Friends, I’ve had a run-in with the law.
Yesterday, I took Priscilla to the airport. After she got out, as I was driving out of the drop-off area, I got a text and picked up my phone to read it. Let it be known: I DO NOT text while driving and I think it is an incredibly dangerous and foolhardy thing to do. But, occasionally I’ll read one that I receive whilst behind the wheel.
Then, all of a sudden, there appeared flashing lights in my rear-view mirror. I froze (well, not completely. I was still driving, of course). I have never gotten pulled over and have dreaded the day that it would happen.
The officer was middle-aged and friendly enough. He asked for my license and registration, which I gave him. He looked at it, and said, ” I am going to have to give you a citation for speeding. You were busy texting on your phone and didn’t even see how fast you were going. You were going 20 in a 10.”
I replied, “I wasn’t texting; I was just reading one really fast.”
“Well, you were reading it with your thumbs then.” He proceeded to give me the play-by-play of how he had seen my speeding and then walked back to his car to write me up.
I was mad. First of all, I’m not a liar. I wasn’t writing a text. Secondly, twenty is still insanely low (and who REALLY goes 10 in a 10?), and lastly, there were plenty of other people speeding, too. I was positioned right next to a speed-reader, and while he was writing me up, I counted at least 8 people pass going 20 or more. Why should I get pulled over?!
Right then, I stopped myself. I work for the police, for Heaven’s sake. I get so sick of hearing people’s sob stories, or how they place the blame for their ticket on other people.
In all fairness, I was speeding. I was breaking the law, and I probably shouldn’t have even been reading a text.
And then, I felt the tears begin to come. I fought a valiant battle trying to suppress them; I was NOT going to be a person who cried their way out of a ticket. But, let’s be honest: I’m a legitimate crier; I don’t have a lot of control over it.
I held it back, willing myself to be mature. I was successful…until he came back.
[Yep, folks: That’s me.]
As soon as he spoke to me, they all came rushing out. He was caught pretty off guard.
“Stop crying. I’s okay. Stop crying. Stop crying!”
“I CAN’T!” I sobbed. “It’s too late now!”
He tried his best to calm me down.
“Hey, I’m from Colorado, too. Colorado Springs. I went to Mitchell High School.”
He continued talking, telling me I didn’t need to cry, that crying wasn’t allowed.
The more he talked, the more I cried. These floodgates would not shut. Even worse, it was getting to that frantic stage where when you try to talk, all that comes out is gasps and hyperventilation.
“Why are you crying? Are you afraid your parents will be mad at you?”
“No!” I choked out. “I work for the police at BYU and now I’m one of those people I make fun of.”
He looked at me, a little surprised, yet amused. “What do you do for the police down in Provo?”
“People come yell at me about their parking tickets!” I blubbered.
He laughed and looked back down at the ticket he held in his hand and wrote something on it. He handed it to me and I saw a large VOID written over it. “Sign right here, to show that you know I voided it.”
I smiled at him, but still couldn’t stop the crying. Man, these tears were persistent.
“Just stop crying. We have a rule against that. I wrote it myself. Stop crying. It’s okay. Stop crying. Stop crying.” (For a cop, he can’t handle tears well.).
I think he eventually gave up on me, said “Next time you decide to speed, don’t do it as you pass a cop.”, and walked away. I rolled up my window, slowly pulled out, and then REALLY let the tears flow. I told you, once they start, they’re unstoppable.