned from trying to ignore the guy to actively trying to escape from him. I floor it down the road and start weaving, trying to get some other cars between me and him. Finally I'm blocked in at a light. He's a few cars back. I see in the mirror, he gets out of the car and starts running up to the truck. Oh shit. I start looking around the cab for a weapon within easy reach. How much damage would a iPod to the head do? Damn, I just bought that thing.
Just when I'm contemplating weather the situation warrants me smashing into the car in front to get away from this guy, I see that he's waving something at me. It's a Houston Police Department jacket. Apparently the guy's a cop.
Though I still wasn't sure if I was about to get the crap knocked out of me, I was kind of relieved. Enough to roll down the window to see why the hell an off duty cop has been chasing me down the street.
He turned out to be a nice guy. "Sorry, buddy! I have some stuff for one of your reporters. You'll save me the drive downtown."
So we both pulled into a parking lot, and he handed me a sheaf of papers after digging them out from under a pile of automatic weapons and body armor in his trunk. I apologized for trying to escape from him, mentioning the questionable people who are always trying to flag me down. He said no problem, the same thing happened to him when he drove a squad car. Huh.
I originally wrote the kind of car the officer was driving when I wrote this, but I guess I don't want to "out" the guy on the internet. I never asked what was in that file, but if an off-duty cop is handing off papers to an investigative reporter at 10:00 at night, its probably not a press release for the Police Department barbecue. So that's how those reporters get those juicy stories, I remember thinking.