The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

16 October 2003

Digitus impudicus

The impudent finger, as the Romans called it. (Hint: it's not the thumb.) And, in Texas at least, it does not necessarily constitute a breach of the peace.

Two years ago, Robert Lee Coggin was trapped behind a member of the Anti-Destination League on US 183 in Lockhart. Annoyed at this obvious failure to observe Texas lane discipline, he tailgated the miscreant and flashed his lights. The perp, thinking the police were on his tail — Coggin's Chevy Caprice was, at one time, a police cruiser — duly pulled over, whereupon Coggin flew by and allegedly flipped him the bird. Hackles rose, police were called, and Coggin was charged with making an offensive gesture, drawing a $250 fine.

Coggin was sufficiently pissed off at this to try to get his conviction overturned, and the Texas Third Court of Appeals in Austin has now ruled in his favor.

I'm still not going to drive through Austin with a "Tuck Fexas" bumper sticker, though.

(Via Hit & Run)

Posted at 10:00 AM to Almost Yogurt

I'd drive around with one that says "Yuck'n Fankees" but I need to keep this car at least four more years.

Posted by: Vickie at 2:58 PM on 16 October 2003

Chaz, if you showed off that bumper sticker in College Station, Tex., you might get away with it -- but it would need a particular color scheme.

Posted by: McGehee at 5:20 PM on 16 October 2003

I may be misremembering something here, but wasn't there some sort of official court ruling on this particular gesture not meaning anything without an accompanying phrase? Or sumpin?

I guess in North Mexico it doesn't matter.

Offensive? Maybe. Obscene? Possibly. Profane? Nope.

Posted by: Terkish Payne at 4:46 AM on 18 October 2003

My husband Bob Coggin is the man in the aboved mentioned "bird" watching post. I think this has to be our favorite of the articles yet. Right On! Jen

Posted by: Jennifer Coggin at 11:31 AM on 18 October 2003

I almost titled this "Long May He Wave". I guess it's a good thing I didn't.

Posted by: CGHill at 5:46 PM on 18 October 2003