My first roommate in graduate school, I’ll call him McRoomie, had the most harrowing moving experience of all time. McRoomie was one of the sweetest, most mild-mannered people I’ve ever met. He had served in the Peace Corps. He liked children. I actually saw him help a little old lady across the street. I never saw him get mad, even when perhaps he should have. So the fact that this happened to him makes it all the more incredible to me.
McRoomie moved from Georgia to start his graduate studies in New Hampshire. He packed up all his stuff into one of those yellow moving vans and headed to the Granite State with joy in his heart. He smiled as he crossed the New Hampshire border. He paid the toll at the toll booth and thanked the toll taker for taking his money. He drove under an underpass on the highway. On the bridge were a dozen state troopers, with guns. Pointed at McRoomie. This freaked McRoomie out, but perhaps this is the New Hampshire way, he thought.
Not two seconds later, his yellow moving van was surrounded by even more state troopers. Confused, he pulled over, even using his turn signal to do so. A trooper ripped open the door, pulled him out of the car, while a number of other cops trained their guns on him. Slammed up against the moving van, with a gun against his head, the troopers screamed at him. A couple of others ripped open the moving van door and started searching. McRoomie nearly pissed himself with fear. He was so scared that he didn’t even think to question why this was happening to him.
Less than a minute later, the cops searching the van hopped down and said, “It’s not him.”
Down went the guns, away went the cops. The trooper who had frisked him threw his wallet back at him, saying, “Welcome to New Hampshire.”
Quaking in his boots, McRoomie drove very slowly to his new home. It wasn’t until a week or so later that he learned that someone using a yellow moving van had robbed an armored car, killing the driver and his companion (a crime that was never solved).