We’ve all dealt with speed traps at one point or another. Here’s a tale of a rather unique way a small, unnamed town tried to generate money.
As I was driving along a country road, I passed by a rather unusual speed limit sign:
BAT OUT OF HELL
I thought “this is great” and opened it up. I was crusing somewhere around 110 mph when I saw the flashing red & blue lights in the rear-view mirror.
“What seems to be the problem, Officer?” I asked, handing over my license and registration.
“You were going faster than a bat out of hell.” He said, handing me the citation.
Fast forward to traffic court, and I have the officer on the stand.
“What was the speed limit on the stretch of highway were you cited me for speeding?”
“You can’t go faster than a bat out of hell on that stretch of the road.” The locals in the audience chuckled.
“Ok. How fast does a bat out of hell go?” Apparently no one had asked him that before – out of towners like myself ususally just pay the ticket. But those of you who know me, know that’s not my style.
“Ummmm…I dunno. Pretty damn fast.”
“And how fast was I going?”
“Pretty damn fast.”
“Your honor, I move to dismiss. The officer’s testimony indicates that I was going no faster than a bat out of hell.”
The judge looked at the officer, then at me, shrugged his shoulders and said, “I guess you’re right. Case dismissed.”
Well, a couple of months later, I was going down that same country road, past that same “Bat out of Hell” speed limit sign, and pulled over by that same trooper, who handed me the same citation. “I got you this time.” he said as he handed me the ticket. “I did my research. You’re not going to make a fool out of me on the stand again.”
Fast forward to court, and I asked the trooper how fast is a bat out of hell. He was ready.
“I looked it up on the internet and bats can fly up to 60 miles per hour.You were going a hell of a lot faster than 60.”
“Well, were those bats on the internet flying out of hell?”
“Were they flying out of hell, or just flying around?”
“The article didn’t say.”
“Have you ever used your radar gun on a bat out of hell?”
“Have you ever seen a bat fly out of hell?”
“So you have no idea of how fast a bat out of hell flies, don’t you?”
The officer squirmed once again, “no.”
Fast-forward to last month. They changed the speed limit sign. This time it read:
PRETTY DAMN FAST
So I opened it up again, and again met with my favorite trooper.
“What seems to be the problem, now, Officer?”
“You were going too damn fast.” he tore the ticket off and tossed it at me, along with my license and registration. “see you in court!”
So, once again I am in court. I can’t tell if the judge is bemused with me, or somewhat chagrined that I’m depriving the town of income. Anyway the officer testifies,
“The speed limit on that stretch of highway is pretty damn fast, and the defendant was going too damn fast.”
“Ok,” I said, “did you use your radar gun?”
“And how fast was I going, according to your radar gun?”
“A hundred and ten.”
“Now, you pulled me over a few months ago, for going faster than a bat out of hell. Do you remember that?”
“And you used your radar gun that time, too?”
“And how fast was I going then?”
“The same, a hundred ten.”
“And, if you recall, when you testified in that matter, you said I was going pretty damn fast, correct?
“Yes.” he started to squirm, seeing the handwriting on the wall.
“Your honor, you just heard the officer testify that in both instances I was going a hundred and ten miles an hour. He acknowledged his earlier testimony that a hundred and ten miles an hour is pretty damn fast. The inescapable conclusion is that I was going pretty damn fast this time, too, but not too damn fast. I move to dismiss.”
Chalk another one in the win column.
Yesterday, I came to that same spot. This time the speed limit sign read
Traffic was gridlocked.
OPEN THREAD TIME
ENJOY HUMP DAY
BUT BE CAREFUL ON THE ROAD
& DON’T GO FASTER THAN A BAT OUT OF HELL
*Note: The Zoo does not endorse Geico. But this video is just too funny to pass up for a Hump Day post.