We had our first winter storm here in Brookline for quite some time. Not really a storm, just some ice and a couple inches of snow. My wife, God bless her, agreed to take the kids to school this morning so I could meet a friend for coffee down the block. She even went out and scraped her own car off, something I would have done for her if I hadn’t still been in my PJs.
When I did make it outside a half hour later I realized that she had taken our only scraper (my fault not hers). I tried removing the ice and snow with my glove but that proved completely ineffective. Some light fluffy snow covered a good half inch of ice. Inside I looked everywhere for another scraper without luck finally resorting to the first hardcover book I could find to do the trick. I scraped the front and side windows the best I could and jumped in to go meet my friend, already late.
The roads were slick so traffic had backed up on the downhill I would normally take to get to Panera, so I looped around. Just after taking the final corner I noticed a cop flashing his lights at me to pull over. “Do you really think you can see out that back window?” he asked.
I mumbled as I look back at the ice-covered rear window, flummoxed by even the idea that you can get a moving citation for insufficient scraping of your windows. I finally said something about being on my way to buy a scraper while holding up my now destroyed copy of Richard Price’s Samaritan.
The cop softened just a bit. “Okay I will make a deal with you. If you get out of the car and clean off your back windshield the best you can with that book I will make it a warning rather than a ticket.” I mumbled assent while still thinking to myself, I had no idea you could get a ticket for insufficient scraping…
At coffee, I showed my buddy the citation and told him how when I was the divorced father of two babies I used to go get my kids on Friday night and have to patrol the Back Bay for a parking spot. Snow made the whole thing basically impossible. “One time I drove around for a half an hour but the kids were crying and hungry so I ultimately just parked the car on top of a snow bank sticking way out into Commonwealth Avenue and left. No one seemed to care. The next day it was right where I left it.”
“Yeah, that’s the difference between city cops and town cops,” my buddy told me laughing at the scraping ticket.
Now I know. Always scrape really well or risk getting pulled over.
I haven’t gotten a scraper yet (they were all out at the hardware store) but Richard Price is still riding shotgun in case I need him in a pinch.