As a result of a lead foot condition that I developed back in high school, I had the honor and privilege to interact with recently with an esteemed member of local law enforcement. Please allow me to preface this post by saying that I have always had nothing but the utmost respect for officers of the law, however that respect came to a screeching halt after my encounter with a certain officer of the Upper Allen Township Police Department otherwise known by me as Officer Dick Face.
Now I won't sit here and pretend that there is a legitimate excuse for speeding....but...well the fact that I am perpetually late and subsequently speeding is an excuse that works for me.
So....I was late to my OB-GYN appointment. An appointment that had been scheduled and rescheduled 46 times as a result of our car shortage. As a temporary fix to our transportation situation my parents had been kind enough to loan to us their second vehicle, a 1999 Chrysler Town & Country. For their sacrifice I was extremely grateful but honestly, to say that the van had seen better days was, well...and understatement.
There I was, 30 weeks pregnant on the side of the road, pimping a forest green mini-van, sans seats that did not belong to me. The falling fabric roof liner fluttered wildly as hot summer air gusted in through the open window with the passing of each motorist SPEEDING by.
As I watched the officer approach in the side mirror I guessed his age at 16, maybe 17 tops. I glanced at my own reflection and sighed knowing that there would be NO "cute girl" sympathy going on here.
He mechanically requested my license and registration which I presented to him post-haste, and launched into an explanation of why I was driving a car that did not belong to me.
He cut me short and asked if I was aware of the posted speed in the area. I said, "65 MPH?" with my most winning smile.
He sort of rolled his eyes and said, "The posted speed is 55 MPH, Ma'am, and I clocked you going 71."
He threw the "ma'am" in there to remind me that to him I am in fact a middle-aged pregnant lady who can not afford a car of her own. I cursed myself silently for not leaving earlier, not exercising more, and for not getting my drivers license renewed, in no particular order.
By his reaction it was plain to see that he assessed me that day as a person who had made a lot of wrong choices in her life, driving her parents mini-van, wearing no wedding ring, no make up and a tank top with a giant spaghetti stain. Sadly no amount of eyelash batting would help me now.
He gave my license a double take, surely looking to see if the train wreck of a woman in the beat up old van was truly the same as the adorable girl with the expensive haircut smiling back from the DMV photo.
"Are you aware that your license expired at the end of June, ma'am?"
Again, with the ma'am, Jesus, I get it, I'm old, your an embryo...move on!
"No!" I lied. "I had no idea! Things have been so hectic lately..." I started, and again he cut me off. Clearly not interested in lies of what he now had identified as an unwed pregnant crackhead who speeds recklessly and does not stay abreast of civic responsibilities such as license renewal.
"I'll be back shortly with your citations."
Did he just say citation (S) PLURAL? As in TWO?!?! No...I must have misunderstood his fetus mouth. He could NEVER be issuing me TWO citations. My license was only a few days, okay 29 days expired. Come on...
And furthermore I fumed, he didn't even ask me why I was speeding! For all he knows I could be in labor. I could be crowning while he sits back in his little power trip mobile and writes me multiple moving violations.
The longer I sat there, and it was at least 15 minutes, the angrier I got.
When he finally arrived back at my vehicle to bestow upon my my TWO tickets, I no longer held back my disapproval.
"You wrote me a ticket for the license????" I exclaimed! "You couldn't just give me a warning?"
"Not for a license that is 30 days out of expiration." he replied flatly.
"29 days." I corrected him.
"Excuse me?" He snapped.
I said more clearly and with more volume, "TWENTY-NINE DAYS, not 30."
"Regardless, your license was still expired. So sign here and here." With that he handed me my two tickets clipped to his board and a pen.
"You are something else." I mumbled as I signed my tickets.
"Excuse me?" He snapped again, this time more aggressively.
"You are," I repeated with disdain, "something else."
For anyone that knows me, I am THE LAST person that you would ever expect to get mouthy with any person of authority, let alone an officer of the law. But on this particular day that is exactly what happened.
I copped quite a 'tude with this childlike constabulary. After verbal battle about the fairness of randomly selecting and subsequently penalizing one vehicle in a line of cars, all of whom are moving at the same rate of speed he seemed to remember that he was the one with the badge.
He raised his voice a notch and said in his best "dad" voice, "I'm not going to argue with you. If you pull out into traffic and drive after this stop I will pull you over again and issue another citation for driving without a valid license."
Oh, no he didn't....
I snatched my TWO tickets off the clipboard and brazenly said, "You just do what you have to do."
I watched him return to his car and brazenly pulled out onto the road.
Flashes of my mug shots appeared in my head. I could picture the Cops footage, the haggard pregnant lady being hauled away in handcuffs. I called the Monkey-Maker and unleashed a string of obscenities that would shame a sailor.
"He's f---ing following me!" I sobbed and brought him up to speed on the situation.
"Just pullover and I'll come and get you." he said calmly.
"Nooooo!" I wailed, "then he will win!"
"Well," said the Monkey-Maker, "he might win if he arrests you too."