Monday, September 10, 2012

"But Officer,"" bat bat bat...

HALLIE EPHRON: Not too long ago I ran a red light. Well, it had really just turned red when I entered the intersection. Testimony to how much I wasn't noticing: I pulled out right in front of a police cruiser which immediately turned on it lights (and siren, sheesh) and followed me around the corner to a stop.

Take out the registration. Take out the license. Roll down the window. Slink down in the seat as the officer saunters up to my window and hope no one I know is driving past.

What I say: "I am so sorry, Officer. Of course you're absolutely right. I so focused on getting out of that parking lot that I wasn't paying attention to that light, and I so hate it when people do that and they do it all the time at this corner. I live right around the corner, so no excuses."

He lowers his book. I can see it's working. I get off without even a warning. Phew.

The next time I get pulled over it's for running (I slowed down) for a stop sign. A stop sign that NO ONE stops for.   What I say: "I'm sorry, Officer, you're absolutely right. I ran that stop sign. I was rushing to the train station to drop off my daughter and we were running late and I just blew it."

"Train station?" he says, eyeing my daughter who is in the car with me. "Where's the suitcase?"

I pop the trunk. Daughter runs around to the back to show him her roller bag and backpack. We really were on the way to the train. He lets us go.

My formula: Always admit you did it even if you didn't. Apologize. Do NOT lie. And it helps to have an adorable daughter in the car with you.

Do you talk your way out of tickets? What's your formula??

JAN BROGAN: Hmmmm.... in how short a span of time did these two events occur, lead foot?

I actually haven't been pulled over for a ticket, in like, a couple of decades.  But the last time, I did, I was coming home from my first day back to work, post-baby, and got caught racing down the exit to pick her up from daycare.

I could not talk myself out of the ticket (Radar gun),with the cop, but it meant something like a $100 ticket and loss of a $300 good driving credit. I went to court to fight it. The cop didn't show up and the magistrate was a woman. I told my story about day care and won!

ROSEMARY HARRIS: Hallie, you have TWO adorable daughters. May I borrow one?

My ticket stories - okay, I must have going a little fast - not terribly - but I was on an empty highway and it was accidental AND IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY. Got the ticket anyway.

Second time? I get pulled over for running a red light. Cop asks where are you going? I think - why, do you want to come? Not wanting to sound flirtatious or entitled (I was actually leaving for Italy) I say the post office. Nothing is less-sexy, less privileged-Connecticut-lady than a trip to the post office. He whips out his pad and starts to write the ticket.

What?? Hands me the ticket and says, you need to get that fixed...he's pointing at my tire which has a bunch of metal hanging out of it (radial exploded?) If I'd said I was heading for the repair shop he would have let me go. Or so he said.

I've never been able to talk myself out of a ticket. You're my idol.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Two things. I did get pulled over once for making a kind of illegal left turn. Across several lanes of traffic. But my friend and I had to get on to the highway, and that was the only way to do it. When the police officer came to the window, Laura and I--without having discussed it!--both just started babbling about --oh, gosh it said "no left turn"? We thought it said left turn only..and on and on with the ditziest performance you've ever seen. No ticket. The guy probably wanted us to stop talking.

But I did do a TV story about this once.. and according to the experts we interviewed, the best way to get out of a ticket--would you do this?--is to cry.

HALLIE: Cry? CRY? Who, me??? 

I wonder if it makes a difference if the cop's a guy.
 
RHYS BOWEN:
A couple of years ago I was driving to Phoenix after Christmas. There are never cops on I5. And the visibility is always excellent so I don't know how I didn't seen the cop until red lights appeared in my rear view. I wound down the window. "Ma'am, do you know how fast you were going?" he asks.

"I thought I was just keeping up with the rest of the traffic," I say.

"Almost 90," he says.

"Oh my goodness. I am so sorry," I say. "I am usually SOOO careful." Then I hold up my recently broken wrist to him. "I'm driving all the way to Phoenix and this think hurts like the devil," I say.

He hands me back my license. "Be more careful next time," he says.

I beam at him. "I will, I promise," I say.

DEBORAH CROMBIE: You bad girls! I haven't had a ticket in decades. Just shows you I'm either very dull or very lucky...

I did get pulled over a few years ago, driving around the grounds of a federal facility (long story), lost, and not paying attention to the speed limit signs.  I think I was going 30 in a 20. (Told you I was dull.) I batted my eyelashes at the cop and told him my husband was a police officer (which was still true at the time) and he would KILL me if I got a ticket. The cop let me off.

