Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Day I Died.

 I was driving down the highway, minding my own. I saw a police car passing me...slow down...pull behind me. 

I stopped breathing. 

The lights came on. 

My heart was pounding. I pulled over to the side with no idea what I had done. The car with the flashing lights pulled right in behind me. 

Mentally, I said a bad word. I started pulling the registration and insurance information out of the glovebox.

From the back seat, William stopped eating his 'Happy Meal'. Maybe I should have bought myself a happy meal, because at that particular moment, I needed some happy. I said in a very calm voice, "Grandma has been pulled over by the police. It's okay. Don't worry." His eyes grew wide, and he unsnapped his seat belt to pop his head out the back window for a better look.

The trooper asked for my paperwork. It was in my hand, so I handed it out the window. She didn't give me any clue what was going on, and I sat there quietly dying. I was surely not speeding. 

She carried my papers back to her car. William bounced around craning his neck to get a better look. He had a lot of questions. Me? I had zero answers.

When she returned, she said, "Are you aware that the paper is loose from your license plate?" 

I felt a flood of relief. "Yes, I was. I didn't know what to do about it though." 

"Do you know where the trooper barracks are?" 

"Yes," I said.

She said, "Stop in there and get the officer on duty to sign a paper for you. The state will replace it free. I'm not sure what the deal was, but there was a couple years when that was a real problem with the plates." 

And she headed back to her car.

Happiness is seeing the backside of a police officer in your rearview mirror. She was nothing but nice, don't get me wrong, but Oh. My. Heavens...that scared the mess out of me. 

I told William to buckle up. He wanted to know if I got a ticket. I told him no. He seemed disappointed. He picked up his happy meal and resumed eating.


  1. Oh my. Definitely a scary moment. I am glad it ended well - and love that funny.

  2. I wonder why it is that even though you have nothing to worry about, you still find yourself in a tizzy when the police pull you over? It's only happened to me twice in my 63 years. I could feel that my face was flushed. I think that the officer could have reasonably assumed that I must have been guilty of SOMETHING just from the look on my face.

  3. I have a cocaine smuggling British friend (long ago now) who was pulled over by the police in America and he got away with it by shouting in an English accent. When he got back that didn't work and he spent a couple of years in Dartmoor prison.

  4. Why is it that we feel guilty when you know you're not. I've never been pulled over in the UK but I do hate it when I'm followed by a cop car or following a cop car, I'm relieved when I can turn off the road.

  5. I assume by paper they are referring to some sort of current registration thing for your license plates? In our state they give us a sticker that is so adhesive, I don't think a tractor could pull it back off even if you could hook a log chain to the sticker. After awhile, I get a stack of stickers on there and can clip a chunk off with a cold chisel and a hammer before putting the new one on the remains of the stack.

  6. We never realized it before, but the color paint over the metal? It's some sort of plasticized coating. The trooper referred to it as 'paper'. It had peeled entirely away from the plate and was flapping in the wind. The metal underneath was perfectly fine, and we'd thought about just taking the plate off and painting the numbers on with appropriate colored paint, but that's illegal, turns out. So we really didn't have an idea of what to do about that. We hated to buy a new plate. It was the principle of the thing, I suppose, buying a new plate because the old one was defective. We noticed other cars with the same problem. We just didn't worry about it, since nobody else seemed to either. Now someone has worried about it, and so we've got the paperwork to get a new plate.

  7. I'm not much on shouting. In this case, being quiet and ignorant (and nervous as heck) served me quite nicely.

  8. Gahhh! Anything remotely resembling something 'official' and I'm a hot mess! Way to hold it together, Gramma! Maybe next time you can present your grandson with a 'ticket'. Tell him he can pay it! ;)

  9. Ha! You had me going there. I'm sure I'd feel just as guilty, even if I'd done nothing wrong.

  10. It's the teacher thing when someone speaks when they shouldn't in class. "Who said that?" she glares. Guess who goes bright red first.


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