Monday, December 29, 2008

Turds in the Mailbox

I managed to keep my shreds of sanity intact the other day, thanks to Tracy, who invited us over. Becca played with her girls, she fed Andrew a bottle, and I went shopping at the grocery store by myself. I went in with one thing on my list--D Batteries--and left after spending a HUNDRED dollars. I don't know how that happens. I meander around and fling things in my cart, taking my time because I don't have a whiny toddler or a screaming infant weighing me down. I stroll up and down the aisles looking at all the cool things I miss on my usual frantic grocery store runs. And then I end up spending 100 dollars on......well. What did I buy? Batteries, OBV., and ummmm...diapers. And a rotisserie chicken and some paper towels. And some frozen tortellini. Is it just me, or is it ridiculously expensive to just EAT these days?

So, John was home today. And he was super dad--folding laundry and putting Becca down for nap and bedtime and bathing her. It was heaven.

Except for the part where he went and got the mail and found a speeding ticket in there. It was me. I was caught on a traffic camera in D.C. in some tunnel near the White House or something. I didn't know they had hidden cameras for speeding! I've been an (almost) perfect angel on the red-light-running. But speeding? When there aren't any cops in sight? And still getting busted? Oh. This is going to be a big problem. Big. Because, I have proven that if there is a cop in sight, I will be getting a speeding ticket.

Hilariously (to me, anyway), both the red light and the speeding tickets are on John's record, because the car is registered in his name.

Did I ever tell you the story of my other three speeding tickets that occured within a 12 month period? And how two of them were within the same month on the same road?

When we lived in Del Rio, I would occasionally drive to Austin or San Antonio along these deserted west(ish) Texas roads. One night I was driving back to Del Rio. I can't remember, the exact speed limits, but I think it was 70. And I was doing something like 75. But, apparently there were NIGHT speed limits that were lower. I had never been pulled over before in my life. I was shaking and terrified (loser). And I got a big, fat speeding ticket. As I drove away I sobbed and sobbed (again, loser). I didn't even know that the night had different speed limits. Apparently, as the cop so graciously explained, it is written on that black portion of the speed limit sign that has a picture of a moon and stars and a lower speed limit on it (also: dumbass).

So, I went to defensive driving and all that crap. Then, not two weeks later I was on the SAME road and got ANOTHER speeding ticket. That one was in the daytime. Bullshit. I was pissed. This time, I tried crying and looking pitiful. Did I get a warning? NO. I got a ticket. How come I NEVER get off with a warning? I blame it on my brunette hair. Had I been a ravishing blond, perhaps in a drop-top Corvette, I guarantee I wouldn't have just gotten a warning. But I was not in a Corvette. I was in our hoopdie Oldsmobile with no air conditioning (in TEXAS, people). In fact, I think I had a heat rash on my shins because the car tended to overheat, so we had to run the heater to pull heat off the engine. And the heater would blow on my legs. When it was 110 degrees outside, this wasn't pretty. So, maybe it was that. Or maybe my crying wasn't pitiful enough. But, either way, no warning, just a fat ticket. And I drove off shaking and crying again (LOSER! And also SWEATY!)

Alright, so this one was my favorite: In Alaska I had a 45 minute commute from base to Fairbanks where I worked. One day, I got pulled over on my way to work. This time I thought I'd try a new tactic. I had already (unsuccessfully) tried the fearful look and the pitiful crying with heat rash tactic. They obviously didn't work. This time I tried the highly respectful "Yes sir, Officer. I'm terribly sorry, Officer" act. Didn't work. Ticket. Only this time, no crying as I drove off. Instead I cackled wildly. I laughed so hard I had tears of mirth running down my face. "See?" I told myself, " I don't need to cry. Big fucking deal. So I got a ticket." I was so proud of my new attitude.

I got to work, and started working. Then, my phone rang and it was John. "How was your drive to work today?" he asked. "Fine," I said, completely having forgotten about the ticket and wondering why the hell he cared about my drive to work. "Anything you want to tell me?" he asked. "Ummmm....No....," I said, seriously having totally forgotten about the ticket because of my newfound bad-ass attitude. "I heard you got pulled over," he said.

