Linda’s near brush with the Texas Judicial System got me to thinking: I need to be hyper defensive in my driving, because I’m living on borrowed time. At risk of jinxing myself, I’ll tell you I haven’t had a ticket or an accident in almost 4 years.
Both the ticket and the accident occurred on the same day, in two different towns, and my tags were expired 2 days past the unofficial grace period most police give you. It was not a very good day. I respect and admire the police; however, the less I see of them, the better I like it. Since I’ve been driving the speed limit (for the most part), I figure I’m probably due for a police visit.
I hope I haven’t jinxed myself by thinking about the absence of police in my life.
Last night my mind was wandering a little as I drove home, I didn’t think I was speeding; however, when the blue flashers appeared in my rearview mirror, I couldn’t tell you what my actual speed was. To make matters worse, I was on the downside of a viaduct—a place I know is a favorite speed trap of the local police force.
Shielding my actions from view (I hoped) as I turned into a parking lot, I snapped my seatbelt into place. It would not do to add a seat belt fine, to what I already feared was going to be an epic ticket. Waiting for the Officer to approach my window, I began the show of rummaging through my purse. I call it a show because I had realized earlier that I did not have possession of my wallet, money, credit and debit cards, or driver’s license and insurance card. They were all in my tote bag. At work. Luckily, I knew my tags were not expired—at least not until the end of this week.
So, in review: I pulled over for an as yet to be announced reason (perhaps speeding, perhaps not); however, I was not wearing my seatbelt, and I did not have my driver’s license, or my insurance card. I was the poster child for moving violations. I felt it imperative to keep my mouth shut, speak only when spoken to, and then do so in the most respectful tone I could muster. Otherwise the need for a single phone call attached to bail money and an attorney might soon be required.
The Officer introduced himself and asked me where I was headed and where I had been. I told him I was coming from a small country community (it was easier than telling him where Linda actually lives), and I was on my way to WalMart to pick up some DDP for work. He asked me another question and had to repeat it four times because I could not understand what he was asking me! The encounter reminded me of the Twilight Zone episode where the spoken words of others were replaced with progressively more gibberish words. We finally were able to communicate and the Office told me the reason he pulled me over was “failure to maintain my lane.” I finally realized, he thought I was drunk! I could hardly keep a straight face—and I hoped he would not ask me to walk the line, because with my neuropathy and balance problems, there is no way I would pass the test, even though I was not drunk. Tired? Yes—I had been up since 2 am. Distracted? Maybe—I had been mentally making my list so I could be in and out in under five. But drunk? Nope. I don’t play that game.
The Police Officer was able to pull my information up using my work ID and he decided I was neither drunk nor crazy, or at least I was not a menace to myself or society. I am actually an upstanding, employed, citizen with a valid driver’s license, and current insurance. He let me off with a written warning. He never mentioned the seat belt, and I didn’t mention it. I asked if I needed to present proof of my license and insurance to the Court like I had another time I didn’t have my proper documents, he assured me I had to do nothing. Computers can be a good thing. Although their Big Brother aspect is kind of creepy.
I decided I must have a guardian angel looking out for me—and she deserves a raise.