A discussion thread about getting out of speeding tickets triggered this very old story. I didn't have a speeding ticket story to share because I don't really speed. Ask anyone who rides with me or follows/leads me anywhere--it's a constant source of annoyance. I did have a funny story (or at least, I think it's funny) about blowing a stop sign, but it was too long to throw into a forum thread...so here we are.
One evening, I had a crippling migraine. (Note that I say "crippling" not for dramatic effect, but because migraines come in varying degrees, and usually those of us who suffer them regularly go on about some semblance of our lives. Every once in a while, though, a migraine comes on that's the biggest thing in your world for as long as it lasts. This was one of those.)
I didn't have any medication, but my mother (who lived about a mile away) had the same prescription, so I decided to drive over to her house and get some.
Mistake # 1: Why didn't I ask her to bring it to me?
Once at her house, I decided that I'd better not take the medication until I got home, because it made me a little woozy and I was already more than a little woozy (see Mistake # 1). So I put a few pills in a ziploc baggie.
Mistake # 2: Why didn't I bring my own bottle, or something a little less drug-dealerish to carry it in?
Eager to get home and take the medication, I got back in the car, tossed the plastic baggie full of little blue pills on the passenger seat and took off.
Mistake # 3: This one speaks for itself, right?
In front of my house at the time, there was a stop sign. You'd stop, then turn left and pull over to park about 20 feet from the corner. In theory, anyway.
As I pulled to the curb to park, I noticed a police car with lights flashing behind me. A young blond cop--a rookie straight out of central casting--approached my window.
"Do you know why I pulled you over?" he asked (This, apparently, is mandatory in every state and local police agency in the United States and perhaps beyond.)
I shook my head, shrugged one shoulder and said, "Honestly, I didn't even know you were. I live here."
Mistake # 4: Did I really want to tell the nice officer that I was driving around SO OUT OF IT that I didn't even notice the flashing lights behind me? While I had a plastic baggie of unmarked drugs in arm's reach? Really?
He said, "You ran that stop sign back there."
I looked at the stop sign. I said, "Did I really? I'm sorry. I have a migraine."
(See Mistake # 4)
"Oh, that's okay," he said cheerfully.
Then I expressed surprise, pointing out that the stop sign was right in front of my house and it certainly wasn't like I didn't know it was there.
(See Mistake # 4)
"Yeah," he said, still good-naturedly. "You didn't even roll it. I probably wouldn't have stopped you for that. You just ran right through it."
I should note that, in addition to the baggie of drugs on my passenger seat, I had enough junk in my car to start my own second-hand store (or garbage dump). Just that afternoon, I'd returned from an interstate car trip with all three kids. So when the officer said, "I'm just going to run your license and check your insurance, and if that all checks out I'll let you go since you're home already," I was in a new bind.
I hadn't the SLIGHTEST idea where my insurance card was.
I know. I know. Odds are that the kids didn't get into the glove compartment and remove it from a neat plastic sleeve or anything like that. I have to admit to a bit of pre-existing disorganization.
"Oh, man," I said. "I have no idea where my insurance card is." I looked helplessly around the cyclone-struck car and said, "I just drove back from Indiana with three kids."
"But you do have it?" he asked.
"Oh, yes," I assured him. And I did. I really did. But WHERE was anybody's guess.
He was kind of negotiating against himself at that point. He said, "Well, let me just run your license. What's your driving record like?"
FINALLY, one I could answer! My driving record was PERFECT.
While he went off to run my license, I dug frantically through the backseat in search of my insurance card. Lucky he wasn't the suspicious type--isn't this how cops get shot on routine traffic stops?
When he came back, he told me my license checked out and I said, "Look! I found my insurance card!" He barely glanced at it. "See?" he said triumphantly, "I knew you had it!"
He went on his way after saying that he hoped I felt better soon. I, at least, had sense enough to wait until he had turned away to grab the bag of drugs.