I get picked on by law enforcement agencies all the time.
Fifty people can drive down Highway 421 ahead of me without their seat belts on and never get stopped, and I’ll get pulled over by a patrolman because mine is on crooked.
There must be a bumper sticker on the back of my car which says “GO AHEAD, ARREST ME. I’M JUST A DUMB, INNOCENT HOUSEWIFE.”
I got a ticket once for going 55 mph in a 35 mph zone. I tried to explain to the officer with the Cheshire-cat -”I gotcha”-smile that my young sons were waiting for me in front of church on the other side of town. He was unimpressed.
Handing me a citation, he drawled, “Well, lady, if you’d been in church with them instead of out here speeding like a maniac, you wouldn’t be getting this ticket now, would you? Hmmm?” And to think my hard-earned tax dollars paid for this cretin's his salary!
I got another citation for something so ridiculous I still can’t believe it. I was hurrying to pick up my oldest son at school when I spotted a roadblock ahead at the bottom of the hill. I didn’t have my purse with me, let alone my driver’s license. So I did what every thinking woman would do: I stopped before reaching the roadblock and backed up the hill. Now, why is that so bad? I can change my mind, can’t I?
But halfway up the hill, another car crested the hill and was speeding down toward me. He missed hitting me by half a hair and ran into a ditch. Well, he shoulda watched where he was driving. And he was probably driving too fast, anyway. Good grief.
The two officers at the road block decided my driving backwards up a hill was sort of a no-no, so they raced after me, sirens blaring and lights flashing. Such dramatics. I wasn’t going anywhere. I’ve never been particularly adept at driving in reverse up a hill and I’d backed into a bush. I tried to explain that my son was waiting at school and he’d already flunked Patience 101. Twice.
One of the officers loaded me unceremoniously into the back of his police car and drove me home to make sure I had a valid driver’s license. The other officer detained my car until my husband could drive it home. I forgot how much the fine was. I think we ended up selling one of our kids to pay for it.
As if getting tickets wasn’t bad enough, getting my license renewed every four years was worse. I usually failed the test and went to the adjoining county the next day to see if I could pass it there.
Once I waved a crisp, new $50 bill in front of a female officer and whispered conspiratorially, “I don’t have a clue about the answers on this test. Can you be bribed?” She couldn’t.
But something happened during one driver’s renewal test that traumatized me beyond reason.
Straining to verbally identify the shapes of highway signs presented to me, I noticed the officer who was administering the test behaving bizarrely. With each stupid answer I gave, his head went down further. Finally, with a thud his head hit the desk. He was out cold. Officers on both side quickly jumped to their feet and carried the unconscious man into another room.
With no officer left in the room, all twenty people in line focused their stares on me. I was numb with fright. I was sure my ridiculous answers had sent the poor man into cardiac arrest.
Suddenly, an officer appeared to inform the tense room that the ailing officer suffered from Sleep Apnea. Nothing more.
And he informed me that, yes indeed, I would be required to complete the test and, no, I wouldn’t be given a score of 100 and a free Pepsi from the drink machine just because I’d been scared half to death by an officer who only needed a nap.
Well, it didn’t hurt to ask.
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