Should You Honk At A Police Car That's Not Moving In Front Of You At A Green Light?


Last night I spent about five hours in New Jersey retrieving my car. It’s a 2012 Mazda 6, pretty nice. I call her The Maz-dog. She’s got a long story which I’ll save for another time. Haha just kidding this is a blog, there is quite literally no better place to tell a story.

A long time ago in a text exchange far, far away, Captain Connor of Zero Blog Thirty fame saved my car…

The Beginning

It was fall 2016. Barstool Sports had just relocated to New York City and a young, 29-year-old Riggsy was eager to embark upon a new journey, in a new city, diving headfirst in with new coworkers and new friends. I had always had a car in Boston so when I moved I just drove The Maz-dog to New York. Easy. Perhaps it was the naive Midwesternness in me or perhaps it was just my general lack of awareness of what New York City is like, but I didn’t think parking would be an issue. “They have streets,” I thought. “And streets have parking spaces.”

I spent $550 in towing fees my first month.

The second month, I drove my car up to Boston and left it there. Where exactly? I don’t know. Fun fact: Robbie Fox’s job for the first month as my intern was to find my car. Eventually he did; The Dog was in a tow lot in Boston and I racked up another “low four figs” in towing fees. Parking in NYC is actually problematic.

I trekked up to Boston, retrieved my car, and returned to the city. One night I was out with Captain Connor of Zero Blog Thirty fame telling him the storied history of The Maz-dog. I boasted of its trials and tribulations and also of how proud I was of myself for spending so much time dealing with tow lot employees and not once ending up on the internet berating a single one about their pathetic lives.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t want to.

The next day Connor followed up on my Maz-dog stories to inform me that he has a nice option. The lease for his apartment in Hoboken includes a garage parking space and he doesn’t own a car, so I could set her down there indefinitely.

What a deal. For the past year, I’ve left my car in Hoboken and, when needed, Connor has driven it into the city on his way to work, I meet him for an old-fashioned handoff and we’re ready to rock. It was great.

The Middle


In an unfortunate turn of events, Connor in December was informed by new management that tenants would be forced to pay for the spaces. Our sweet little home for The Maz-dog was disappearing (this definitely isn’t a legally kosher move from management by the way but that’s a story for another time).

I had to have her out by January 1st, so I made my way over to Hoboken for the first time yesterday (February 27th). The dog was dusty. Also, turns out, if you don’t start your car for 5 months it doesn’t work. Not a car guy.

Fortunately, a good friend (shoutout BD) agreed to swing by and help me jump her. We drove to the nearby gas station to buy some cables, tried them out, and they didn’t work so we then waited an hour for the building maintenance guy to show up with real cables (during the wait we shot the shit with another fella we met in the garage about his van company; sounds interesting but, in my opinion, not overly scalable. Curious what Connor and BD thought about it).

Eventually we jumped The dog and got her going. I then Yelp’ed the nearest AutoZone and drove to the one in Jersey City Heights where The dog died in the parking lot. Two hours I spent there scouring the premises for someone that knew something — literally anything — about cars. I began with a low-level employee who, despite being a nice guy with commendable effort and selflessness who works at AutoZone, knew nothing about cars.

With a huge stroke of luck I grabbed the attention of the assistant general manager just before close. He poked around, determined I needed a new battery, and $194 later The dog and I were on our way (also, I tipped both employees $20 and said, “I know it’s not much, maybe grab dinner on me or something,” which I thought was a pretty sweet line).

The End

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I reached a red light just shy of the Holland Tunnel and pulled up behind a police car. We waited about 30 seconds then the light turned green, as stoplights do.

One second went by, no movement from the cop car.

Three seconds went by, no movement from the cop car.

I started to get impatient. Three seconds may not sound like much but when you’re stopped at a green light it’s an eternity. I think legally you get shot in Boston after a half-second hesitation and here we were encroaching on four. It was crazy.

Five seconds went by, no movement from the cop car.

What the hell is going on? Is everyone okay? Should I honk? Is it insane to honk at a police car? Is this a test? For whatever reason I had totally missed what society has deemed acceptable in this situation. It could be 100% fine to honk or it also could be one of those things where I hit the horn and five hours later I’m lying shirtless on the jail cell floor watching the biker gang take turns dropping deuces on the exposed toilet. I just didn’t know what to do.

Weirdly, I put my car in reverse and VERRRRYYYY slowly backed up about 5 feet, turned into the lane to the right of the cop car, and drove around it. I was tempted to look in and see what the hell was going on but eye contact is a must avoid in this situation. I had assessed the situation and determined that by the time I got around and past the police car, it’d be a spectacle for them to pull me over. It’d have to be done right at the entrance to the tunnel or in the tunnel, which would bring all of New York City to a halt.


So I irked past with my hands at 10 & 2, eyes ahead, and literally did not until I arrived at my apartment 15 minutes later look anywhere but dead straight ahead (as straight as I could).

Can you honk at a police car? I don’t know. I didn’t, and I lived to tell about it.