Your Local Napping Outlaw is at it Again–No Sleeping at the Rest Area Either
Yep, it happened again! I was taking a nap in a rest area this time and I experienced the knocking on my window by a man in uniform with a gun. These law enforcement officer wake-up calls are starting to make me a bit paranoid. This time the officer already had back-up on the scene with an ambulance on standby. I thought I would possibly be going to jail since this was my second “nap-caper” in less than a week.
About an hour before the forceful rapping of knuckles on my window, I was sitting in a peaceful field taking photos of eagles. I had the camera set on high zoom and needed to be steady while taking the pics so I sat down and braced my elbows on my knees. [Remember that part because it is important later in the story.] After I filled my camera’s memory card with bird photos and videos I headed back toward town. On the way I stopped at the rest area to use the bathroom. This particular rest area is always clean and the lady attendant is super nice. [I work part-time across the road from the rest area so I am familiar with the facilities.] Since it was getting close to my lunch time and I knew I would be doing desk work the rest of the afternoon I decided to take a quick nap so I could be alert and not fall asleep at my computer. And besides, didn’t the Texarkana Arkansas Police Officer tell me last week that I should sleep at rest areas???
This time when I heard the knocking on my window I at first thought maybe it was my husband playing a trick on me–he works less than a mile from the rest area. I quickly realized that he wouldn’t do that to me because a crabby wife ain’t a happy life. Then I grew fearful of who was on the other side of my window shades. For a second I thought about not answering but the rap on the window was extra hard the second time and was on a different side of my truck. I was surrounded! When I lifted my window shade I saw two officers, an ambulance and another vehicle. The officer asked me what I was doing. Apparently when I first wake up I must not have an obvious I WAS JUST ASLEEP FACE. He told me to step out of the vehicle. Those words are scary even when you haven’t been doing anything wrong. I watch COPS on TV. I know what happens next…I don’t want to eat asphalt! I told the officer that I didn’t have shoes on and he actually seemed kind of surprised. My shoes were in the front floor board where I started out before I climbed in the back to take a nap. My thoughts are…who sleeps with their shoes on??? So I open the door and hang my feet out of the door. The asphalt is going to be too hot for these tootsies…I’ll just sit here if that’s okay.
We went through all the same questions:
Officer: What is your name?
Me: I told him my name then said “Seriously? Is this happening again? Can I NOT take a nap out here. I was booted from Ed Worrell Park last Friday for taking a nap and was told I could sleep at the rest areas.”
Officer: You can. What are you doing out here?
Me: Taking a nap.
Officer: Where do you work?
Me: Radio station.
Officer: I listen to you every morning, how is Wes?
Me: He’s fine. He is going to laugh his @$$ off about this.
Officer: (jokingly) Can I have your autograph?
Some where in the conversation the officer asked me for my ID. I was concerned that my name was once again going out over the scanner so he said they would phone it in. In my neck of the woods when you hear someone’s same name over the scanner it is not a good thing. I asked again if I am allowed to sleep at the rest area and told him briefly about what happened last week. He said it was okay to sleep in the rest area and that’s when he told me that someone phoned in a person laying in the middle of the road so they were just checking on my welfare. Then it hit me. Earlier when I was taking my bird photos, I heard someone stop behind my truck on a 4-wheeler but I was in the middle of a video so I didn’t turn around. I figured they would call out to me if for some reason my presence was in question. Instead they phoned authorities who had to drop more important matters to search for “a person laying in the middle of the road.” Although I am not quite sure how it came to be that the officers found me at the rest area unless that other vehicle that was on ‘the scene’ when I woke up was the person that was on the 4-wheeler earlier and he described my truck. Or, my luck my plate number was called over the scanner. All I know is lately trying to get a nap on the Arkansas side of State Line is becoming a pain in the butt.
Everyone at ‘The Scene’ was super nice. They were very professional yet personable and I appreciate being checked on I guess. We all had a good laugh and Officer Bui told me to go back to sleep. There is just something about waking up to people in uniform surrounding your vehicle that squashes the happy thoughts of taking a nap.