Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Life in the Fast Lane or An Open Letter to Officer Mendosa

It’s been a year and a half since my husband and I moved to a small community named Pinion Pines, just a few miles past Frazier Park, CA. My daily commute has changed from eight miles to almost 100. I travel north on Interstate Five to go home every evening and unless there is some type of hazard, accident or road closure, it only takes 45 minutes to get there. It's a beautiful drive. 

Everyday drivers going 80, 90, and most likely some could be clocked at 100 mph or more, whiz by me.  I watch as they weave in and out of the traffic, cutting people off and driving like maniacs. No wonder road rage is so common. Wasn’t it George Carlin who said anyone who drives slower than you is an idiot and anyone driving faster than you is a maniac? 

One recent evening as I was driving home, I came upon an idiot driving 50mph in the fast lane. If you’re one of those people, please stop it. You create a hazard by blocking the maniacal flow of traffic. Anyway, there I was, angry and frustrated, trying to find an opening to get around Mr. Idiot. When I finally had my chance, I gunned it and sped up to pass him at the very location Officer Mendosa had chosen to lie in wait for maniacs, right on the curve at Pyramid Lake. I saw him too late to slow down and even if I had, he knew I was speeding. I prayed he wouldn’t stop me. God must have been out feeding the pigeons because he didn’t hear my prayer.

On went the blue lights and I pulled over immediately. Want to know how long it’s been since I got a ticket? I rolled down the driver’s side window. I waited a moment for him to show up. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed the mid section of a uniform standing at the passenger side window and rolled it down. Cops haven’t been approaching the driver’s side for years. And years.

He bent down to look into the window. “Did you know you were speeding?”
“Yes Officer, I knew and I’m sorry.”
“License, registration and proof of insurance please.”
I dug through every pocket of my purse, throwing things on the floor of my car and wadding up old receipts before I finally found my proof of insurance.
“How fast was I going?”
He must have caught my WTF expression because he shrugged. 

Now, I hate it when people point out that there are others that are breaking the law worse than they are but I have to admit it crossed my mind.  They break the law worse than me everyday! Why me? Then I heard my inner critic say, “Why not you?”

Officer Mendosa came back to my car and asked me to sign my ticket.
“So, how do you like your car?” he asked. “I’m thinking of getting my daughter a Subaru.”

I looked at him and blinked. So now we’re friends, are we?

“I love my car, she will love it too but she probably won’t realize she is speeding because of the comfortable ride.”
I thanked the good Officer and drove 65mph all the way home.

When I told some friends about my speeding ticket, they all wondered why I didn’t try to talk my way out of the ticket. “Because,” I said, “I am the absolute worst liar in the world and I have a terrible sense of direction so I doubt I could talk my way out of anything. “

One friend admitted, “I always keep a box of Tampax in my glove compartment. I pull it out and tell them I was speeding because I have an emergency. It works every time.”

“They don’t wonder why you’re still having periods at your age?”

Another friend said, “I tell them I just got a call from a neighbor and my mother has become very sick.”

“Your mother died ten years ago.”

A third friend asked why I didn’t just tell the officer that I was behind some idiot, sped up to pass and was planning on slowing down right when he saw me?

“Because I don’t think that fast, even if it’s the truth.”

So, it’s all behind me now, my fee of $275.00 paid to the LA court system, plus the $50 that I paid as ‘hush money’ so I could attend traffic school.  I was actually dumb enough to think the $50 would go towards the cost of the school. Ha ha ha ha. I was rolling down the wrong window again.

Next blog I’m going to discuss what I learned from online traffic school.  

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