January 29, 2010

Would Be Outlaw

This afternoon I was driving home ... lost in my thoughts ... minding my own business .... doing 63 mph in a 45 mph speed zone.  When I was slapped back to my senses by a short siren blast and the glare of Mars Lights.

It took about 2 seconds to realize that I'd been nailed for speeding, so I studied the shoulder and found a good spot to pull over.  I took all of my information out of the glove compartment, rolled down the window and waited quietly for the officer to approach, just like they teach you in drivers ed.

The officer greeted me, I greeted him and he told me that I had been doing 63 mph in a 45 mph zone.  I told him that was "unfortunate".  And he returned to his vehicle to write me a ticket.  No muss, no fuss.

By the way, I've found that the phrase "that's unfortunate" fits perfectly in so many situations.  Drop a glass of red wine on your carpet, say "that's unfortunate". Lose twelve thousand dollars in the stock market in one day, say "that's unfortunate".  Your wife tells you she wants a divorce, say "that's unfortunate".   Just those two words can make you feel ... and look calm and in control. Take it from me.

Anyway, the officer came back with the ticket for seventy five dollars, we both bid each other a good afternoon and went our separate ways.  I hadn't received any kind of traffic citation in over fifteen years and the difference in my reaction this time, versus all of the other times was gratifying.  I didn't care.

In fact, I kind of chuckled because after all of those years of being such a law abiding driver, I was finally a "bad boy" again.  And there's something about being ticketed for speeding that's different from other kinds of traffic citations.  There's an air of  free-spiritedness about it. Hard to explain.

So, I enjoyed swaggering around a bit this evening, a little bit excited about my rogue behavior.  But tomorrow, I'll have to toe the line when I'm driving.  One ticket is okay.  Any more, and you turn from just a "bad boy" into stupid idiot territory.

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