Thursday, June 16, 2011

I'll moving violate YOU

I've always considered myself a pretty good driver. At this point I've been on the road for more than 10 years and have more than a few notches on the old Road Trip bed post, so I've got at least a little experience tucked under my belt. Not to mention, I have the reflexes of a cat when I'm sober and, incidentally, I'm always sober while driving. Amazing, right? As such, my driving record is almost pristine, save for a minor accident involving my father's Saturn when I was 16 that was TOTALLY not my fault, you guys. I swear.

These days, I zip around Boston and beyond in my little Honda Civic like someone who was born to zip around Boston and beyond in a little Honda Civic. I rule the traffic circle. And this probably goes without saying, but I parallel park like a pro. Like. A. Mothaflippin'. Pro. Parking cars ain't no thang when you Aced the parallel parking test for a 20-foot United States Post Office truck. True Life: I used to be your mailman. WHAT?

As part of being what I consider a "good" driver, I try really hard not to be an asshole. I let people merge. I stop before red lights to let people out of parking lots. And I always give a friendly wave and smile whenever anyone else does the same. FACT: If I let you in front of me and you do not give me a thank you wave in return, I WILL become rageful and want to rear-end you in retaliation. A little wave doesn't take much. It's common courtesy. Do you also not hold doors and shove old people and eat puppies? You're a dick. Just sayin'.

But just because I'm not an asshole doesn't mean I probably don't drive a little too fast for my own good. Granted, I'm no crazy speedster like those dudes in souped up two-door Hondas with tinted windows and flames on the side of their doors. I'm typically always with the flow of traffic. But when you're used to frequently traveling long distances at a time (like, say, a daily commute of 60 miles or a regular road trip from Boston to Philadelphia), you tend to push the gas pedal a smidge harder than the average Joe simply because GOD I JUST WANT TO BE THERE ALREADY ARE WE THERE YET I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM I'M STARVING I'M LATE THERE IS NOTHING ON THE RADIO I WANT THE AIR CONDITIONING ON NO I WANT THE WINDOWS OPEN NO THAT'S TOO LOUD I WANT THE AIR CONDITIONING BACK ON NO IT'S A LOVELY DAY I WANT THE WINDOWS BACK DOWN THIS TRAFFIC IS CRUSHING MY WILL TO LIVE ARE YOU THERE GOD IT'S ME BRIDGET DID I MENTION I'M STARVING?

Why do I say "probably" when I refer to my speeds? Don't I have a near-perfect driving record, which includes a total of zero (yes ZERO) tickets? Well yes I do, no thanks to myself. I've been pulled over for speeding three times and for committing a moving violation one time for a grand total of four incidences with the men in blue of both Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. All of which resulted in zero tickets.

The first time I was driving too quickly down Lancaster Avenue in high school after watching my boyfriend play guitar in a coffee shop and that sentence right there pretty much describes the majority of my high school career. Le sigh. But the cop, likely sensing my and my friend's panic, let me go with a good, firm talkin' to.

The second time I was also in high school, speeding past someone driving far too slow down Eagle Road in Havertown. I still had my "junior" license, which required me to be off the road by 11 p.m. It was somewhere around midnight and just as I decided to take on this bold maneuver, I sped past a cop sitting in a 7-11 parking lot. This time, I played it cool with my friend Monica in the passenger seat. I'm so sorry, officer. I fell asleep and when I woke up I realized it was past my driving curfew and I just wanted to get home as quickly as possible and I am so, SO sorry. Another warning. This time I was sent off with a kind smile and a "I just want to see you safe."

The third time I got pulled over was a good seven years after the second. This time for making a left turn off of Day Boulevard in South Boston 20 minutes before it was legally allowed. A cop was sitting just around the corner, flagging down an entire row of cars. After ticketing three people ahead of me, the officer took my license and registration. This dude was not fucking around. No smiles, no do you know why I pulled you over rhetorical questions. Just stone, cold, sunglasses-down badassery. This time I knew I was busted. He took my papers to his car while I fiddled with the radio. B would kill me. Minutes later he jogged back to my window and threw my papers onto my lap, "it's your lucky day, girl. I just got an emergency call. AND DON'T DO IT AGAIN." And he sped off through Southie. Thank you, Jeebus!

And finally, my last experience occurred on the drive to Cape Cod for Memorial Day Weekend with Mojo sitting shotgun. We just turned off the Bourne Bridge and were a mere few miles from Doug's beach house. Our excitement level was wavering solidly between heart palpitation pumped and pee your pants crazy. The music was up and we were on the look out for a place to stock up on beer before pulling into Doug's. And then he got me. Ooooh he got me.

