Improper Display At The Ranch Pen


image via the internet somewhere

Danni getting ready to talk about her books.

Okay, so I don’t know if it’s legal for me to use this image all the time. My knowledge of internet law is pretty weak and I almost expect to be arrested at any moment for it.

But that reminds me of another brush with the law I had one time, so before we start talking about the books, we’ll talk about that.

*A disclaimer: Danni is relatively harmless unless you’re a raccoon. In that case you’d better say your prayers.

We have charming rural weekly newspapers in our area. Desperate for “news” of any kind, they print every name which comes up before the judge for criminal activity–most of which, sadly enough, is drug related–but for light relief, we have the speeding tickets, the fines, the driving without insurance or a seat belt, the occasional poaching, or shooting from the roadway.

The Highway Patrol, or HIPO, sometimes attaches offensive labels–or entertaining, depending on the viewpoint–to the offense when they write the ticket. A farm woman I know once found herself in an embarrassing brush with an boorish doughnut eating clod officer,  similar to my skirmish with the law. This farm lady is super nice and a fine human being who also happens to drive huge tractors and semi trucks with ease, could beat Gramps up, and is what is known as a Plus Sized Woman. Once, her trucking violation appeared in the local newspapers–listed by an insensitive doughnut eating HIPO–as “over weight”. Can you believe that? SO rude. 

So, we press onward to Danni’s brush with the law. One summer day,  with the lawn needing mowed and Gramps having drained every gas can on the place again, Danni loaded her gas can into the back of this good little farm truck  (below) which is used to beat around the country to save fuel and haul small loads such as the little plastic Christmas tree peeping up in the back. (Very cute tree. One of Gramps’ friends wanted it. I don’t know what that says about Gramps’ friends. Or Gramps. He kept forgetting to take it to his friend though, so we just hauled it around all summer until all the color bleached out and it no longer resembled a Christmas tree.)


Danni had seriously meant to put on the new license plate and stuff the current insurance paper in the glovebox, but she kept forgetting. Gramps is apparently not the only one with memory trouble. Anyway, she heads for the farmers’ co-op pumps in town with her gas can. She approaches the hamlet, momentarily forgetting where she is going, and instead of hooking through the back way, she rolls up to the stop sign at the highway.

And across the intersection directly opposite sits a trolling HIPO.

She has to keep revving the motor to prevent it dying at the stop, but she slides down on the seat, trying to escape notice. However, the HIPO has fixed her with an icy stare. Resigned to her fate, she revs the motor and zips toward the co-op pumps a short distance away, pretty sure the turn signal on that side doesn’t work–to add icing to her cooked goose. The HIPO is able to view her battered little transport in all its glory as it roars past at full throttle.

Sure enough, the HIPO pulls up behind her at the pumps. She decides not to get out since it’s quite an ordeal to open the door on that side. Besides, she is probably having visions of her lifeless body stretched on the gravel, shot plumb full of holes.

The officer seems unnecessarily grim as he approaches her window. He may have his hand on his gun holster, it’s hard to say. And seriously? (See picture of Danni above).

HIPO: Do you know why I pulled you over, ma’am?

Danni: Um… 

Her super-sized brain is whirling like a whirligig. Could he have perceived her little truck’s throttle problem as the revved engine challenge of a coy teenage  girl at a Saturday night stoplight? Or was it no turn signals? No tail lights? No brake lights? No seat belt? Broken headlights? The side of the truck caved in by a wild steer? The possibilities seem endless.

HIPO: Your tag’s expired.

Danni: I know. I’m sorry. It’s laying on the shelf at the house.

HIPO: (narrows his eyes. he is not cute like tv cops) Mmhm. Can I see your insurance verification?

Danni: (squirming) Um…

HIPO: You don’t have insurance, do you?

Danni: Yes, I do. It’s with the license plate.

HIPO: No, you don’t have any. You wait here.

Danni: (he really doesn’t look cute at all. quite the opposite.)

The HIPO returns in a few minutes after checking with whomever they check with, but he doesn’t even apologize to Danni for finding out she wasn’t lying. He just tears off a warning from his pad and hands it to her with instructions to put on her new plate and carry the insurance card from now on, or else.

Then he leaves and she looks at the warning–Improper Display. Seriously? What if he had written a ticket instead of a mere warning and that had hit the newspapers?

“Danni McGriffith, ultra-conservative Christian wife, mom, grandma, writer lady, Christmas tree lover, etc, up on improper display charges. Arresting officer goes blind…”

Well, anyway. Thank you, Ossifer Officer, for not writing me a ticket. I would’ve NEVER, EVER lived that down. (And neither would’ve you.)

Okay, now for the books. For Friday’s post, I’ll try to talk about how my book about a dashing cowboy and his dumb love interest Kate turned into a book called The Cedar Tree, over twenty years in the making. Also, my two books, The Cedar Tree and Agnes Campbell’s Hat–historical fiction for the younger set–are scheduled for free download on Amazon today and Wednesday. If you don’t have a Kindle to read the books, Kindle apps are available for any smartphone and also for your computers and tablets.

I appreciate your kind remarks, comments, and reviews on the books more than I can ever say, and until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy one of my favorites, The Peasall Sisters doing Where No One Stands Alone.

*These artists don’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just like ‘em.

Sign up for email updates from The Ranch Pen in the box at the top of the sidebar, or follow with bloglovin’ or feedly–handy tools to corral all the blogs you follow.
Follow on Bloglovin
follow us in feedly

6 thoughts on “Improper Display At The Ranch Pen

    • Yeah. I’m glad I haven’t seen your name, yet. I keep looking. You might let the nephew read and take notes. (About showing up in the paper, not improper display necessarily, but that couldn’t hurt, either.) 🙂

  1. Thanks for the laughs, Nana! There’s nothing quite like living where your businesses is everybody else’s as well. Unfortunately, the traffic violations in the paper are far from the only source of fodder for the community’s imagination and/or gossip chain. I cringe at the thought of getting pulled over, and having every Tom, Dick, and Harry hear my information ran over the scanner. Especially by a county officer. I have a certain brother-in-law that might rib me about it afterwards. (Afterward? Afterwards? Does it matter?)

    • I fear your brother-in-law would rib you afterward, and afterwards, forevermore 🙂 (And btw, I don’t know about the afterward question without looking it up.) I think I would’ve nearly had any other citation than for improper display!

  2. Well, I’m glad your improper display didn’t make it into the papers. Now it’s just on your blog for all the cyber world to see–though I’m sure your spin on the story is far more accurate than the HIPO’s. Thanks for the chuckle. Needed that.

Go ahead, make my day. Add your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s