Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Have you ever been arrested?

This afternoon, I was driving between auditions and was searching for a parking spot near Beverly Drive. The street itself was packed as usual, with all the meters except the odd "15min only" space available. (Insufficent for a commerical audition, which can take anything up to an hour or more) So I drove on and around the block and decided to cross over Beverly on Pico. I crossed over the lights in the inside lane, then spotted a shopping center. Ah, parking!

I indicated my intention to turn right, but as I slowed near the entrance, saw that it was only for Pavilions and, rather than risk getting towed, drove past the entrance, so as not to block it. I then stopped and indicated left to join the traffic again. (I was now caught behind a parked car) When the lane was free, I pulled out and almost immediately a cop car flashed me and pulled me over. Here follows the exchange:

COP: License and registration please.

GID: (handing them over) What's the problem, officer?

: You did a U-turn.

GID: Uh...no I didn't.

COP: You pulled into the parking lot and then performed a U-turn. That's illegal.

GID: But I didn't do a U-turn.

COP: If you travel in an Easterly direction and then turn and travel West, that's a U-turn.

GID: (dumbfounded) But I was never travelling East. I was travelling West the whole time. I crossed over the lights in the inside lane and indicated to turn into the parking. When I saw it was for Pavilions only, I decided not to park there and simply continued past the entrance, so as not to block it. Then I indicated to rejoin the traffic. I waited until it was clear and then pulled out.

COP: (unamused) But you turned into the parking. I saw you had to back up.

GID: (thinking he's in the Twilight zone) I'm sorry but I never turned into the parking. I never engaged the reverse gear. I was in a straight line the whole time.

COP: Maybe I'm seeing things, but I saw you make a U-turn. If you turn into a parking and then turn around and come out again, that's a U-turn.

GID: I understand what you're saying, but I didn't turn into the parking. I was in the same lane the whole time.

COP: Where are you going?

GID: I'm going to a casting on Beverly.

COP: A what?

GID: An audition. At 332 South Beverly.

COP: Where are you coming from?

GID: From another audition in Culver City. Uh.. (checking his diary)..8660 Hayden Place.

COP: Have you ever been arrested?

GID: (blinking in disbelief) No...

COP: (after a beat) Alright... I'm gonna let you go this time. Just back up. Go to your audition.

And the cop walks away. Surreal? Absolutely! This dude was seeing things. Either that, or a similar car actually did pull into the parking shortly before I pulled past and he thought it was the same car. But wow - nothing like a brush with LAPD to make you feel like a smoke. Geez.

I drove to the letter of the law and he makes it sound like he's doing me a favor by not giving me a citation! (Hey- maybe they feel sorry for no-name actors, seeing as the LAPD have their own star on the walk of fame - see pic) Thank heavens he didn't. I know that an illegal U-turn costs you in the region of $500 for the offense, followed by mandatory traffic school (at a fee), plus another $100 to the traffic department for the luxury of attending.

So, a lucky escape, I suppose. But I can't help feeling a little like some creepy guy in a bar touched my privates and then said "I won't press charges...this time."

And, as you all know by now, I'm the one who likes to be creepy.


  1. I'm so sorry! :( Doesn't seem to be your lucky year does it? Cop wouldn't have been Brett Rogers was it?? From the reading, sounds like you handled it the best way possible. Me, I would have asked if he was trying out for the role of Mr. Magoo or does he need a proctologist to find his brain! >:(
    (Well, then he probably would have asked "what is a proctologist?" !!!...I know.. I know...to many syllables. And a BIG "DUH" goes out to the L.A. cop who only works in the Hollywood CAPITAL and doesn't know what a casting is! )
    Then I'd have asked how many similar looking cars were on this street (as he was so observant) and if he caught the manuever on video! ARGH!! Real crimes happen every 3 seconds in L.A. area...and nice to know my tax dollars go to stopping imaginary U-Turns!!! argh, snarl, growl.... I need coffee...

  2. hey, here's a thought...

    Maybe he recognized you on a subconscious level and instead of thinking "say, there's that guy from TV", he thought that you were a menace to society.

    Try to think of him as a misguided fan!