HALLIE: Sounds like we need to add to the formula: Bat eyelashes. Break wrist.

LUCY BURDETTE: You are bad girls! and lucky too:). I'm a pretty cautious driver. (See Hallie's previous post about driving:). But I was with my husband a couple of years ago and we came to a complete standstill on I-95. And our exit was the next one, a half-mile down the road. He could not resist the breakdown lane. (We don't, as in BOSTON area, condone driving in breakdown lane--sheesh.) Cop pulls him over.

"Why were you driving here?"

I see John's eyes darting as he searches for the right answer. "My exit is right up there."

"Wrong answer," bellows the cop and whips out the ticket book. "Only right answer is the cars wouldn't let you in."

I hate that, that they are trying to trick you into saying the wrong thing.

HALLIE: Oooh, I'm going to remember that. "They wouldn't let me in."
So now's your chance to share your secrets -- do you talk your way out of tickets? One thing I know better than to do is drive a red car.

45 comments:

Shizuka said...

During the two years in my twenties I drove (friends celebrated when I told them I was no longer on the road), I got pulled over in DC for simultaneously running a red light, making an illegal left, and cutting off a cop. When he stopped me, I figured I was dead. But he took one look at my face, which was probably dark eyed and haggard and asked why I was so stressed and scatter brained. I said, "Law school finals," and he let me go with a, "Be more careful. And get some sleep."

Joan Emerson said...

I think this all depends on the circumstances and the attitude of the driver. My [now retired] police officer husband has tons of ticket stories from his patrol days . . . the guy who blew the red light right in front of the police car because he was honest, admitted he wasn’t paying attention and saw neither the red light nor the police car managed to avoid a ticket. Not so the guy who insisted he’d done nothing to warrant the stop and proceeded to curse them out. He says attitude is everything . . . the girl from Ohio who turned right on a red light [without stopping] said, “But my girlfriend said I could do that.” He said, “You can, but you have to stop first.” The girl said, “Oh, she didn’t tell me that.” No ticket. Being confrontational with the officer does not ever stand you in good stead and almost guarantees you a ticket.

My favorite was the television reporter who was nasty, nasty, nasty to a motorcycle officer who stopped her; then went to the station and accused the officer of improper conduct [saying he’d solicited sex in return for no ticket]. The officer in question was called in and confronted; he said nothing, simply pulled out his handy dandy little tape recorder and played the tape of the stop. [Protection for the officer since motorcycle officers do not always travel in pairs. Of course, this was against department policy, but neither the commanding officer nor the reporter said anything about that after the tape spun out it invective-filled tirade.]

Like Deborah, I managed to avoid a ticket when I was pulled over half a block from day care . . . which is a funny story in itself because everyone says I drive too slowly! He viewed it as a courtesy from one police officer to another.

Marianne in Maine said...

Oh dear, I have a speeding ticket story that is very long so I won't go into the whole thing. Suffice it to say I was the Designated Driver after spending the entire day as race officials at Road Atlanta. We had been to a party after the day's races and my two companions certainly needed a DD. There was a stretch of the highway that dropped to 55 or 45 and, sure enough, the GA State cop was right there. He pulled me over and I got out of the car (dumb thing??) because my purse was in the trunk along with the rental car agreement. The worst thing was that I couldn't understand a word the man was saying! I'm a Maine girl and his GA drawl was way too much for me. I had him repeat almost everything.

Okay, open trunk, obtain license and rental agreement, get ticket from cop for doing 80 in a 55. Yes, I was doing 80. But so was everyone else!

The kicker? I THANKED him! Why did I do that??? I was being polite and it just came out. How silly. LOL

There's a lot more - like the beer in the trunk and him asking me if I had been drinking ("No, sir, that's why I'm driving.") and the two sleeping passengers, etc. But Gwinnett County got a check and they didn't report it to my home state so no points on my license! Hooray.

Hallie Ephron said...

Oh, that's a good one, Shizuka. I'm going to remember it.

Hallie Ephron said...

Joan - so you have the inside scoop. Attitude is everything! In tickets as in life. Tape recorder: sneaky. Sounds like something to put in a novel.

Hallie Ephron said...

Marianne - that's hilarious! You were a racing official and then got pulled over for... racing.

Erin said...

