The village that borders my hometown is a notorious speed trap. At first, the limit on the main roadway was a paltry 25, which was almost impossible to abide. When I returned from D.C., I was pleased to see it'd been upped to 35.
Tonight, doin' a buck in the latest drop, I got stopped by a ladycop.
OK, that's not entirely true, that's a Lil Wayne lyric. I was only going 45ish, not a buck (which I assume means 100, but I don't speak Weezy). Once I pulled over, I had no idea what to do because I haven't been pulled over since I was 19, in broad daylight on a scenic overpass on my drive home from finals.
My thought process went as follows: Shitshitshit, I can't afford a ticket. I can't even afford gas & groceries! Do I leave the car on? Maybe the officer will think I'm gonna flee the scene. Turn the car off! No, now I look really sketchy, all sitting here in blackness. And what if passersby can't see me & swerve into me & kill me? Also, I'm cold. Turn the car back on! Oh! Do I even have proof of insurance? What does proof of insurance look like?! How do people avoid being ticketed? I should start crying, like, 20 seconds ago.
The cop approached me as I rifled through my glove box, & although seated, I jumped about a foot. From there, the rest of my thought process went as follows: A ladycop?! Shitshitshit, now tears definitely won't work. Wait, wait, wait. Why am I thinking so straight? I dunno about this ladycop's preferences. Maybe tears will work after all!
Alas, I could not muster tears, despite my habit of crying at inopportune times. Now, I guess, I can't cry at opportune times, which just figures. The policewoman proceeded to tell me not that I was driving with reckless abandon but rather that I was driving with my headlights off. I was truly & honestly baffled.
"I was?" I asked dumbly.
"Well," she answered, "They're on now. Did you turn the car off & back on?" And then I had to admit that yes, I did, because I didn't know what to do when I got pulled over, like some teenage first-timer.
"I hadn't really driven for the last three years," I admitted nervously, which I quickly realized sounds like I'd had a suspended license or done time in lock-up or, you know, something Lil Wayne-esque. "I meannn, I lived in a city. I used public transportation. I didn't have a car. You know." Great, I am now rambling like a nervous maniac with a coke habit & maybe a facial tic.
The cop proceeded to show me the difference between my parking lights & my headlights. She let me go without a ticket - just a written warning & a severe loss of dignity.