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Apparently, I had been speeding down a South Carolina highway without wearing my seatbelt (uncharacteristic, I swear) and couldn’t provide a logical answer to a state trooper’s question, “So where you heading?” My conundrum was I didn’t know where I was heading. I was searching the countryside for a logging crew, any logging crew to photograph. I had just written an article, in fact my first ever as a freelancer, for Grit magazine on forest management, and the editor wanted photos to accompany it. The state trooper doubted my story and asked me to exit the car and follow his finger with my eyeballs without moving my head. Then he proceeded to tell me to recite the alphabet backwards from M.

You try.

It’s difficult, even sober. I was sober but petrified because my story sounded ridiculous. After walking a line, toe to toe, which isn’t so easy either under the gaze of a lawman, the trooper asked if he could search my backpack in the passenger’s seat. I consented thankfully. If not, I might have been escorted to the slammer. In that backpack was a copy of William Zinsser’s On Writing Well and about a year’s worth of Writer’s Digest. After that, the trooper handed me a seatbelt violation and let me go on my aimless way.

Today I use that same backpack to tote beekeeping stuff. It contains, among other things, a crowbar-looking thing with a little hook on the end that looks like a perfect tool for burglary. I have a grafting tool that looks like a lock pic and an unlabeled ziplock bag of a white powdery substance. In my truck bed is a long metal wand that I can hook to my truck battery to volatilize my white powdery substance. I reek of smoke. If stopped by a state trooper today, I would soon be sitting behind bars until the lab results came back showing oxalic acid.

Read full article here: Self Incrimination — BEEKeeping: Your First Three Years