Monday, June 9, 2008

Uh oh...

On a two lane highway in the Midnowhere, Indiana yesterday, I looked in my rearview mirror and saw a slightly less artistic version of this:

Uh. Oh.

I was doing 71 in a 55. 16 over, but certainly not the worst I've done in the middle of corn fields, where everything is straight, flat, and boring as heck.

"Don't say a word!" I said to the kids. I hit the button to roll down the window, then, remembering Jenny's advice, I put my hands on the steering wheel and sat very still. I waited.

"What's the hurry, Ma'am?" he said, without preamble. I hate rhetorical questions. It crossed my mind, briefly, to lie, and say that one of my kids had a terrible fever and we had to get to the hospital, but 1) I believe in karma, and if I used that excuse one of my kids would actually get a fever and then I'd be sorry, and 2) it is too easy, even in 100 degree heat, to tell when kids are sick and when they're not. Besides, why would we have been in Nowhereville, Indiana, where I don't even know where the nearest hospital is, instead of heading home? I decided to follow Jenny's advice. "Officer, I am so sorry, I just got distracted and didn't realize how fast I was going (and that you were right behind me!!)" Ok, I just thought the part in italics.

"I'm going to need your license and registration."

"Shit," I thought. Thank God the kids were quiet. My hands were still on the wheel. "May I get my license out of my purse, Sir, is that ok?"

He looked at me like I was a little stupid. "Of course." My hands shook as I moved them slowly off of the wheel, opened up my purse, and got my license.

I handed it over, "My registration is in the glove box, Sir, it may take me a minute to find it. May I?" I said, nervously.

"Yeah, that's just fine." I wanted to show him that I was being extremely cooperative and respectful, and while I think I transmitted that, I also think I was starting to annoy him. It was a good thing he only needed two documents from me. If he had needed anything else, I think he would've said, "Lady, just cut the crap and get your insurance card," or whatever. Fortunately, he just wanted my license and registration. I fumbled through a couple of stacks of paper to find it. "I haven't been pulled over in so long, I just don't remember where it is." Ha. Liar! I knew it was in the blue plastic thingie from the insurance company, but being able to confidently hand it over like I knew what I was doing would've made it look like this happens to me all the time. That was not in keeping with the "damsel in distress" theme I was going for.

He went back to the squad truck (not fair! I can pick a police car out of a line up... but a truck? Give me a chance, anyway!). Time stopped. I lost all the time I had gained by speeding. All the old people, out for a 40 mph country drive, who I'd passed drove by me. Cackling. I could hear them cackle, because they were going so slowly.

Finally, after what felt like three hours, he came back to the car with a yellow piece of paper in his hand. "We've already had two accidents out here today because of people speeding. Here's a warning. Slow it down, Ma'am, ok?"

"Thank you for your discretion, Officer, I really, really appreciate it. And I will definitely slow down."

I drove the rest of the way to Fort Wayne and back at the speed limit. And all the old people passed me.

(Image from


dieMutti said...

Nice work! I wish my DH could cooperate for once; he's an arguer when it comes to speeding... :)

Rob Monroe said...

Good move to sit quietly. It is very awkward, especially being from such a metropolis as I live in, to know what to do in that situation. I am always hesitant to reach for my bag in the back seat (where I inevitably have put my wallet) for fear of a beat down.

A warning is nice.

Mandy said...

That's too funny! We got pulled over last year on our way to Fort Wayne. We were just there yesterday, too! ha ha!
It is SO easy to speed on those roads - I hear ya.