Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Don't Mess with a Writer!

    Actually, I got two speeding tickets in one week, and then I almost went to jail.  I still need to pay the second ticket--ug!
    I have the worst luck with cops--ever.  I should write a book about my luck with officers.  
    You wouldn't believe some of the things that have happened to me.  Like the time I got a speeding ticket when I was in labor.  The cop wouldn't believe me, and said I didn't look far enough along.  Well, Officer OBGYN, I was in labor!  It doesn't matter how far along you are when you have pre-term labor every pregnancy, and a chance of your baby dying.  
    What a jerk!  Why didn't he escort me to the hospital--or something?  
    Or there's the time a cop busted me BREASTFEEDING IN MY CAR while I was parked in a parking lot!  (I need to write that story later.)  I was covered and everything, talk about a crime.  He said he thought someone had abandoned their teenager in a car--is that illegal?
    Needless to say, when I see one of these behind me, I freak out!
    The first cop who pulled me over last week was quite nice.  I knew I was in the wrong.  I'd been going twelve over in a residential area.
    We shook hands before he left.  I told him congratulations on his new baby and he told me congratulations on my upcoming book.  I got a ticket AND a new friend.
   I chalked it up to . . . my ticket of the decade.  I had no idea, I would get a ticket less than a week later!
    I'm writing this story in dedication to the second cop.  "Why?" you ask.
    "Because, you don't mess with a writer!"

Here's the deal:

     It was 6 PM at the scene of the crime.  I went eight over--that's what my speedometer said--when the cop's lights flashed behind me.
    The infant-like cop edged closer to the vehicle, then peeked around so I barely saw his nose.  "I read that you have your concealed weapon's permit.  Do you have your weapon with you?"
    "No," I said.
    "Are you absolutely sure?  No weapon . . . of any kind?" 
    "Other than four wailing children who needed dinner, no." 
    He sidled closer, knowing he'd made me mad.  That man actually looked scared, and I decided I should pluck my eyebrows more often--they must give me that dubious, don't-touch-me look.
    "We're offering a program," the officer said.  "If you're only going nine over, it won't go on your insurance."
    "That's great," I said, wondering if he'd worked as a vacuum salesman before he joined the force.
    "Yeah.  A lot of people seem to like that incentive."
     Incentive for what?  Speeding nine over?  Where do they find these people?  The circus?


    "Ummm . . . Officer, I wasn't going that fast."
    "Yes, you were.  I clocked you with my eyes."  He pulled his pants up like Erkel and I scoffed.  "When you've been driving as long as I have, you learn how to clock people." He made a clicking noise with his tongue and pointed at the passing cars.  "Thirty-two . . . twenty-nine."
      What the Hell!  Driving as long as he has?  What was he, twenty-one?  I've driven longer than that.
     "Sir," I nearly choked on the reverend word.  "I just got a ticket last week--it's my first ticket in a long time.  And I was only going eight over this time.  Can you please give me a warning?"
     "I clocked you with-my-eyes going twelve over, but I'll only site you for nine."
    "Ma'am, I'm nice that way."
     I looked up and his left eye twitched from lying.
    My fists bawled.  I bit my lip to keep it from quivering. 
    He scampered back to his car with my license, registration and insurance.  After a moment he came back and said, "It's only nine over, but you didn't sign your registration so I fined you for that too."
    "Why are you doing this?" I asked.
     "Because I like helping people."
     I didn't mean his job--the idiot--I meant giving me a bogus ticket.  I should have worn mascara and swallowed a breath mint!
    "No, the ticket," I said. "Why are you giving me this ticket?"  The baby screamed and threw her sock at me.
    "Listen," he said. "I'm doing this for you, for your own good.  It won't go on your insurance, but it's for the safety of your children, for other people's children.  By the way, is everyone buckled safely?  Maybe I should check their seats."
    "THEY are fine!" I said.  I don't know why it happened, but I cried then, these big sobs that made the van shake.
    "I'm sorry, Ma'am.  Oh, wow . . . it's tough being a cop."
     Tough BEING A COP! How about getting a ticket while four kids are crying for dinner.  I got beaned in the head more times while he made me wait for the ticket!  
     I grew angry.  So angry, I could have gone to jail then; the choice presented itself.  I thought what a nice break it would be from the chaos of my life.  I thought of how I could just tell that jerk what I really thought of him.
    I glared at him, squinted my eyes and realized: you don't screw with a writer.  
    I thought of getting out of that vehicle and saying, "You worry for mothers and children, yet I'm having to pay over $200.00 in tickets FOR NINE OVER and a stupid signature because YOU WORRY?  How about what we'll eat for dinner, or the fact that you might have stolen our grocery money?
    Aren't you just a gem!  You, with your big-boy pants and a nose as lumpy as the moon.  Thank you, Officer Harry.  (Can you even grow facial hair yet?) Thank you so much for your . . . concern."
    As I thought of all that, I remembered movies where women get tough in jail.  They learn how to play Rummy; they know how to arm wrestle.  Plus I'd get free food for a couple days.  No one would wake me up all night with the stomach flu.

