Not really hiding in plain sight

I have nothing in general against traffic cops. Usually they do an important job. I have a friend who volunteers in the traffic police. And I had a few opportunities to talk to traffic cops, both on and off duty, who were fine people.

But sometimes…

Last night, driving back home, I saw a traffic police car near the lanes on the other direction. It was on a highway, with two lanes going in each direction, separated by a short fence.

The car was positioned in a way that made it look like an ambush position. There was a fence (some large standing metal fence, from construction work in the area) that reached to the roof of the car, hiding it from the road. From back on the lane you couldn’t see the car, nor from the side.

I could see it clearly, because I was driving from the other direction. Can’t have that one blocked, or the car won’t be able to rush forward into the road when they’ll catch someone doing something bad (which at these hours, on that road, would be pretty limited to driving too fast in an open and clear highway, but that’s beside the point).

So far it sounds fair enough, and pretty standard. The car is hidden so people won’t slow down especially because the cops are there, and there was probably a speed meter somewhere up the road.

Except for one small detail. The fence reached, as I wrote, to the roof of the car. But the car, as police cars do, had a flashing siren installed on top of it’s roof. Flashing blue and red lights. Which was higher than the fence.

Nobody coming through that highway could have seen the car, but the lights were visible from far away. Very visible.

Which struck me as totally stupid. What’s the point of hiding if you don’t hide completely? What sort of an ambush is this? And they had to want to hide, or they could have stood in some other place not obscured by that fence. It only went for a few meters.

It’s like 4 years old kids, who think that if they can’t see you then you can’t see them. It’s not uncommon to find kindergarten kids simply covering their eyes with something, and then assuming that you can’t see them.

Maybe these specific traffic cops, or whoever put them there, were that smart.

And then I thought of another possibility. It could be on purpose, an ironic gesture that appealed to their sense of humour. I could recognize that humour, because I shared it once myself.

I was once on a trip, with a group of people, and the guide was someone who annoyed me. So when we had to clear some area, I decided to check what impression did I give the guide. How stupid did she think I personally was. So I stood behind a large lamppost, which hid my face and most of by body, but my hands were very visible from the sides. And I waited.

Soon enough I found out. She told me, explicitly, that “Just because you can’t see me, doesn’t mean I can’t see you. Don’t be silly.”

Which left me, for some reason, very amused.

So maybe this was like that, with these specific cops wondering if people will notice, and really think they’re too stupid to know.

You don’t see the humour, right? Doesn’t strike your ironic streak? Well, there’s a reason for it. A good reason. Related to some minor detailed I omitted from my story. The group were my mates in kindergarten, the guide was our kindergarten teacher, and I was about 4-5 years old, though an intelligent smartass 4-5 years old.

My sense of humour improved (OK, OK, let’s settle for changed) since. But it’s possible these specific traffic cops weren’t as stupid as a 4 years old, but rather had the sophisticated humour of an intelligent 4 years old. Could be.

Not much of an improvement, though.

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