Place: Golden Corral
Lunch: Golden Choice Buffet (uh, let see...I had some steak, and chicken, and turkey, and salmon, potato salad, clam chowder, chili, some cookies...), water
There's basically two things to look at as you drive across Nebraska...Cows, and highway patrolmen. The patrolmen are a lot like mosquitoes. They're everywhere. They sit in the medians and look for any excuse to bite. You can drive I-80 from coast to coast and not see another patrol car outside of Nebraska. There was a news story on last night about how somebody came through with a grant to put even MORE of them than normal on the road this weekend.
This morning, the inevitable for anybody who goes through Nebraska regularly happened...I got to meet one. The reason: No front license plate. The car in question? A Hertz rental.
Apparently, Hertz didn't deem the plate necessary. They apparently didn't think leaving the vehicle registration in the glove box was necessary either, but the rental agreement sufficed with the patrolman. I did find a sealed bag full of screws marked "License plate holder" in the glove box.
So the patrolman has me go back to his Crown Vic and asks me all sorts of personal questions. This is sort of a casual interrogation method. The guy clearly thinks I'm up to no good, and he's hoping to twist my words around so he has an excuse to search the car, or worse.
"What do you do for a living?"
"What is your destination?"
"Do you have family there?"
"Why are you going there?"
"Who is traveling with you?"
"What do they do for a living?"
"Where are you originally from?"
"Is that where you're going now?"
"Where are you staying?"
"Are you staying with people or in a motel?"
"Do you have a reservation at that motel?"
Those are not exaggerations. He really asked me those things. And it REALLY bothered me.
I don't think the Kansas Division of Tourism could do more to promote traveling through Kansas on I-70 than Nebraska patrolmen can by making people want to avoid Nebraska completely.
Ultimately disappointed, he gives me a "no-fee violation warning" to give to Hertz for the lack of front plate.
I'll probably bug Hertz to swap cars tomorrow. They WILL be getting an earful from me for putting me in that position.