We all like to take our pride and joy out cruising. There is nothing like taking your own truck out on the highway and driving the hell out of it. We aren't necessarily kids anymore, but we are the big boys and these trucks are our toys.

That is the reason I built my '74 Chevy, to drive something cool that will separate me from everyone else. My kick-ass Chevy will make even grandmas drop their jaws at my lowness. It is definitely a head-turner, and it just gives me a thrill when I take it out every morning. When it's transplanted ZL1 turns over in the brisk cold air, the rumbling sound scares all the alley cats to run and hide. I shift it into First gear and blast out on my daily route to work. It ain't too much, but it gets me where I'm going in good fashion.

But, the local law enforcement doesn't feel the same about it as I do. I think in a way they are jealous of us truck guys and try to find excuses to take our dreams away from us. If we are not speeding or creating any moving violations, then why do the cops pull us over for altering anything from the factory? If it doesn't hinder any safety feature, then there is no reason to waste both of our time over stupid issues. I can't even recall how many times I have been pulled over for not having a front license plate. The stupid part of those tickets is that I just pop it on and haul over to the CHP to sign it off, because they do it free, and then I mail in the signed ticket plus the 10 dollar processing fee. I'm sure they aren't really making money off me or even ensuring that my truck is safe on the road. It is a waste of time and our tax money.

I'm not just rambling on about cops versus trucks; I am speaking up for us truck folk that have become victim of the local Five-O killjoy. Though I feel for our city's finest for protecting and serving, some of this nonsense just has to end. You want examples of how bad the cops can be? I've got plenty. I actually had to sell my last truck because I received so many fix-it tickets from one cop for modifications that I couldn't reverse. Think I'm joking? Read on.

When the construction business is booming, I end up driving all over the state to get to work, a different job site in a different city every day, so I rarely see the same cop twice. But, when I'm not armed with my trusty nail gun, I am a bouncer at a bar called the Rusty Bucket, which is not more than a mile from my house. It's on the same street as my house, so I just drive a few blocks straight there. The problem with that is that I tend to drive right past the local pig pen-oops, I mean, police station-every time I head to the bar. Last summer, I was rollin' a hoopty '87 Mazda mini-truck, with a weak four-banger under the hood, but a boomin' system in the X-Cab and a fully shaved body. It was painted a sweet shade of blue, and I thought I was the man whenever I was at the wheel. However, Officer Keller thought differently each time I passed him on the way to work.

Now, I have to say that I neither dragged the Mazda on the ground nor did I bump the Beastie Boys whenever I drove by. I may be fearless but I'm not dumb. No, I simply cruised on by at the speed limit, and for that, Keller decided to pull me over and harass me, not once but eight times in one month. It started out with small citations like for having no front license plate and tinted windows. I got those tickets signed off with no problems at a different station. But, soon, he upped his game a few notches and really lit into me with citations that were way harder to get signed off. Finally, he popped me a block from my house and sat me on the curb, while he cited me for every violation he could find in his vehicle code book. Everything about my truck was deemed illegal by Officer Keller, from the airbag suspension to the shaved corner lights. I was doomed. I could remove the airbags, but I couldn't replace the front corner lights in my freshly shaved and painted fenders. In the end, I racked up $1,200 dollars in tickets and was forced to sell my mini because Keller was going to impound it and have my license suspended the next time he saw me driving it.

So, there you have it, another case of a sport truck owner getting knocked down by the law. It could just as well happen to you or maybe it has and you can relate to my heartaches over this fiasco. Us truck guys are usually not out to cause trouble or create problems by getting out of line. So, if there are any of lawmen out there reading this column, really think about letting us cruise on with our minor violations. We are not to be stereotyped into being a bunch of punks looking to cause havoc; we're just having fun with our trucks. Keep it real and stay low-key from the law.