And Then I Got Irate With An Undercover Cop

Only me!

Yesterday, I met a friend for a little get together at the most northern tip of Orange County.

Under normal circumstances, going “up north” would not be a big deal …

It’s only about a 40 minute drive from my house during non-rush-hour drive time.

Photo:  Bikes on a pier

However, things went awry on my way home.

Moments after I left my friend, as I walked down the street,

An elderly man started yelling and waving his fist at me.

I was standing on a sidewalk, waiting to cross the street.

I realize, the man either thought I was someone else,

Or more likely –

He wasn’t “all there” mentally.


It kind of threw me out of whack.

It’s not every day when a total stranger walks up and starts yelling, swearing, and shaking his fist at me.

I was a bit discombobulated by it.

Being yelled at never feels good, even (especially?) when you haven’t done anything wrong.

(Also?  I love the word discombobulated!  Do YOU like the word discombobulated?  Try saying it a few times …!)

I tried to shake off the odd being yelled at by a random stranger experience, but it kind of deflated my Happy Bubble from visiting with my friend.

I’d just spent a few hours laughing, and giggling, and being silly.

Being yelled at, for doing nothing, came out of left field.

I began my drive home.

Within minutes I was locked in a traffic jam like I’ve never seen, and I’m from Southern California.

Traffic wasn’t moving AT ALL.

It wasn’t rush hour, and it wasn’t “normal” traffic.

I knew there must be a bad accident somewhere waaaaay ahead of me.

And ok, I admit it  –

I was irritated by the traffic.

I had timed my departure to avoid spending much time on the freeways, and it was clearly going to be an exceptionally bad drive home.

True, I was probably more irritated than I would have been if a stranger hadn’t just yelled and sworn at me while I innocently stood on a sidewalk.

Finally, the car in front of me inched forward.

I started to do the same, when a plain white (unmarked!) sedan cut me off.

I had to slam my brakes on to avoid hitting it, and I was driving really slooooooow.

Irritated by the driver who cut me off so closely,

I honked.


After all, I’m not a fan of careless drivers.


What’s the point of a “little” honk?

Little honks don’t get the point across.

I might have said, “Fucking idiot” too.

(My windows were rolled up so unless Fucking Idiot was looking right at me, he probably didn’t know what I called him.)

Obviously, I’ve been spending too much time in L.A. lately, because I’m starting to drive like an Angelino.

And then ….

As I glared at him,

Fucking Idiot turned his police lights on.

Mind you, the police lights weren’t on top of the car like a normal police car.

No, this was an unmarked, undercover, sedan and the lights were inside the car –

(They only showed up when they were turned on.)

Mr. Policeman gestured to me as if to say, “Sorry.”

Or maybe, “Fuck you, lady.  I’m a cop.”

Then he sped down the carpool lane and out of sight.

I later learned a big rig truck had been in an accident with three other cars.

The freeway I was on was shut down in both directions for a long, long, time.

(I eventually was able to inch over, exit the “closed” freeway and take surface streets back to South County.)

I haven’t heard if anyone was hurt in the accident, but I really, really, hope not.

(I may not have ever mentioned this before, ahem, but I was in a serious car accident myself a few years back.)

By the way,

It took me THREE HOURS to get home from my “forty minute trip.”

I’m still wondering if honking and swearing at a policeman is against the law?

Could I have gotten a ticket (or worse)?

18 Responses to “And Then I Got Irate With An Undercover Cop”

  1. joanne

    NO, you were right, idiot cop should have turned his lights on FIRST, so you could have known he needed to go.He was probably on his way home anyway

  2. Diane

    I’ve seen so many cops racing down roadways without their lights flashing… makes me want to HONK and HONK at them. Not sure if you can get a ticket for that, although in some states it may be considered aggressive driving behavior.

  3. Jan's Sushi Bar

    I thought you were going to tell us the man yelling and shaking his fist at you was the undercover cop, and you became part of some sort of bizarre sting operation.

    I’m kind of disappointed.

  4. Gaelyn

    What an unusual day. Of course I’d be staying away from LA. I hate the traffic there any time of day. But two assholes in one day is a little over the top.

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      I’ve managed to avoid L.A. for most of the last 20 years. For some reason, in the last year I’ve had more and more reasons I’ve needed to make the trip up north.

  5. Laura M

    Sadly, you could have gotten a ticket (eh hem, I got “in trouble” once, but jut got a warning” but it’s only if they are marked and if they do it while they are marked. I would assume since he wasn’t marked he couldn’t have done anything about it. (except it is against the law to honk unless it’s an emergency-that too I sadly found out lol -but only when I was a teenager a very very very long time ago lol) Im sure he was just in a hurry to get to the scene and hopefully felt bad about it.
    I know what you mean about that horrible STOP traffic in LA. One time from OC to Bakersfield instead of 2 1/2 hrs it took me 7hrs because there were 4 MAJOR accidents and sadly there are no alternate routes between the two points. Those suck. Sorry you got stuck in one. That’s the only thing I DO NOT miss about OC and LA area is the traffic! (or the people in the traffic lol)

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      Yep – the traffic sucks. When there’s a “sig-alert” you know your day is over!
      (As was the case in my situation this time!)

  6. Denise

    I went up to the Bay Area to a horse show this week. I used to live there but moved away 10 years ago. I am no longer used to the traffic and it was not anywhere near what you have down in your part of the state. Sitting at metering lights to get on the freeway, inching forward to transition from one freeway to another….not for me. I was so glad to hit the point south of Salinas where it all opens up and I could just drive.

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      When I visited SF not long ago, I rented a car. There was a lot of traffic (and confusing one way streets!), but I have to say it was nowhere near as bad as L.A. At least not while I was out and about.

  7. Shawna

    I got stuck in the same deal! This was a day my phone was smarter than me! As I was leaving Irvine, the traffic app on my phone kept trying to re-route me to all these bizarre surface streets and by the time I figured out the freeway was shut down and my phone had it right, I was camped. Took me 4 hours and some very aggressive exit strategies to get home! Although I didn’t tangle with any cops undercover or obvious! That’s something only you could manage to find! LOL!

  8. Linsey D

    Hi 24:
    Enjoy your blog very much. I was in the same traffic jam, but going the other direction. Took me 1 hour and 45 minutes to get from Lake Forest to Huntington Beach (normally about half an hour). I did see a convertible Jaguar so that was pretty cool.

  9. Auntie Pam

    Your word is, indeed, a fine one. My favorite is recapitulation. I never do a recap.



Comments are closed.