A friend once told me about sitting on an airplane in Dallas, waiting for his non-stop flight to Los Angeles to take off, when a woman sitting nearby asked him, “Are you going to LA?”Now, this kind of thing doesn’t happen often in real life. At least not to me. People don’t normally hand you a perfect straight line right out of the blue like that. Despite Bill Engvall’s ‘Here’s your sign’ claims, I think he makes most of that stuff up.Once in a while you get lucky. I was in an auto parts store recently, and after I’d made my purchase and left, I remembered something else I needed. This happens all the time with people who own Jeeps. There is no way to ever get all the stuff you want, no matter how hard you try. They just keep making more stuff. So I walked back into the store and the clerk said, “Did you forget something?” This evidently happens to Jeep people more often than others. I base this statement mostly on a newsletter I received recently from the Jeep Forum, which is a website designed to enable Jeep people to waste time online when they’re not wasting time messing with their Jeeps.The newsletter had a section called ‘The dumbest thing a cop has said to you while driving your CJ.’ This calls for a little bit of explanation, for those who have not joined the Jeep clan and learned the secret handshake.When the U.S. military adopted the jeep in 1941 it was designated a General Purpose Vehicle, hence GP, hence the acronym ‘jeep,’ supposedly. Military jeeps are not capitalized, and civilian ones are, for some reason.When the first Jeeps were offered for sale to the public in 1944, they were called CJs, which may or may not stand for Civilian Jeep, depending on who you believe. The CJ was made until 1986, and then was replaced by the Wrangler.The YJ Wrangler was made from 1987 through 1995, and it’s the only Jeep that has square headlights, which caused a huge uproar when it came out. YJ doesn’t stand for anything, necessarily. Some refer to it as Yuppie Jeep, but yuppies don’t stand for anything, necessarily.No Wranglers were made in 1996, because the company was changing over to the new body style of the TJ, which was made from 1997 through 2006. All Wranglers made from 2007 on are JKs. Unless they’re the Unlimited model, which is an LJ. Postal Jeeps are called DJs, are 2-wheel-drive, and usually have the steering wheel on the right side. But not always.Anyway, the Jeep Forum people asked readers to send in their CJ stories, probably because a lot of CJs on the road are beat up and attract rude comments. But Jeepers of all types, not just CJ owners, wrote in about the dumbest things cops had said to them when they were stopped. And just to be clear, and to keep from getting a bunch of tickets during the next several months, some of my best friends are cops. But they are also people, so they say some funny stuff sometimes, like the rest of us. Besides, a lot of the stories were sent in by cops.One fellow wrote in that he and some buddies were on their way home from a run to a store one evening in a retired DJ, when the front passenger opened his door for some reason, and it fell off in the road. I once had a DJ, so that didn’t surprise me.This happened right in front of a police station, so these guys had an audience. They did a U-turn, picked up the door, put it on top of the Jeep, did another U, and headed on home. Within a short distance they were stopped - for driving too slow.The cop walked up to the guy in the left seat, where there was no door, and asked for his license and registration. The guy asked why, as he wasn’t driving. The cop asked for it again, and the guy again said he wasn’t driving. This went on for a while, with the cop getting pretty upset, until he shone his light in and noticed the DJ’s steering wheel was on the right side. So he said, “Quit messing around and put the steering wheel back where it belongs.”Another fellow said he came out of his local Wal-Mart and found a cop car parked behind his old CJ. The cop was standing there being yelled at by a woman, who had told the cop that the Jeep driver had put a huge door ding in her car with his door, earlier in the day, and then drove off. This CJ currently had no doors.When he pointed that out, the cop asked, “Could you have done it accidentally?” The Jeeper asked what door he could have done it with. This went on for a while, also, until the cop finally understood that you have to have a door to inflict a door ding.My friend on the flight to LA? He turned to the woman, smiled, and said, “Here’s your sign.”I don’t think she got it . . .
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who owns his own sign. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or firstname.lastname@example.org