Monday, October 25, 2010

25 OCT 10: Tag, You're Not It

The Saturday night run was magnificent - 3.7 miles, my longest non-stop run since the opening weekend of 2009. Part of it took me down Broadway, where I hope I didn't spill sweat drops on any of the couples drinking beer on the sidewalk.

After the run was over, I drove to pick up dinner. But only a few blocks from home, I had a big surprise. Blue lights of a Columbus Police car suddenly flashed behind me. I thought I was carrying corn on the cob, not crack cocaine....

I pulled to the side of Veterans Parkway as soon as the blue lights came on. "I have no idea what I did wrong," I said to myself. For instance, I was within the 30-mile-per-hour speed limit. Did a taillight go out on my humble Honda - joining the cassette player and the odometer?

I pulled out my driver's license and insurance card, and rolled down both side windows a bit. The last time a law officer pulled me over was on Interstate 40 in western Arkansas [30 May 05], and the state trooper went to the passenger's side to avoid passing traffic. This Columbus Police officer apparently was thinner.

"That won't be necessary, sir," the officer said as I reached my identification out the window. Uh-oh - maybe he already knew I was that blogging guy asking questions about the mayor and his alleged godson....

"My Taginator misread your license plate as a W, instead of an M," the officer explained. That certainly can make a big difference -- as big a difference as waking up or making up with the one you love.

"A Taginator? I've never heard of that," I said in response. The police officer didn't explain what it was. Perhaps new officers have to learn how to hold it right side up?!

Obviously a Taginator had to be something which reads license plates - but what, exactly? An online search Sunday didn't help me at all. Taginator is a registered trademark - but for a graffiti removal product. I know my car needs washing, but it doesn't look THAT bad.

All I can guess is that "Taginator" is police slang for something which compares license plates with a law enforcement database. Apparently someone with a tag number close to mine is wanted for some reason. But the officer didn't hint at what it might be. I played "don't ask, don't tell" with him, presuming that's the latest guidance from federal courts.

One thing which might have confused the Taginator is the fact that my car is so old, it still has a six-character license plate. Newer tags in Georgia have moved on to seven characters. And sometimes I think the people with mysterious "vanity" plates might be the strangest characters of all.

-> Thursday night marked a milestone for us, when it comes to Columbus poker. Follow how we're doing at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

E-MAIL UPDATE: While I'm free and clear in the eyes of police, a reader is pointing the finger over something I wrote Sunday....

Richard…the crack about "special treatment at Howard Johnson's"…in reference to the Heath Jackson stickers…really? You're better than that. Come on!

Ed Bostic

Boomer 95.3

Well, OK -- I did have an internal debate over that one. But some of the sticker abbreviations on cars can leave you taking guesses about their meaning. A "PC" sticker can refer to Phenix City, Panama City, the Progressive Conservative party in Canada - or even a reminder for all National Public Radio employees.

With apologies to all who might have been offended, let's see if we can do better with Sunday's news:

+ The Ledger-Enquirer reported nine leaders of Columbus nonprofit organizations have six-figure salaries. It turns out Muscogee County School Board member Cathy Williams earns more from NeighborWorks Columbus than Teresa Tomlinson did at MidTown Inc. Adele Lindsey will be sitting by her phone today, for an endorsement from Wayne Anthony.

+ The "Truth About Teresa" campaign blog came back from days of a "reboot," claiming the Ledger-Enquirer's review of nonprofit pay missed the point. It contends Teresa Tomlinson promised to take no salary from MidTown Inc. at all, then did so in 2008. So which candidate for mayor will be the first to make that same promise - to pour that salary into that new natatorium?

+ Wachovia Bank signs disappeared across Columbus. All Georgia branches officially become part of the merged Wells Fargo today - and I hope they've moved beyond using that stagecoach to transfer funds.

+ The annual fund-raising Arthritis Walk took place in South Commons. WTVM showed signs reminding us that even dogs can develop arthritis. They might not see the same commercials for Arthritis Pain Formula on Animal Planet, but still....

+ A White County, Georgia couple reported finding a small buffalo in their swimming pool. Aw, c'mon - how can there be buffalo on the loose in Georgia? Did one escape from Ted Turner's backyard?

+ Auburn jumped to number one in the Bowl Championship Series rankings. Given what's happened to top-ranked teams the last three weekends, the University of Mississippi probably will hire extra field security for next Saturday's game.

+ The Atlanta Falcons gave up a big lead in the third quarter, then rallied to sink Cincinnati 39-32. The Falcons won despite Cincinnati's two famous receivers. Chad Ochocinco now has his own breakfast cereal - while Terrell Owens must have been the inventor of the time out.

+ Instant Message to the Columbus Cottonmouths: I'm not sure what you mean by "hockey with a new attitude." But after being outscored 10-3 on opening weekend, maybe it's time to review the old one.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author -- not necessarily those of anyone else in Columbus living or dead, and perhaps not even you.

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