Thursday, April 03, 2008

Blue and Red Light Special

It's late: 11:30 pm. It's dark. I'm weary. Very weary. I'm on my way home from work. I'm on the long, winding road with the 35 mph speed limit.

Now, it's not that I don't like to drive fast, but I'm allergic to things that needlessly cost me money, like speeding tickets, so I tend to drive right at 5 mph over any posted speed limit, having bought into the folklore that the police won't bother me if I'm within that parameter.

Suddenly, aggressive blue and red flashing lights replace the darkness in my rearview mirror. I look down. 41. I'm guilty. This is it. My first speeding ticket. Ever. Where's the license? Did I ever put the new insurance card in the wallet? Will I ever find the registration in that rat's nest in the glove box?

I hit the turn signal and pull over, resigned to the increase in my insurance rates. Only then do I realize that a car was behind me, and it, trailed by the police car, passes me by. Both of them pull over just ahead of me.

I take a deep breath and pull back out on the winding road.

Tonight someone else got the blue and red light special, not me.

5 comments:

Philip Barron said...

Wow. That was rather suspenseful. :-D

Bitty said...

It was when I lived it, too!

I'm the kind who feels deep guilt whenever I see a police car, even when my every action is utterly saintly.

Anonymous said...

Bitty:

Perhaps you should try detective novels!

Love,
Alanna who fears police cars always!

AMorris said...

My FIL is a retired traffic cop and they'll let you slide with most things since they're after bigger fish in many cases. For instance, they'd give someone who was lane swapping in traffic three chances to use a turn signal before busting them. It's just too much paperwork for every little 6mph over. Now, with that said, he worked in a large city. If you are somehow in the unfortunate situation of having to drive through Diamond or Pineville Missouri, then you'd better be dead on the mark, because those knuckleheads need the revenue.

Bitty said...

amorris: Good to know, and kind of what I'd been told before. Where I was was a small town between Big City and Home Small Town, which is neither famous for being a speed trap nor is a rich big city. I figure either it was just easier to pull over the last car if it truly was a speeding issue or this guy had been moving at a good clip before he got stuck behind me (I hadn't noticed before that there was a car behind me, but I truly was very tired), or this person had run the last light or had some other obvious violation going, like an expired tag.

Also, I know what you mean about the knuckleheads. This trip didn't take me there, but I live near an infamous speed trap town: Waldo, Florida. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldo,_Florida

(The thing is, I think my speedometer runs a little high based on the feedback I get from those Scolding Aunt-like portable speed monitors, so I doubt it was speeding.)

Alanna: It has occurred to me, but our friend the detective novelist has certainly set a very high standard! (To the rest of you: we work with a very talented award-winning detective novelist.)