Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pulled over: when seeing the light is a bad thing.

I spotted them in the rear view mirror, and they were gaining fast. I quickly concluded  that, once I pulled to the side, those lights would whisk on by, the wail of the siren "Dopplering" into the distance. God help whomever that maniac is pursuing.

Nope, not this time—no passing on by, no Doppler, and from the depths of my lungs, no cleansing exhalation of dissipated anxiety. As I changed lanes, he changed lanes. As I slowed and stopped, he slowed and stopped. Shit.

I got nailed for going thirty-two in a twenty. Cost: $189.00, or $15.75 for every mile an hour I exceeded the speed limit.

My positive karmic acts leading up to the pullover could not have foretold this event. Since I had committed to staying home with my ailing younger daughter, I offered to give the older one a lift to school, followed by a trip to Red Box and the grocery store. The patient at home had requested a movie and some nice coconut bars to cool her scorching throat. Nice gestures by Papa all around, no?

Maybe my karma was less about being kind to my kids today, and more about spitting my gum out on the street while biking back in July. It's possible that that decision may have led to an elderly lady's walker adhering to it, thereby causing a nasty spill, a broken hip and death from pneumonia on her ninety-ninth birthday.

Okay, I admit it; I shouldn't be speeding in a school zone. I could have hit a kid or a teacher or a puppy as I recklessly darted down Roxbury at the breakneck speed of thirty-two miles per hour. Society needs to be protected from a madman in a dented, sapphire blue Kia minivan.

And as they say, no one is above the law. If I'm caught breaking it, I must pay. I must be pursued by the tools our law enforcement community deems necessary for apprehending a speeder, or in this case, a mag-wheeled, turbo-charged phallic symbol bearing the logo of the Seattle Police Department.

Sour grapes? Maybe. And by the way, obviously someone in the SPD has Photoshop at home, because that picture above is as cheesy as they come.

I wasn't pulled over on a quiet suburban street where children play jacks and sell lemonade. This was a double-yellow-lined thoroughfare with a posted speed limit of thirty-five. The school is inside a massive Catholic church and the crosswalk is protected by walk signals and traffic lights.

The term "warning" is not listed on the approved words list for the SPD Traffic Enforcement Division. What I'm sure is on the approved list are mustaches and those heartfelt "have a nice day" wishes they convey as they slap that mint green paper into your palm and retreat to their muscle cars.

Since the fuzz man who pulled me over stuck perilously close to the clichéd cop, I probably should have thought faster and transformed myself into the stereotypical perp. I should've yanked off my shirt, unclipped my seat belt and ripped up my proof of insurance card.

Oh yeah, I also should have pierced some holes in a pop can and stashed it under the seat.

I realize I sound like Edward, King of the Whineland. After all, someone has to pay for the overtime these guys are putting in to pull us over during their overtime.

And I probably wouldn't be droning on about this if I hadn't returned home, opened the mailbox and found a jury summons for my wife.

Maybe we'll run into each other at the courthouse.

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