Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Fast and the Furious

This past Saturday night, something happened that I never in my life thought would happen. I was pulled over for speeding.

I know what every single one of you who have ever ridden with me is thinking right now, especially the three of you who were with me on that record-breaking trip from Indy to Taylor – “Finally! She’s had it coming since she started driving at 18.”

And now, those of you that are wondering why I didn’t start driving till I was 18, just know that I tried at 16 – I had a very traumatic-at-the-time-hilarious-now automatic fail on the driving test. Ask my brother or grandpa about it – it’s one of their favorite stories.

But anyway, I had just started on my seven minute trip home from work, and turned onto Backwater Road… it has a real name, but I don’t know what it is – a number of some kind. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of driving on Backwater Road, the speed limit is 35 mph almost the whole way, even on the completely straight stretches. This is to avoid drivers flying off the treacherous curves and sinking forever into the backwaters.

Another thing about Backwater Road – my dad taught me from a very young age that everyone speeds on that road, so naturally, wanting to follow the crowd, I keep up a pretty steady 55 mph on the straight parts, slowing to 40 on the treacherous curves to avoid flying off the road and sinking forever into the backwaters.

So, back to Saturday night, I began acceleration, and just as I passed a car about to pull into the empty Dekko plant parking lot (who I assumed was a teenage couple wanting to make out or sell drugs), blue and red lights started flashing on top of the car, and a siren went off. Man. I need to work on my night vision.

So I stopped in my lane (there was no room to pull over), and not having had experience with this sort of thing, I unbuckled my seat belt to reach for my purse, figuring I should try to find my license. The officer walked up to my window, which I quickly rolled down (after turning off my music – I figured he didn’t want to hear the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack while he was writing my ticket – M.I.A. would probably take away from the mood).

“Do you know why I pulled you over?” he asked, with a friendly smile.

“I was speeding,” I said matter-of-factly, never being one to successfully play dumb.

“Yeah… I clocked you at 46 in a 35. Now are you on your way home from somewhere?”

(I was sitting there in my black uniform pants and bright blue polo shirt, hair in a ponytail, waitress apron still on, and probably smelling strongly of pizza).

“Yeah from work,” I answered, trying to figure out how I was only at 46 mph.

“You’re probably really just wanting to be home,” the officer said understandingly, “And there’s about… oh three posted speed limit signs that you passed, but it’s so hard to go 35 there.”

I nodded in agreement. That was a good one.

“Well I am going to have to give you a warning – 46 in a 35 is a little much just for a verbal, but no ticket. You were wearing your seatbelt, right?”

I nodded.

“Well good! Now I need your license and registration…”

Stupid girl that I am, I opened the glovebox and the first thing I pulled out was a huge wad of napkins… next I found insurance cards. Then the officer found it.

“It’s that one there – in your left hand.”

Well spotted, officer. I then spent about ten minutes hunting through my purse for my pile of important cards, amongst which my license was (at least I really hoped it was in my purse…). In the meantime I found out the policeman’s name was Officer May and he lived in North Webster with his wife and two young kids. Nice guy. I finally found my license, and he wrote out my warning (which I thanked him for), and then sent me on my way (I drove 30 all the rest of the way down Backwater).

When I got home and told my family the story, Kevin and Jared were highly affronted.

“If that were me, he would have given me a ticket without stopping to ask questions!” Kevin grumbled.

Never have I been so thankful to be young and female. :-D

Regardless, I have decided to become a more cautious driver. Though highly inconveniencing – I now must leave three minutes earlier to make it to work on time, increasing my total driving time to ten minutes.

…and we may have to actually leave on time now on Sundays to make it for coffee before church starts.

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