I was pulled over for spreading once on a residential street. I wasn't speeding much, mind you, and when the officer asked me whether I knew what the speed limit was, I told him honestly that I didn't. I was coming from work, and my office had just moved, and this was the first time I'd driven on that particular street. He told me the residents were very upset about speeding on their street and were wealthy enough to have a cop assigned there much of the time. I promised to let everyone in my office know and to not do it again, and he let me go with a warning. The next day, I sent a company-wide email :)

cathy said...

When I was in college, I lost my license for 10 days because I had so many speeding tickets. I do still tend to speed a bit, but I've toned it down since then. LOL About ten years ago though, I ended up with a ticket for speeding that I didn't deserve... we were on this back road and some guy was doing only 15 mph in a 40 mph zone. It was all curvey roads and difficult to find a place to pass. So after many miles of this, I finally had a place to pass, but as I began to pass him, he speeded up (to over 80 mph) and the car behind me had pulled up to his rear bumper so I couldn't get back behind him... I had no choice but to speed up to pass and he thought it was great fun to keep speeding next to me and not let me pass - up ahead was another curve... anyway, sure enough a police office was sitting there and picked me up for speeding. I explained the situation but he was not understanding in the slightest. I was so annoyed with the situation, I fought the ticket but the magistrate wouldn't even hear my case... the officer showed up and said I was speeding, plain and simple - so she deemed me guilty. It still irks me. LOL

Nancy Naigle said...

I got a speeding ticket - 83 in a 65 on I-295 near Hopewell, VA not long ago. I wasn't able to sweet-talk my way out of the ticket, even after giving him an excerpt of my latest novel and telling him he reminded me of the handsome sheriff in it, but the deputy did friend me on facebook ;)
Win?
Still cost me $130

At 50, my eye-battin' days are over, I'm afraid.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Joan Emerson--I remember that! Sigh.

ANd yeah, "confusion" seems to work--the "girl from Ohio" story sounds like me, doesn't it?

My husband got a ticket for "going straight" in a right turn only lane. I was laughing, I'm afraid--I said--isn;t hat what the police WANT you to do? Go straight? Then I was worried Jonathan would actually SAY that..

Hallie Ephron said...

Nancy that's so funny. Yes, I'd classify that as a win. I'll bet he'd even answer your questions about police procedure the next time out.

Kaye Barley said...

The last time I got stopped for speeding was 16 years ago.

Donald had accepted a job in Boone,NC, but I was still living in Kennesaw, GA trying to sell the house. Back then, Kennesaw was still a pretty rural area and Barrett Parkway had just been completed. And it was the kind of road that begged you to drive fast - I loved it.

I was the only person on the parkway and yes, driving too fast when a motorcycle cop pulled me over. And I swear, I could not take my eyes off this guy. He was scrumptious! And I guess I was missing Donald more than I realized 'cause when Mr. Motorcycle Policeman wearing black leather approached my window I know my mouth was hanging open and I couldn't quit staring and out of my mouth fell the words, "you look great in leather." He grinned this big grin - white teeth sparkling. Took his sunglasses off and said, "Ma'am, slow down, okay?" I nodded and watched him walk back to his motorcycle. All in all, not a bad experience.

Hallie Ephron said...

Cathy - I so relate to your story. Reminds me of when I was driving on a 2-lane road behind a tractor. It's going 15 MPH. Speed limit 50. Double yellow line, but plenty of room to pass him because he's SO slow and I know this road has double yellow for miles.

So I speed up and pass, easy peasy. Only coming the OTHER way is a cop. In my rearview mirror I see his lights come on, he starts to pull a U-ey. I quick take a right turn into a residential neighborhood. Left. Right. Left. Park in front of someone's house and sit there heart pounding. Thinking: I cannot believe I just did that. After 5 minutes, I venture back onto the main street.

Hallie Ephron said...

Nancy: 50?!?! Your eye batting days are so not over.

William Simon said...

Last time I got pulled over I was trying to get home after a very long day; it was after midnight, I was maybe four blocks from home.

Pull over, turn on interior lights, pull out DL and CHL, lower window. Making sure to keep my hands where the officer could see them, before he said a word, I told him, "I am licensed and I am carrying on my right hip. YOU tell me how you want me to proceed."

He took a step back, put his hand on his weapon and unsnapped it. "You gonna try and surprise me?"

"No, sir. This isn't the time for a misunderstanding."

"Anything you want to tell me before I call in?"

"Nope. As far as I know, I don't even have a parking ticket."

"Any reason you were speeding?"

"Left home at 6 this morning, it's after midnight, I just want to go home and go to sleep."

