Monday, April 23, 2012

Dear Officer

Dear Officer,
I'm sorry I acted like a total chick tonight when you pulled me over. I'm sorry for the tears and the crazy eyes I'm sure I exhibited. I'm also sorry I inadvertently made you feel like an ass. It wasn't my intention. Any other day, I'd have found you funny and perhaps even charming. You just caught me on a really bad day at the end of a really bad week. Please don't let this incident damper your usual sense of humor and desire to have fun with your job. I'm sure almost everybody else appreciates it.

The sobbing hormone case on Parker Blvd.

Now, a little back story for the rest of you.

Let me preface this with a few facts.
1. I never cry in front of cops, much less to get out of a ticket. I figure if he's pulled me over, it's because I deserve the ticket and I take my lumps. For every speeding ticket I've gotten, there have been a least two hundred times I haven't been caught. I suck it up, I take my ticket and I thank the dude for doing his job.

2. I also have always despised this particular town since I was a new teenage driver over 20 years ago because the cops there are reputed to be assholes. They've been known to pull you over for going under the speed limit because it's a tiny town and all they have to do is fuck with non-residents. I try to avoid it at all costs, but tonight I just wanted to get home, so I went straight through it. Like an idiot.

So, the other day I realized that I have a burned out headlight on the car. Unfortunately, I realized it at 10pm on Thursday and was leaving for Chicago bright and early Friday morning and didn't have the time to fix it. I knew we wouldn't be driving much at night in Chi, so I didn't worry about it and figured I'd get it fixed first thing Monday. No big deal.

Tonight, when Cheese and I got back from Chicago, I dropped her off and went to pick up Big Man for his birthday dinner and our movie date. We spent several hours together hanging out and having a good time and I dropped him off then headed for home.

Now, between his house and mine, there's just one little town.

That little town. And as I drove by the one road that could bypass it (and take me through a different little town, much less populated by cops), I thought to myself, "Shit, I should've turned there. Oh well. I'll be okay."

I eased into town and turned left on the south edge, hoping to skirt around the perimeter and not penetrate the town square where the cops usually set up shop. I went about a half mile and turned onto the next street (just one more to go!) when I saw headlights come flying up behind me. Sure enough, I looked in my mirror and caught a side view of the car as it turned the corner behind me.


My speed was fine ( stranger to this little donut hole of a town) and I drove the limit as I waited for him to run my plates. A minute later, he popped the cherries on and I pulled over. While he was getting out of the car, I pulled my license out and opened the glove box to get my registration and proof of insurance.

I can't find it.

No, seriously. I can't freaking find it. Now, in the state of Iowa (as it is with most states), it's a big deal not to have proof of insurance. Like $500 worth of big deals. (Ask me how I know.)

I hear his car door shut and see the flashlight in my mirror and know that having a driver digging around in their car can scare a cop, I stop and wait for him to come up. I hand him my license and he's nice as can be. 

Cop: Hi, ma'am. How are you tonight? Did you realize you have a headlight out? That's why I pulled you over.

Me: Yes. I'm sorry. I realized it when I was out of town and I'm just arriving home after being gone all weekend. 

Cop: It's okay. It happens. I just need your registration and proof of insurance.

Me: Yeaaaaah. (as I look at the pile of crap I've pulled from the glove box) I don't know where my registration's at. It's usually in the glove box, but all I can find are my car repair receipts (apparently, every single one for everything that's ever been done to this damn jalopy).

Cop: Okay, no problem. It's not as important as your proof of insurance.

Me: *sadly* It's with the registration. We keep them together.

Cop: Okay, well, you keep looking for it while I go run your license real quick. If you find it, just hold it out the window, okay? *sparkling smile* (Hey, I was stressed, not totally blind.)

He retreats to his car and I continue looking for my registration. Did you know we had the wheel bearings replaced in our car in 2008? Huh. I'd certainly forgotten. Oh and the oil change I just did? Well, I've got the receipt from that tail light they replaced, too. OOH! Registration! YES! *happy dance* 

I pull out the registration. And the insurance card.

From 2009. 

At this point, I realize I'm going to have 500 new reasons to hate this little town. Given the week I've had, it's safe to say this is where I come to the end of my rope and the tears I've been fighting all weekend start to bubble up. Using one of the McDonald's napkins I unearthed from the glove box, I start wiping my eyes. I prayed that even if he did give me the ticket that he wouldn't impound the car. They've been known to do that, after all. And I didn't know how I was going to wake my husband up to come get me because he turns his phone off when he goes to bed. I try not to panic as I wait for the cop to return to the car.

When he does, he sees me holding my registration.

Cop: Ahh, found it?

Me: Just the registration. I still can't find my insurance card. It's usually with my registration and I don't know what happened to it.

Cop: Hmm. That's not so good. I'm afraid we're going to have to impound the car and take you to jail.

Me: *in a high-pitched shrieky voice, all one word* OHMYGODAREYOUSERIOUS?!

Cop: Actually, I'm quite...*his smile spreads from ear to ear* ...not serious.

Me: *exploding into tears* 

Cop: Oh, ma'am! I'm so sorry! I was only joking. I'm sorry! 

Me: *still crying* *sob* You..*hic* have no *sob* idea how *sob* UNFUNNYTHATWAAAAAAAS! *sobbing*

Cop: I am SO very sorry, ma'am. It's just a warning. I swear. And I'm only giving you that much because we have to document all stops.

Me: *nodding and sniffling and completely mortified at this point, because again...I don't pull the girl card when it comes to traffic stops* 

Cop: I just need you to sign it here. *hands me the book*

Me: *nodding more as I sign it*

Cop: *tearing it off and handing it to me* This is pretty much just a souvenir at this point. You don't have to do anything with it.

Me: *sniffling* I'm sorry. I swear, I'm not one of those girls who cries to get out of a ticket. It's just been a reaaaaaaaaaally baaaad week. 

Cop: Again, ma'am. I'm so sorry. Usually, whenever I say that people know I'm joking.

Me: *trying to chuckle so he doesn't think I'm a complete lunatic* I'm sure if it were any other week I'd have found it hilarious. I've got a great sense of humor usually.

Cop: I can't apologize enough. Is there anything I can do for you? Do you have any questions?

Me: No. I mean, I just wanna get home. Am I okay to do that?

Cop: Yeah. You'll be fine. Just drive carefully, okay?

Me: Okay.

Cop: Again, I'm really sorry if I made your night worse.

Me: No. It's okay. Besides, this'll make really great blog fodder for later, when I've stopped crying. 

Cop: *chuckles because I don't think he realizes I was serious* Okay. Well, drive safely, ma'am.

Can I just tell you how very disgusted I am by my own lack of a sense of humor? Normally, I'd have fired back some flirty "Frisk me gently" come-back and we'd have both had a good chuckle and I've have been on my way. This only goes to show how very little funny I have left in me right now. I'm sure a month from now, this story will be fucking hilarious. Right now? It's just the cherry on my shit sundae.

Lessons learned: ALWAYS print off an extra insurance card before you leave town. ALWAYS go directly to a car repair shop and buy a new headlight the second you find yours is burned out. And ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS take the road that bypasses Cop City.

P.S. Thank you, Officer for not giving me 500 new reasons to hate your little town, which is otherwise lovely.

1 comment:

  1. This truly is one of the funniest, cutest, best written blog postings that I've ever read.

    Glad to connect with you.

    Melanie - aka karmic