Little Miss Goody-Goody
Yesterday, after a long day of being a good corporate citizen, I climbed into The Jeep and pointed her nose toward home.
Near my office there is a very busy intersection located just near the entrance to 101. The intersection gets jammed up after work as everyone is trying to make it through at the same time. I don’t need to go on 101, but I have to pass by the entrance.
So in the busy 6:00 hour it’s all a matter of timing to get to the other side of the intersection while the light is green, hoping the other light another three blocks ahead also turns green so you don’t get left hanging out in the middle of the intersection.
Generally speaking, the local police don’t really find humor in people jamming up the intersections with their bad sense of timing and impatience.
Yesterday I just wanted to get home. I wanted some dinner and the chance to not think about work for several hours before sweet magical sleep.
As I rolled to the intersection, I looked at traffic, I weighed the odds of the light ahead turning green, and decided to go through the intersection and get in line. My front wheels made it into the lane, my back end was hanging out into the intersection.
I kept looking at the light, thinking “uh oh, this green is getting stale.” I mentally begged the other light to turn and save my bacon. As my light went yellow, I implemented evasive maneuvers. I was in the center lane, so I turned the wheel to move into the left lane, thus getting me out of the intersection.
Only problem was, there was something blocking my egress to the left lane.
A police car. With his lights on.
He had been headed the other direction and made a half u-turn, thus blocking the left lane. I looked at him, he pointed, I nodded, then pulled over to the far right lane instead, over to the curb and I stopped.
Then another car pulled in behind me, the guy who was ahead of me in line. Seems that nice police officer got himself a two fer one deal. A traffic ticket BOGO.
Damn. Damn. Damn.
The policeman approached the other vehicle first. I turned off my car, found my license and insurance and opened my windows to wait. I heard things like “Sir, are you aware that you….” and “…being charged with a moving violation…” on the breeze.
A moving violation? But I was standing still! Ok, I moved into the intersection. I get it.
The mind was racing: How long ago was it that I got my last ticket? Remember when I got popped by the stupid red light camera? If it was more than eighteen months ago, then maybe I can apologize my way out of this. Be calm. Be calm. Be nice to the cop. Say please and thank you. Say you are sorry. Say you misjudged the flow of traffic.
The officer brought a ticket back to the other guy, he signed it, took his copy, then drove off. The officer lingered near his police cruiser for a bit. He was on his two way radio. Must be calling in my plate.
I waited. And waited.
Finally the officer approached. I held out my documents like a sacred offering.
“Ma’am, are you broken down or something?”
“Uh, no officer. You pointed to me.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry! I just wanted you to know that I was going after that guy. You’re good. Have a nice day.”
“Oh? Thank you officer, you have a nice day too!”
Then I almost peed myself with relief. Holy. Crap.
When I told this story to The Good Man he said “you get good-kid karma points for stopping and not just driving away.”
I hope that’s true. I suspect I’m gonna need ’em.
Photo from FightSpeedingTicketsNow.com.