"I know that feeling," he said. He reached out for my paperwork, I extended it as far as I could, making certain my right hand was on the steering wheel and in his sight at all times. "Put both hands on the wheel where I can see them," he said. "I'll be right back."

He went back to his car, walking backwards, watching me the whole time. He got into his car, picked up the radio, etc. He was back in about five minutes, holding my stuff in his hand. Handing them back, he said, "Mr. Simon, you spoke and acted like a gentleman. Slow it down a little, okay?"

"You bet, Officer. And thanks."

As Joan says, Attitude really is everything in that situation. Jumping out of the car and starting a diatribe, yelling and screaming, then the cops will start *looking* for a reason. Act polite, be reasonable, and chances are good they'll cut you a LOT of rhythm on the situation.

Brenda Buchanan said...

A couple of Octobers ago I was driving a my Subaru wagon(red) in my town early one Monday morning, toodling along Main Street on my way to the transfer station. Every inch other than the driver's seat was jam-packed with bags of leaves we'd raked over the weekend, at least a dozen of those big tall paper leaf bags crammed in the back and a couple riding shotgun in the front passenger seat.

The cop who pulled me over was laughing when she walked up alongside my car, which must have looked like a leaf explosion would happen if she made me get out of the car.

"Can you see (pause) anything out that rear window?"

In as sheepish a voice as I could muster I told her I'd been using the side mirrors to keep track of what was happening behind me.

"You didn't see me. I've been following you for a couple of minutes."

In the end, no ticket, but a suggestion that I borrow a pickup truck for future leaf dump runs.

Karen in OH said...

Even when I was young, cute, and broke, and driving a tiny car and trying to stay out of the way of a bully truck driver who had been thisclose to my bumper--in the slow lane--I ended up with a speeding ticket. The cop said the truck driver slowed down when he saw the cruiser, but since I han't, still in fear for my life, he gave me the ticket. The cop was getting ready to retire, he said, and until then, he was "keeping people from killing themselves". Oh, brother.

My first husband was a cop, too, but he didn't tell me about all the girls he stopped and let go in exchange for sexual favors; someone else told me, years after our divorce.

My middle daughter got her first ticket for running a stop sign on her way to school, in a residential neighborhood, with her little sister in the car. Little sis said big sis didn't cry until the cop handed her the ticket, and she told her bib sis that was backwards, she should have turned on the tears first. These things you find out, years after the fact.

Hallie Ephron said...

William -- Meta-comment: Whoa! The way you tell that story is RIVETING, cinematic... grabbed me. Seriously, a tiny lesson in writing tension and suspense. (Thinking this because as we speak I'm working on handouts for a class on suspense)

Hallie Ephron said...

Karen - sounds like you have more of an insider's view than any of us would want to have... my sympathies.

Patricia Winton said...

I was riding with my sister a lot of years ago on I-81. At the time, she worked at the FBI as a fingerprint technician (long before they were digitized). She was stopped for speeding by a Virginia state trooper. When she opened her wallet to reveal her license, I noticed that it was arranged so that her FBI badge showed too. The trooper took one look, touched his Smokey hat with a forefinger, handed it all back, and bid us a good day.

Terry Ambrose said...

I agree with Hallie about William's story. What a story of going from innocent stop to potential confrontation.

Mine, sadly, are all way too predictable. Get stopped, get nervous, get the ticket. After accumulating enough points to almost lose my license (and probably enough money to have taken a nice vacation somewhere) I must have learned my lesson...or maybe the ticket gods just decided I had my quota.

Grapeshot/Odette said...

I haven't talked myself out of a ticket since I got not one but two warning tickets racing from Dallas to Houston many moons ago.

My friends brother was a a pilot in the air force. He was stopped speeding in the wilds in New Mexico. The cop approached the car and said, "O.K. buddy, where's your flying license?"

Her brother pulled out his pilot license and gave it to the patrolman. The cop laughed and . . . no ticket!

Deb said...

What great stories! Nancy, you are NEVER too old to bat your eyelashes:-)

Kaye, you crack me up!!!!

And yes, Hallie, I agree with you about William's story.

Oh, and Shizuka--I'm glad you're no longer driving:-)

Patricia Fieldsteel said...

Around 40 years ago, I was driving home from the Hamptons on a Sunday morning at around 7:30 A.M. I was the only car on the road and was flagged over by 4 cops in two cars--sirens blaring. They claimed I was going too slowly and when I stupidly made the mistake of trying to argue, they threatened me with the slammer. This was on something like August 29th or 30th. My case along with a few hundred others went to court because apparently there had been a huge scandal in Suffolk County with police officers giving out violations for anything they could think of at the end of August to boost their quotas. The judge threw all the tickets out and a lot of cops were put on suspension.

