Okay. I got a ticket. I had it coming. There are two places in my life where I consistently break the law. The first is waiting for a left turn signal on a country road near my house. If no one is around, I just go for it. I tell myself it’s silly to sit on a quiet road and wait for a light that takes too long to turn.
The second place is a left hand turn of another sort. This one is in the city and is poorly managed. A motorist can grow old at that light waiting for great waves of traffic to flow through an overcrowded intersection. There is a No U Turn sign posted as clear as day, but that has never stopped me. A simple veering in another direction and I miss the intersection, and arrive promptly at my destination avoiding traffic, two red lights and one stop sign.
More tedious detail than you need to know, but I have to set the stage.
It was Wednesday night at ten o’clock, after an incredibly long day. I had not eaten since three and my belly was making friends with my backbone. Newport Bay had a happy hour that lasted until closing. I couldn’t wait. I made my usual radical U turn at the intersection and noticed overgrown Christmas lights flashing in my rear view mirror. I pulled over before he caught up. I was guilty, caught dead-on, fair and square. Besides, I knew I deserved a hundred tickets for the same weekly maneuver, not one.
The policeman came to my window and introduced himself like a blind date on prom night. The guy was polite, even sweet. He tried to give me an out, but I was too dense to lie.
Do you know why I’m stopping you?
Did you see the No U Turn sign? It was dark; I thought you might have missed it.
Nope, I didn’t miss it. I knew it was there. I was starving and wanted to get to Newport Bay, so I just went for it.
Could I see your driver’s license, insurance and registration, please?
Please, like could I have the next dance if you’re not too busy?
I had no idea where the registration was, had my license in my wallet, and an out of date insurance card.
This one is expired, do you have another?
I searched knowing that I did somewhere.
It’s okay if you don’t, I trust you.
Who was this guy? I trust you!
I found it and handed it over, while he returned to his Christmas tree car and wrote me a whopping ticket.
I’m afraid I have to ticket you tonight, he said handing over my copy of a yellow summons, but you can go to court and have it reduced.
Go to court? I’m dead-on guilty. I’m going to go and plead guilty and they’ll reduce my fee?
Unless you’re a repeat offender, which you don’t look like to me.
Oh…if he only knew. I was the Queen of Repeat Offenders, who hadn’t yet been caught.
He handed me the ticket. I said, Crap, I can’t believe this.
Don’t feel bad, he said, in his sweet blind date voice. It happens to all of us.
I thanked him. I actually thanked him for my ticket!
I wanted to invite him to happy hour so we could discuss different career options for him. He was obviously too nice to last long as a policeman, but his car was off and away before I gathered my thoughts.