I bring my camera with me almost everywhere. Heck, I have my camera on me so often that even I think it's weird. That's just how I do. Of course tonight I went out to dinner and left Gladys behind. Yes, my camera has a name. It's very romantic. Anyway, I left my camera home tonight and what happens? Awesome happens; that's what.
On the way home, we stop at a light where an unmarked car is shaking down a cardboard sign carrying panhandler by the side of the highway—in Cherry Hill. The cop, who we'll call Rosco, is pulled over right in the middle of the exit onto Route 38, just about here. The panhandler is a big fella: a young white guy of the roundish persuasion, dressed a little too well to be taken for homeless, and with the kind of chin-beard that suggests he may indulge in the marijuana on occasion. We'll call him Cartman.
Rosco gives our bearded friend, Cartman, the routine hassle cops reserve for when you're doing something dumb and annoying that probably isn't against the law in any technical sense. Then he gets back in the car to have dispatch check for outstanding warrants, recent shenanigans, and so forth. While Rosco's on the horn with Cletus and Enos, I see our hero getting twitchy and starting to survey his situation. He's getting the look. If you've ever been a young hooligan raising Cain with your hooligan buddies, only to find yourself cornered by the fuzz, you know the look I'm talking about.
The tension is palpable. You can literally palp it. The light turns green. I say to myself, "He's running," and, sure enough, off he goes, like a 6' 2", 230 pound jackrabbit with no belt. Cartman hauls ass across all 4 lanes of highway. He's got one arm behind his back holding his pants up the whole way, and yet, somehow, he is across the street before Rosco even reacts. Cartman's well into the Cherry Hill Mall parking lot as the light changes back to red, and now Rosco is trying to wade his cruiser through traffic to get anywhere near this unlikely Olympian.
It was pretty great, and there I was without my camera.
Run, Forest, run!