Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

A couple of years ago, Joanne and I took a vacation to Canada. We flew to Seattle, rented a car and drove all around the western half of the country, from Vancouver up through Banff. Towards the end of the trip, I was zooming along some random Canadian highway -- they use that kooky metric system thing up there, so I've got no idea how fast I was actually going -- when a man suddenly stepped off the shoulder directly in front of me, into the middle of my lane.

I think I said, "Eep."

As I bore down on him at something like seven thousand cubits per deciliter, he -- very authoritatively -- pointed his hands at me then at the shoulder, twice, in two sharp, sweeping motions. As I roared by, he deftly stepped out of the way and I noticed that he was wearing a uniform. He was a cop. Apparently actually chasing down speeders is too sedate for the thrill-seeking Canadian fuzz.

I pulled over and he came trotting up and asked for all my papers. I handed them over and he began filling out the ticket.

"Hey," I said. "How, um, do I pay this? Can I just sent dollars? I mean, American dollars? Real dollars?"

"Where are you folks from?" he said.

"The U.S.," I offered helpfully. "Ah. Los Angeles."

"Do you visit often?" he asked.

"Oh, no," I said. "This is our first trip. We're just tourists."

He tore the ticket out of his book and handed it to me. "Then I'd just forget about it," he said. "Don't bother. You'll have a record in Canada, but if you never come back..." He then nodded and headed back to bush he must have been hiding behind, to scare the crap out of the next guy to come by.

Those Canadians. They must be new at this law-enforcement thing. (Second item.)

Hi there! My name's GREG KNAUSS and I like to make things.

Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic and Buzz Clock), Web sites (like the Webby-nominated Metababy and The American People) and stories (for Web sites like Suck and Fray, print magazines like Worth and Macworld, and books like "Things I Learned About My Dad" and "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard").

My e-mail address is I'd love to hear from you!

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