     Then, I looked at my crying kids and knew nothing was worth it.  No one could tear me from my darlings.  I'd starve for them.  I'd never play cards again.  Hell, I already know how to arm wrestle.  
    I wiped my tears as the cop nodded awkwardly and walked away.  
    I know it's terrible, but I was mad, so I spit out the window just behind his feet.  Then I drove off and decided that in my next book, the villain might be named Officer Harry.   
    I guess that's why . . . you don't mess with a writer.


  1. Excuse me a moment, but what a fucking asshole.

    Also, the parenthetical for this post should be "(Just Screw Them, They'll Thank You For It)."

  2. Well they sure should not screw with you anyways!

  3. You could always name one of your characters Officer Harry and then kill him off. The bit about how long he's been driving is hysterical.
    God bless,
    VB member

  4. I think police officers should normally wear those tutus as part of their regular uniform...that should take their power trips down a few notches! That cop was ridiculous! You don't clock people's speed with your eyes and I'm pretty sure that's illegal ticketing!

  5. Hope you don't mind me asking this, but why don't you slow down?
    When your kids are old enough to drive, do you want them driving fast in residential areas? Really?

    Whether the cop was nice or not, clueless or not, "the rules is the rules."

  6. Princess is right, though. You can request to see the speed gun that they used to clock you to prove your speed. You should fight it.

  7. Agreed I think it has to be a gun ticket and not an eye ticket what an A hole. As for Ms Karen... No offense lady but you seem to be a nice law abiding citizen and probably a religious lady so I say to you "let he who is without fault cast the first stone." Or there's also that verse about removing the pillar from your own eye before plucking the straw from your neighbors..

  8. Wow that is some rotten luck, bet he was one of those guys that got picked on through high school and now is over compensating since he has a badge.

  9. Sorry for your problems but they were great to read with my afternoon cup of tea. :)

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my "Skywatch – September Full Moon" photos, it was truly a beautiful display by Mother Nature. We used to know a dog called Luna, she was very special.

  10. Let's see...You're going to write about a character named Officer Harry. He's going to be mean & you're going to kill him off. You have a good imagination--wouldn't it be much more satisfying to figure out a way to kill the REAL Officer Harry? Just asking.

  11. HILARIOUS!!!! I have really awful luck with cops too! I seem to get pulled over for stupid stuff while speeder pass me doing 100 MPH. Go figure.

    I'm having such a bad day and I needed this laugh! Thank you :-)

  12. Um...yeah...I might have grabbed something heavy out of my purse and thrown it at this cop! Sounds like a rent-a-cop or something to me, haha! I would definitely have fun with his book character.... (evil laugh)

  13. Oh this makes me so mad for you! While I read it, I started gritting my teeth because it was so unfair. I'd definitely fight it, but that little so-and-so knew about your other ticket, so he probably thinks no one would believe you...UGH.

    Last summer, when the babies were brand new, I got pulled over by a lady cop in 100 degree heat. I was speeding, but only because my AC was broken and I had BRAND NEW babies who were crying and I wanted to get them out of the heat. She looked in my back seat and still gave me the ticket. Makes me wanna kick the dog just thinking about it...but I won't. I'll go get a Pepsi instead. Hang in there Veal!

