Thursday, September 03, 2009
Flashing Lights Against the Sky or How I Fought the Law and the Law Won
“So can Sheriffs give out tickets?” I asked as I drove back from dinner at Red Robin on 322 this very evening. BTW, if you’ve never been to a Red Robin (like us) I think you’ll like it. There are a great variety of burger combinations. The prices are a little steep but for something a slice above the usual corporate fare, I don’t think you will be disappointed. The steak fries are banging too.
Please forgive me, Gentle Reader, this blog is not about where to get a decent cheeseburger (although that would make an excellent blog); no, this blog is about the law and personal responsibility and how I have been breaking both of these tenants for… let’s just say, a while now.
“Well?” I prompted.
“What?” Mother Hen (my wife) asked.
“Can Sheriff’s give out tickets?”
“I think so.” My wife said, “But mostly they serve warrants and notices. Why?”
“I have one right on my tail.” I said. I had noticed that instead of completely passing me in the left lane he had applied his breaks and maneuvered behind me. I was mindful of my speed and did not go too fast or too slow. I cleared my mind and I began to think happy thoughts; such as rainbows and ponies and monster trucks – you know what I mean. Finding my happy place as I drove onward was important since I have been harboring a secret; a secret most foul. Gentle Reader, they say that confession is good for the soul, well…
I pulled over, shut the vehicle down, put the keys on the dashboard and my hands were in the 10 / 2 position on the steering wheel. I do this whenever I am pulled over. I see no reason to upset anyone who carries a gun and knows how to use it.
“This might be expensive.” I said. You see, Gentle Reader, I knew something that the Three Chicks and the Sheriff Officer didn’t… yet.
The Sheriff Officer came up to my side of the vehicle. “License, registration & insurance card, sir?”
“Sure.” I said and I retrieved the documents and gave them to the Officer.
“Do you know why I stopped you?” he asked.
“Well…” my mind began to work and do the things that it does. For a brief moment I thought, Could it be the three children in the back seat that my wife and I just kidnapped from the mall? Or, I don’t know Officer, there are several very good possibilities but whatever you do, don’t check the trunk! Or, if he were to follow up by asking me something like ‘Do you have any guns or drugs?’ I could say something like, “Sure, what do you need?” NO. I had to focus. I had to tell my mind to stop working the way it usually does. He looked at my credentials and all were valid. He then looked at the inspection sticker and I knew that my life of crime was about to come to a screeching halt.
“Your vehicle has not been inspected since…” he double-checked my windshield just to be sure what he was seeing was correct. “…2007.” He was correct. “Did you know that you were overdue?”
“Why didn’t you get it inspected?”
“The dashboard light is on so I knew it would not pass but I also knew it will be expensive to fix.” I said.
“I’m going to run your license and registration.” He said as he handed me my insurance card. I thanked him and he disappeared into the flashing lights behind us.
I heard a sound directly behind me that sounded something between a whimper and a sob. “Chick 2.0,” my wife said to our middle child save for the fact that she used her real name as opposed to her ID on this particular blog, “it’s going to be all right, you don’t have to cry.”
“I’m not crying.” Chick 2.0 said and she burst out in an infectious giggling. “It looks like Johnny Law’s caught up with you.” And with this we all broke out into laughter.
“Are we going to be arrested?” Chick 3.0 asked.
“No, honey. Not today.” I said. “It’s going to be all right.”
“What did we do?” she asked.
“Nothing, honey. We didn’t do anything and that is the problem.” I said. “We were pulled over because of something that I didn’t do.” I then explained to the girls that I was obviously in the wrong and I had been since 2007. The law is clear and I have been breaking it. For me, it was only a matter of time that I was going to get spotted. I said that when the time comes for them to drive that it is important to be responsible and to take care of the vehicles that they drive. I made sure that they understood that the Officer was doing his job and, in doing so, he was keeping everyone safe and the law satisfied. “Well… we had a good run.” I said looking towards my wife.
“Well, we’ll see what happens.” My wife said, “It is what it is.” My wife says that one a lot.
“You know what this means?” I asked her.
“It means that we are holding off on the mortgage until next paycheck.” She said.
“Oh no.” I said pursing my lips and gently blowing her a kiss. “It means that I’m a bad boy. That’s right, baby, I’m a rebel.”
“Right.” She said.
The officer appeared at my window again. “Ok, Mr. Evil Chicken” he began using my given name as opposed to my secondary handle. “The good news is that you are not getting any points but I have got to give you a ticket for the expired inspection sticker. I know these are hard times but you just don’t see too many blue stickers these days.”
“No, I suppose you don’t.” I said.
“If you want to contest this ticket the address to the court is printed on the back.” He said.
I nodded my head indicating to him that I did not have any inclination of contesting a ticket that I so obviously deserved. I took my ticket and we parted. He was kind enough to block traffic so that I could get back out onto 322 to resume our trip back home.
“That’s right baby,” I said to my wife in a raspy low octave voice, “I’m a bad man… a fugitive who’s been on the run from Johnny Law.” The mention of Johnny Law’s name made the back seat giggle once again. “I had a pretty good run.”
“Well, Mr. Bad Man, I wonder how much this is going to cost?”
“I don’t know.” I said in complete honesty.
“I guess this means we’re not going out for ice cream?” Chick 1.0 said giggling.
“No.” Mother Hen and I said in perfect synchronicity.
And so it came to pass that my two-year run as a law-breaking citizen came to an end. Learn from my story. It’s the story of a man (a bad man… whom some might call a rebel) who by his very non-compliance fought the law; well, tonight, Gentle Reader, the law won.
Justice has been served.