The party was fairly laid-back and a really nice time. As ever, there was plenty of excellent food and company. We got to chat with folks, catch up on things, meet new cool people, geek and joke and hug and talk. I did get some ribbing when chesuli's youngest was obviously flirting with me. We had quite a nice time. Eventually, it was time to head back home, as fizzygeek had to work the next day. We took our usual route west on I-70, and we were cheerfully eating up the miles.
I noticed a splash of orange sparks on the road, and frowned a bit at it, as I dislike people tossing their cigarette butts on the road. Then I noticed a state trooper blow by in the left lane, and noticed the light pattern of another one behind me. As I was in the right lane and doing 67 in a 65, I didn't worry about them particularly. It occurrred to me that it was the end of the month, and perhaps they were trying to trick people into speeding by having one cruiser whiz by and waiting for people to zoom off in its wake. Heh, I wasn't falling for it.
Then the one behind pulled into my lane and flicked on their lights. I quickly checked the usual things (yeah, registration expires next month, but it's valid now) while pulling over. I pulled way over, as is my habit, as the police generally pull over less, shielding your car from the passing traffic, and they don't like to be hung out into the road. As I stopped, the brake pedal mashed to the floor, ick. Maybe the trooper had noticed something about my brake system?
I rolled down my window and got my license ready, but he came around on the passenger's side and rapped on fizzygeek's window. He explained that he had pulled me for throwing a cigarette butt out the window. I explained that I had done no such thing, and he snippily insisted that no other cars were near, so I must be the culprit. I handed him my license and started digging for the registration, again insisting that neither of us smoke, and certainly weren't littering. Then he said he'd just gotten a more important call and couldn't be bothered with a silly littering stop and that we could go on our way.
I waited a bit after he walked away and then explained to fizzygeek that there was a leak in the brake system. We discussed it briefly, mapped out the route in our heads, and decided that it was close enough to limp home at reduced speed on the remaining brake system, with the emergency brake serving as a backup if need be. We stopped at Sheetz on the way to pick up extra brake fluid and top off the system, just in case.
On the way home, we discussed what we would have done if we'd gotten cited for littering. Obviously, I would have taken it to court, and can easily come up with plenty of witnesses that would point out that we don't smoke and never have. I could have pointed out that there are no lighters in the car (not even the blowtorch I usually keep in the trunk, as it's at red_lynx's at the moment). fizzygeek also could have mentioned that there were no cigarettes in the car, nor any tobacco odor (a quite detectable apple odor, though). We were both rather annoyed at being stopped for something we hadn't done. However, I'll be pleased if they start cracking down on people who actually are littering.
We easily made it home safely, and I'll get the brake line replaced. We've been thinking of renting or borrowing a truck for a day to two to move around some stuff that won't fit in either of our cars, it looks like now's the time.