Panic flashed across Mojo's face. "Oh god, Briiiiiiidg. Now you're really going to need a drink."

But this time, after all those other times, I knew my time had come. For realsies this time. And I was okay with that. "It's totally fine, Mo. My time has come. I technically owe the country, like, hundreds of dollars anyway for all those other times I got pulled over and never got tickets. It had to happen eventually."

The cop was at my window. "Do you know why I pulled you over today?"

"I was going too fast," I replied meekly, my eyes cast down in contrition.

"And do you know how fast you were going?"

I looked at Mo. I looked at the cop. I had no idea how fast I was going, actually. I mean, it couldn't have been that fast. I was pretty much with the flow of traffic, right? Granted I was in the left lane, but it's not like I was going 90. Right?

"Fif ... ty ... five?



"And do you know what the speed limit is?"

Again I was stumped. I watched the other cars flying past on their way to sandy shorts and limes in their beers. I had no idea what the speed limit even WAS.

"Fif ... ty?

FIFTY?! Why didn't I say 65?! That would have put me just five miles above what I "thought" was the speed limit. FIFTY?! I should just write MYSELF the ticket and when I'm done use the same pen to scrawl "MORON" across my forehead so everyone around me would know to approach with caution because this chick is dumb. FIFTY?!


Oh god I was so busted. And by a state trooper to boot. This would not be pretty.

"Zero." My voice was submissive, resigned, wilting by the minute like a flower petal shriveling in the sun.

"ZERO?" His voice was incredulous. He tipped his sunglasses down his nose to more thoroughly scrutinize the poor specimen before him.

"Zero." I got a little bit bolder.

"ZERO speeding tickets?"

It's not like I was going to offer up all those times I got stopped for speeding but DIDN'T get a ticket. I mean, I know I'm a moron but I'm not an idiot.

"Zero speeding tickets."

"I'll be right back ... ZERO?" He called back on his way to his car to plug in my information and return with what I assumed would be a hefty fine from the staties. When he came back to my window he handed me back my license and registration. "Well I'm not going to be the asshole to give you your first ticket today. I don't want to be that guy. Drive safely and you ladies have a good weekend."

I was speechless. Utterly incredulous. "Th-th-THANK you, sir!" I stumbled as he walked back to his car.

"Wow! I can't believe that!" Mo exclaimed. "Was he hot? I couldn't see."

To prove that I was mature and could sometimes make adult-like decisions, I decided not to turn directly in to the liquor store parking lot that we were sitting in front of with the cop and instead pulled into the right lane, where Mojo demanded I stay for the remainder of the drive. I was immensely relieved and filled with the overwhelming desire to pee. And yes, we did stop at the next liquor store we found to stock up for the weekend, where I did relieve my bladder in the Employee Only room because PHEW.

On a side note, I had totally debated about writing this post because I figured as soon as I put it all in writing and shared it with people I would immediately get pulled over for something and get slapped with what would be sure to be a multi-hundred dollar ticket and points on my license and the whole kit and kaboodle to REALLY make up for all those times I got off but then I realized if I just stopped speeding I could totally prevent my doom but then I realized that every time I tell myself to drive slower it lasts about five miles or until the first person cuts me off and then I realized IT'S CALLED MATURITY, BRIDGET, GET SOME but then I realized I just don't care and maybe by visualizing myself getting a ticket after writing this post I would prevent it from happening because that's the way my mind works.

I'll let you know how it goes.


De in D.C. said...

You lucky bastard. The *1* time I've gotten pulled over for speeding, it was 1am and I was a mile from home and going with "traffic" (ie, the one other car on the road at 1am), and he wrote me a ticket for 54 in a 40. That's not even 15 over! No sympathy that I'd never had a ticket before (and I was 29, not just some high schooler).

I did take a whole morning off work to go to court, and pled guilty and got off with a reduced sentence. The fees were about the same, but it was 3 points instead of 4.

Falko said...

You Suck!!!!! I hate girls that constantly get away with this crap. I got out of one ticket. That right, ONE TICKET, out of god knows how many. Do you know why??? HE FORGOT HIS TICKET BOOK!

I would be that dick cop to write you your first tieckt because I would know that you probably deserve like 10 that you never got. They should start and use that rationale.

tokenblogger said...

Awesome story!

No speeding tickets here, either. I once got a parking ticket --- parked in a yellow zone so faded how could anyone know it was there!

Bridget said...

@Falko, just jealous. Just JEALOUS.

@tokenblogger, I didn't mention the time I locked me keys in my car when they were locked in a no parking zone ... oh, life.

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Becky Mochaface said...

Gah, I wish Texas State Troopers weren't such dicks. There's no way this would happen in Texas.


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