Hallie Ephron said...

Great story, Patricia... ticket quotas are probably even more prevalent now with so many towns coming up short on funds.

Anonymous said...

I got pulled over for speeding. The cop strolls up and asks me "Do you know why I pulled you over?" I answered, "For voting democratic in the last election?". He couldn't write that ticket fast enough.

Hallie Ephron said...

Don't you think traffic cops should carry around wrong answer buzzers?

Lucy Burdette said...

oh my gosh, you guys are so entertaining this morning...and lots of fodder for future scenes. thanks and Be Careful Out There! Officer Burdette

Jack Getze said...

Crying never works for me.

Linda Rodriguez said...

I'm such a wimp. I've never had a speeding ticket. My friend from TX says she always wants to open the passenger door and push with her foot when she rides with me. (Sally's had LOTS of speeding tickets.) I tend to go the speed limit or less than five miles over.

Ben's an even slower driver. We were on our way back from Chicago late at night after a poetry reading. A poet friend who'd openly despaired of Ben's careful, slow driving, slept in the back seat. A car kept pushing up behind us right on our bumper, forcing Ben faster and faster. The second he hit two miles over the speed limit, the car put on lights and siren. It was an Illinois highway trooper. He approached us with gun out. (We had MO plates, so we think he thought we were drug runners from East St. Louis--or something?) He wanted to know what we were doing and where we were coming from. I told him we were poets coming from a reading we'd given in Chicago and asked him if he'd like a copy of my book of poetry, which I held up for him to see. He backed off in horror and just gave us a warning.

Darlene Ryan said...

I'm lucky to have a very knowledgeable--and charming--police chief who's answered lots and lots of questions about police procedure for my Magical Cats books. We were discussing why people break the law on a small scale, like speeding. He commented that in his experience it was because "they think the law doesn't apply to them."

Ouch! He could have been talking about me on a particular stretch of road just on the outskirts of the city. I generally drove it like I was a Nascar driver. Now, whenever I turn that corner all I hear in my head is, "you think the rules don't apply to you." It'd cured my lead foot better than any ticket could have.

Deb Romano said...

I read this before starting work this morning, and immediately began seeing RED but it had nothing to do with the RED from JRW. Now that I'm on my lunch break, I have had a little time to calm down.
My story: NOBODY wants to be a passenger with me - because I obey the posted speed limit. Among friends and family, I have a reputation for being WAAAY too slow. Two years ago this summer I was pulled over in the pre-dawn hours while driving to the gym. This was the first time in over forty years of driving that I was pulled over. I was stymied as to the reason why. I assumed that the (probably teenaged) officer would tell me that he had pulled me over to inform me
that perhaps one of my tires needed air or that maybe one of my headlights looked like it might be on the verge of burning out. No. He told me that I had been speeding. I wanted to exclaim "that's not possible! I am turtle-slow! Nobody wants to be a passenger with me if they want to get to their destination the same day we start out." I was too shocked, though, to say anything, plus I am extremely neurotic and have had nightmares since childhood about being arrested for a crime I didn't commit (too much mystery reading from an early age? No,actually. The nightmares began earlier than that!) I did not want to add fuel to the fire. The speed limit was 30 and I had been doing 40. The thing is, I thought the limit was 40 on that street; it's 40 on all the surrounding streets. I WANTED to ask why he had not pulled over the only other vehicle on the street that morning, the pickup truck that had passed me on the RIGHT but I said nothing, being afraid to speak up. I ended up paying the fine. Nothing happened. Then a couple of months ago I was informed that my car insurance was spiking because of my "record". Two years have passed! Now I am very angry! When I have calmed down, I will send a civil letter to my insurance agent. But not until I calm down! People STILL complain about my slow driving. Other drivers honk their horns at me all the time because of my slow (as in obeying the speed limit) driving. My family and friends think this ticket thing is hysterically funny. Someday perhaps I will laugh with them.

I have relatives who are current or former or retired police officers. All of them are kind and compassionate gentlemen. I have no idea why I fear false arrest! One of them was a police officer on Long Island out near the Hamptons but wasn't on the police force until a year or two after the incident mentioned by Patricia. When he WAS a cop,he ended up with the nickname "Crash" because of his driving record with police cars! And by the way,he told me that he would quite likely follow and observe any car that was driving too slowly...for suspicion of drug activity. I thought of your Ben, Linda. By the way,your story cracked me up!

