Have you ever been in a situation where you wished you had remembered to throw your camera in your bag? You are quite safe in the knowledge that without verifiable proof, nobody will ever believe what was actually witnessed? I had such an occasion very late last evening on the mean streets of North Miami. Oh, how I wished I had carried my camera!
The Husband and I ventured out into the balmy South Florida night at around 1:00 am to retrieve The Progeny who were flying into Miami International from the frozen tundra. We are located much closer to Fort Lauderdale, but given airfare at this time of year, Miami was a much cheaper alternative. Given the weather nightmares that are occurring all across the continent, the boys' flight was about an hour behind its scheduled arrival, and as such we found ourselves traversing the still busy Miami roadways at this ungodly hour. (It is truly unbelievable to me what can be done at 1:00 am. We could have eaten at any number of diners, drive-ins or dives, shopped at the local Walmart for those last minute "just can't live without" holiday items, taken in the early show at the strip club up the street, had our prescriptions filled at Walgreen's, bought a fifth of anything at the liquor store and done our banking at the drive through! We are Canadians. Our cities close at ten. We aren't accustomed to all of this conspicuous commercialism. My American friends have learned to thrive in a 24/7 world, while my country-people are more the 12/5 type! But, I digress.) As we headed west along Hallandale Beach Boulevard towards the entrance to I95 south, we noticed that there was an increased police presence on the roadways. Given that it was 1:00 in the morning, The Husband and I found this little occurrence quite comforting. I mean, this is the city where last week a husband and wife attacked each other with kitchen knives! The police were out in full force. In the span of a few miles we noticed cars from both Aventura and Hallandale. Three cop cars all within our vision. As we approached the final traffic light before our turn onto the highway, we found ourselves parallel with a solo officer in a marked Aventura cruiser. We noticed that he was busy punching something into his onboard computer touch screen; checking a suspicious license plate, no doubt. As we pulled up even with this joker, we saw what it was that was really eating into his concentration. This dedicated "keeper of the peace" was playing Microsoft Solitaire online. The Husband and I looked at each other incredulously and just broke out into gales of laughter. We couldn't stop. My asthma kicked in and it took me a good few minutes to breathe properly. This was a classic example of our tax dollars at work. I remarked that I wished that I had my camera, but the husband noted that perhaps taking a flash picture at 1:00 in the morning of a cop with a gun "doing his duty" might not be the smartest move in the world. They do have a tendency to shoot first and question later. It is interesting to note that at least they have made an effort to train these officers in computer literacy. What's next? Tetris?