"..." I was speechless. First, I had totally forgotten. Second, how the HELL did he know that?

Apparently, he was riding along in an Air Force truck/van/whoknowswhat with his pilot friends to go fly off a different runway or some crazy Air Force shit that makes no sense to normal people. So he and his friends were in this truck--which, like NEVER happened usually. Usually they never left the base. And they were driving from the base towards Fairbanks. And there is only one road running to Fairbanks. Do you see where this is going? Yes. Yes.

So, one his friends nudges him and says, "Hey dude! Isn't that your wife?"

And John looks out the window and sees my car. Pulled over on the side of the road, with the cop car behind me.

Oh man. Those were good times. Now I don't get to try out my pitiful crying/heat/rash/ass-kissing tactics. I just get tickets in the mailbox. Kind of a like a big turd just sitting in there waiting for you to discover it.


Anonymous said...

The Man is trying to hold you down. If you have more nookie with John, I will try to fix your next ticket in TX. Key word is maybe. The POPO are always watching. -Noel

Meg said...

Ugh....THIS is what's wrong with today's pigs...I mean, law enforcement officials...Christ Almighty, they don't even know how to properly leave comments on a blog! Dude, you put your name in the NAME section...They wouldn't even be able to let you out of the ticket b/c they probably don't know how to tear it up. What my dear husband MEANT to say was, if you had told said piggy you were married to someone in the service, he would have probably let you off. Let that be a lesson to you young lady. Use any means possible to connect yourself to law enforcement. Military counts. Sorry for the spelling errors...We're both drunk.

sgtsharp said...

As your Grampa Jack would says "Dont draw attention to yourself" and also slow the f..k down!

Tracy said...

You and cameras are not friends. Hopefully there isn't one coming from running a red light in town too. See what you get for having some alone time in the car!!?

Natalie said...

The first time I got pulled over, I had doubled the speed limit in a SCHOOL ZONE. When the cop pulled me over and I asked for warning, seeing as it was my first offense, he said, "honey, you're lucky I'm not pulling your license. I have to lie about a few miles to give you that break!"

Another time, I got lucky. As the cop was writing me a huge ass ticket, he got called to an emergency and threw my info in my car and took off. Phew!!

Today, I was going 90-something (speed limit was 74) and Matt noticed a sign that explained that they take pictures of your car and send you a ticket for speeding. So, I may get one of what you got all too soon!

Erin said...

The title of this post and the phrase from a few posts ago about how parenting is like "being pecked to death" has made me LAUGH SO HARD. Pecked to death! HA! It's the PERFECT metaphor.

Angela said...

Do you remember when I got my liscense taken away at Safeway in Northpole for parking in a handicap parking place. Then he got called to a Moose emergency (someone ran into one) TOOK my lisence and told me to meet him at the police station so he could write me a ticket. I had NO WAY to call Joel at the time and sat in this room with this big one way mirror (almost like a terrogation room) for almost an hour! The cop finally came back and said..."I guess I will let you off this time since you had to wait so long" For real. Just reading your post and re-hashing what happened 7 years ago has me laughing!

Angela said...

well, my sweet husband just pointed out to me that I totally mispelled tons of words. can I blame it on the kahlua in my cocoa?

Susan said...

I like this entry! Nice way of tying in some story-telling. I'm totally never registering cars in my name!

Meg & Noel--couldn't stop laughing at your comments!

bevo said...

Grammy Bonnie says there is a really good way to avoid speeding tickets. She didn't go into any detail.

Laura said...

Way too freakishly techno-controlling for me.

Tracy said...

Sheila said they DO NOT go on your record. So John, you are still in the clear!

sgtsharp said...

I rememeber getting stopped for speeding on base with a open beer and going 60 in a 30 zone. luckly the MP was a friend of mine. I did have to dump my beer out.

Angie said...

Ha. Allen has gotten out of many tickets by handing the officer his military id with his driver's license. Many cops are in the guard or reserves. Does not work near a military installation. I got out of a ticket one time because I was a teacher and so was his mom. No telling why you sometimes get a ticket and sometimes don't.