Tag Archives: bad drivers

Dumb (Bad) Luck


Police, Auto, Police Car, Retro, Patrol Car, Model Car

So I got ticketed driving through my own neighborhood last night. That’s embarrassing enough in its own right — not that we get too hung up on what the neighbors think (I am pretty sure we have druggies living next door, three generations living in one house across the street, and an elderly couple very concerned with lawn care living on our other side who I have no doubt absolutely HATE me and my “mow it once a week, what more do you want” approach to groundskeeping). But it got worse still: while I was pulled over by the police officer, blue lights strobing away and all in our quiet little residential area, who goes driving by?

My in-laws.

My in-laws.

The indignity. The shame. The fargoing sheer stupid idiotic bad luck.

I would have gotten away with it, too. I would have explained away the ten-minute or so delay in my grocery store run, paid the fine quietly, and nobody would ever have been the wiser, except that my freaking in-laws go cruising by on their way to visit with our kids before we head out of town.

As it was, though, I walked into the house to find my wife standing with folded arms, already waiting an explanation.

It was for the dumbest of things, too — a failure to come to a complete stop. Now look, I know. Rules are rules. And you won’t find me arguing with police officers. But living in this neighborhood for 6 (help!) years, I’ve seen a lot of drivers doing a hell of a lot worse and getting away with it almost every day. It’s the richest of irony that I would get dinged for a rolling stop just at the time when my in-laws are rolling past.

Actually, I lied before.

I wouldn’t have gotten away with it, not by any stretch of the imagination. Because my 4-year-old son was in the car with me. And if you don’t have any 4-year-olds in your life, well, let me tell you, you will never appreciate silence more than if you ever cross paths with a 4-year-old.

DADDY CAN I HAVE SOMETHING TO DRINK DADDY WHAT’S THAT GUY DOING DADDY LOOK AT THE KITTY ISN’T THAT FUNNY DADDY I THINK THERE’S SOMETHING WEIRD OUTSIDE OH IT’S JUST A BIRD THE KITTY WANTS TO EAT IT DADDY WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THE KITTY ATE THE BIRD THAT WOULDN’T BE VERY GOOD HUH DADDY HEY DADDY CAN I HAVE A POPSICLE DADDY HOW MANY MORE BITES OF MY DINNER DO I HAVE TO EAT FOR A POPSICLE DADDY I ATE MY DINNER CAN I HAVE THAT POPSICLE NOW DADDY POPSICLE DADDY DRINK DADDY WHY ARE YOU MAD

(One of these days I’m going to get one of those pitch counters that baseball umpires carry, and I’m just going to quietly keep a tally of how many times the sprout says “daddy” in a day. I mean, it’s adorable, but it’ll also make you seriously think of changing your name or of leaving the state.)

Of course, after getting pulled over by the policeman, the unstoppable monologue was more along the lines of:

DADDY WHAT DID THAT MAN WANT DADDY WHO WAS THAT DADDY WHAT’S A POLICE OFFICER DADDY DID YOU BREAK A LAW DADDY IS HE BEING MEAN TO YOU DADDY WHY AREN’T WE GOING DADDY IS HE GOING TO BE YOUR FRIEND DADDY THAT POLICE OFFICER HAS HAIR LIKE YOU DADDY WHY DIDN’T YOU STOP AT THE STOP SIGN DADDY ARE YOU GOING TO GO TO JAIL THAT WOULDN’T BE VERY GOOD DADDY ARE YOU IN TROUBLE DADDY WHAT’S A TICKET DADDY HOW MANY DOLLARS DOES IT COST DADDY CAN WE STILL GO TO THE PLAYGROUND TOMORROW DADDY CAN I HAVE A POPSICLE WHEN WE GET HOME

And I know he would have been all too happy to regale my wife with his tale, even if my in-laws hadn’t already ratted me out.

Which is why I’m here writing about it. Because we’re heading out of town today, meeting up with family on the way, and he’s going to tell the story to anybody who will listen and I just want to get ahead of the controversy.

Incidentally, while I was telling my wife that I was obviously going to have to write about this experience, I told her I’d be depriving her of the opportunity to rat me out to my own mother. “I’m totally stealing your thunder,” I told her.

To which the 4-year-old replied, faint horror rattling his tiny voice, “Daddy, are you going to thunder my mom??”

Anyway, to set the record straight, and to make sure all thunder is properly stolen (though I want to be clear: no mommies were thundered in the writing of this blarg):

Yes, I got ticketed in my own neighborhood.

Yes, my in-laws (MAMA AND PAPA) drove by while I was pulled over.

No, the police officer was not mean to me.

No, I am not going to jail.

Don’t believe anything else that 4-year-old tells you.

This weekly remotivational post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Every weekend, I use Linda G. Hill’s prompt to refocus my efforts and evaluate my process, sometimes with productive results. This week’s post was very little about process, but it made me laugh anyway — deal with it!

 


A Farewell to Traffic


Christmas is over, and I couldn’t be happier.

Not because I hate the season. I love the season. And I love the holiday, and the family, and the spirit, and the things… But I hate the traffic.

See, we live just around the corner from the mall; a mall that attracts shoppers from as far away as Alabama, which means that our podunk little town suddenly begins attracting ungodly numbers of shoppers after Thanksgiving. It’s ridiculous. Our city is not a huge one nor a tiny one — it’s sort of Goldilocks’ed right in the middle — but the city planning and especially the road layouts are sharply indicative of a city office that never planned on the city getting as big as it is or attracting the kind of Christmas traffic that it does.

What that means is that from November to December, you can double or triple or better your travel time to get anywhere, even if it’s just around the corner for a burger. Even getting out of my neighborhood, thanks to its juxtaposition with one of the main arteries leading to the highway, can take fifteen minutes or more depending on the (lack of) goodwill from the holiday drivers. We are consumed with traffic, which leads to headaches, which basically makes me become a hermit from Thanksgiving until a few days after the madness has passed.

It’s funny how much of an effect something like traffic can have upon my psyche, especially considering that I actually enjoy driving most of the time. But traffic sucks the life out of me. And when the traffic is caused entirely as a result of poor planning, is compounded by the jerkish behavior of average joes ignoring the rules of the road in favor of their own rushing around, and has virtually no solution in sight thanks to the cramped layout of buildings and shopping centers preventing any widening of roads, it really makes me hate humanity a little bit. Like, more than usual.

But Christmas is over, and the world is returning to normal after the gift explosions and the candy cane hangover, so the traffic is becoming livable again, which means I can go out into the world again. I can stop hating strangers so much.

And let me just acknowledge how difficult it was, with a prompt word like “consume,” how difficult it was not to write about the thirty pounds of turkey and casserole and cheesecake that I consumed over the break. For a guy like me who’s working on managing his weight, that stuff is pretty much front-of-mind right now.

Short entry today to ease me back into posting now that the holidays are over. Good one coming up about gender roles and expectations (heavy stuff for the blarg here at Pavorisms, but don’t worry, it’ll be characteristically flip and uninformed).

This post was part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. And yes, it’s a day late. I’m consumed with guilt over it.


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