This past winter I was again pulled over in the predawn hours on the way to the gym and I KNEW I had done nothing wrong. This time it WAS because a headlight had burned out. I check them every couple of days and was taken by surprise by this. But at least there wereno tickets involved! The officer wanted to know where I was going at such an early hour. I guess he doesn't know too many sixtysomething women who go to the gym before sunrise!(He told me to have a good workout!)

Linda Rodriguez said...

Hey, DebRo, I'm overweight and "mature." I doubt that batted eyelashes would do me much good, but almost everyone, especially an athletic young guy, is afraid of poetry. It's my secret weapon.

Hallie Ephron said...

Thanks for venting, Deb Romano - we're ALL with you! Dontcha hate where the little two-lane road goes from 55 mph to 30 without so much as a how-do-you-do? And there's the police cruiser, lurking. There's a reason they call them speed traps.

Hallie Ephron said...

Linda, if we sent your husband and mine on a road trip, we'd never see them again. So let's not!

andrew goldstein said...

Honesty is the best policy. I was twenty miles over the speed limit when I was stopped in a tunnel coming from the airport. The police officer apologized to me but said he had to give me a ticket because it was on the video camera he pointed to. He told me I could fight it and that I should because it was a $150 ticket. So a month later i went to the courthouse and sat before a magistrate and a different police officer read the report and the magistrate turned to me and asked me for my side of the story and I said, "Well you honor, I was speeding..." and he hammered down his gavel and said, "The truth...case dismissed."

Vickie Radford said...

I was coming home at 11:00 one night, went through a school zone, didn't really think about it at all. School certainly wasn't in session, so no worries. I was pulled over a few minutes later. The city policeman came up to the window and told me I was going too fast in a school zone, I was dumb-founded. I gave him my license and couldn't help myself, I asked him if he was sure that the school zone counted at 11pm. He looked at my license and asked me how long I lived in Montana ?? I told him about 6 weeks and in my home state school zones only applied during school hours. He grinned and actually said " I'm sorry but you aren't in Kansas anymore". I think he might have been waiting years to say that, I got off with a warning !! Hey for Kansas and "The Wizard of Oz".

Hallie Ephron said...

In Montana you can't go regular speed at 11 PM through a school zone??? Bizarre.

Belatedly: Jack Getze, we'll give you crying lessons. But you need eyelashes and cleavage, too.

Reine said...

Me? Wheelchair and service dog. I can drool on command, queueing service dog to lick my face. Makes everyone cry. I try not to giggle.

Reine said...

PS: I no longer drive, so all this is for Scout's benefit (and our bank account).

Lynda said...

My story is from a lifetime ago, almost 40 years ago when I was in my mid-twenties. I'd gone for a eye doctor's appointment and parked in a small lot across the street. Unbeknownst to me, the side street was one-way, and I'd parked directly underneath the sign, so I didn't see it as I was pulling out. I drove exactly one car length in the wrong direction to the corner, where I waited to make a left turn. The only traffic was a police car, and the driver stopped, waved me on, then pulled me over to issue me a ticket.

Unlike William, I did not act in a calm, respectful manner. Quite the opposite, I went freakin' ballistic. I felt the officer had behaved in a chickenshit way, and I told him so, only in not such polite terms. At length and at volume. Then I ripped the ticket into many tiny pieces and threw it onto the floor of my car, again telling the officer what I thought of him. In multi-syllabic words.

In the end, he could not get away from me quickly enough. He knew a crazy woman when he saw one. And I *was* crazed. At the time I was making $1.90 an hour working as a nurse's aide in a convalescent hospital, and was married to a compulsive gambler. We weren't able to pay our regular expenses, let alone a bogus ticket.

How that ticket never showed up on my record involves the FBI and a bomb scare at the San Francisco Airport (absolutely true story, swear to God), but that's a story for another day.

Hallie Ephron said...

Oh, Lynda - now THAT IS a novel!

skipperhammond said...

I left my home state of North Carolina a zillion years ago, still, whenever a cop stops me, the Southern drawl sneaks into my mouth and out my lips. Something about those blue uniforms makes me do it.

Lynda said...

Yes it is, Hallie. And I didn't even mention the part about the ambulance. :)

Anonymous said...

Crying has always worked for me. In fact, the only ticket I've ever gotten was when I didn't cry. But that was in my teens and 20s. Now that I'm 40 and not as cute, well, I don't know if it would work anymore...lol
~Kimberly