  14. Can you plead non-guilty and make him have to drag his butt to court three times before just aggreeing to pay the ticket? That sounds like a GREAT plan. Oh, and I love your line "you don't mess with a writer". Genious.

  15. This is really terrible. What a horrible week. But... I was cracking up. :) Sometimes I wonder what the world would be like if we actually said all of those witty comebacks that we think of (usually after-the-fact)! :) I guess that is one of the fab things about a blog- you can say them (and NOT get arrested!). So sorry about your bogus tickets!

  16. the expression is out of date but still applicable: you don't mess with someone who buys ink by the barrel.
    police officers are writing tickets like crazy these days. it's all to produce revenue for their cities. no one will admit it. they insult us by saying it's about safety. nine over? what a dick.
    this is happening all over. the new cameras at intersections are supposed to be stopping people from racing through the intersection too late on a yellow but they are not. they are exactly, throughout the country, for what the police chiefs have denied: catching people not making a total and complete stop turning right on a red, which is a big revenue producer.
    the dui checkpoints aren't about safety, as has been shown here in la and elsewhere. the police confiscate the cars of those without proper paperwork, mostly undocumented workers, and resell the automobiles for their municipalities as well as the department.
    sorry about that ticket. that's bullshit.

  17. Yeah, I know who's gonna end up getting clocked and it's Officer Harry -- in the head. He'll play his game one time too often and somebody really big and mean will kick his ass.


  18. Today, all I can say is--thank heavens that "the sun will come up tomorrow." What's gotten me through many stresses of my life is this mantra: "Everyday the sun rises and the sun sets."

    Saying this to myself when I'm overwhelmed by the actions of someone like Officer Harry helps me get it all in perspective.

    You somehow did that when you realized that your children were more important than the daydream of "escaping" to jail. Good thinking!

  19. Ugh! I'm so PO'ed for you! Some cops get too self-righteous with the badge!

    @Ed Pilolla

    I was ticketed for not making a complete stop at the red light making a right turn, although there was NO "no turn on red" sign and was safe to make the turn... it was one of those camera capture thingys. It was absolutely ridiculous.

    There was a video of me online showing that I made a SAFE turn on red... just ridiculous... Elisabeth, you showed incredible restraint.

  20. Sorry to hear about the bad experience, and yes, I think you may have villain material.

  21. Slow down, woman! lol. Everytime I get pulled over, I get a ticket. Once for not signaling to turn right at 12:30 am after working late. Not one car around--except for the cop.

  22. "You don't mess with a writer" - you know, I think I've heard that before coupled with stories similar to this. Oh yeah. Definite villain material. If you write crime/murder novels, he can be the victim or a suspect who also gets killed. :) Also, sounds like he wasn't really doing his job. I mean, what was wrong with just asking you to sign the registration and ticketing you if you refused? I don't much about cops, though, so I'm not sure.

  23. the villain might be named Officer Harry.

    :) Yes.

  24. I'm SO sorry....I hate this happened to you, but I love how perfectly you write about life! I too wonder if you can fight it, since he didn't really clock you (can they do that ????)

    BTW....Thanks for reading my book, it was my whole heart!

  25. I say, when you write the book, make officer Harry fall in a septic tank, full to the brim, what a jerk. What's the idiotic bit about the signature on the registration? SOme cops really let the power get to their heads.

  26. I do have to say this, and it is in now way to be taken as an offense to you. Please slow down. I know 9 over doesn't seem like much. But since I nearly killed myself while speeding, it is a tender subject for me. I love you and your kids. Though, I don't expect speeding tickets will ever be as effective as being ejected out of your driver's side window and coming within inches of lacerations to your eyes and surgery to keep your arm from amputation.

    I'm sorry if this sounds far fetched and I don't want it to make you sad or upset. I just know the knots my stomach gets in just thinking about speeding.

    Much love.

  27. Eeek! Did you wanna clock him with something else? You know, here in OH, if you have a concealed carry license it's almost like a "get out of jail free" card. Guess it doesn't work that way where you are.

  28. That's funny. Check this out-I got a ticket on my BIKE! I didn't stop at a stop sign and got pulled over my a motorcycle cop! When he asked me for my license I said, 'For WHAT? I'm on a bike!" Geez.

  29. Great work, That is very fully, how creative