Whenever I see a police car nearby while driving I immediately reflect upon whether I am driving beyond reproach (and beyond ticket parameters).  Of course, due to my half Catholic/half Jewish lineage I always readily absorb any guilt that I think I even remotely deserve and even some I may not.  I am, despite all the tales that are told about my troublemaker nature, a pretty big rule follower.  I try every day to be a good citizen.  Some days are better than others. 😉

Today I received a speeding ticket on the way to work.  I had turned off 45th onto 12th and was apparently clipping along when a police officer passed me and clocked my speed.  He told me he clocked me at 53 in a 40 mile an hour zone.  I didn’t question his assertion.  My half Catholic/half Jewish persona just absorbed the guilt and was compliant.  Indeed, I was in a bit of shock.  It has been awhile since I have been stopped by an officer. I cannot tell you when the last time was that I had to dig through the black hole that is my glove box to get my insurance card and registration.

The officer – Officer Bair  – was very nice and polite.  He only wrote me a ticket for going ten miles over the speed limit instead of the 13 he said he clocked me at.  So the effect was – you are getting a ticket, but I am also giving you a gift by cutting you some slack. I am pretty sure there is some psychology wrapped up in there, but I am okay with it.

I told my students about the ticket.  They had a whole list of suggestions about how to get out of future tickets – things to say or do that have proven successful for them or their friends in the past.  But that isn’t me – I am about absorbing the guilt not deflecting it.  Plus, let’s face it – I was obviously speeding.  I may have been going five miles over the speed limit or 13 miles over or something in-between – but speeding is speeding.  I did the crime and I reconciled myself to the reality that I would have to do the time (which sounds all Law and Order like, but really means I took my $10 ticket without complaint).

I also took my ticket with appropriate reverence. I didn’t joke with Officer Bair.  That would be my norm in such an awkward situation.    When Officer Bair told me he clocked me at 53, I refrained from saying, “Is that all?” When I struggled to get my license out of my wallet, I refrained from saying, “Can I just pay you off with a credit card instead?”  When he asked me for my phone number, I refrained from saying, “I’ll give you mine, if you give me yours.” When Officer Bair said, after giving me the ticket, “Now slow down…” – I refrained from saying, “Are you kidding me?  Now I have to go twice as fast to get to work.”  I just behaved like a good and repentant citizen and kept my irreverent sense of humor to myself.  I was downright docile.

And there you have it – my life of crime as it played out on 12th today. There were no shootouts, no handcuffs, no mugshots, no headlines in the newspaper – only one officer trying to do his job and one half Catholic/half Jewish girl trying to retain whatever remnants of good citizen status she had left. 😉

Day one thousand three hundred and fifty-three of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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One Response to Busted.

  1. tim haering says:

    Dang, I hate slice-of-life stories. I can just tell, you could have conjured a moral out of this, if you’d tried. Instead, all I took away from this hurried stop in my daily news perusal was a chuckle. You are a Badlands baddie on the lam. Band on the run, band on the run. The county judge, held a grudge, will search forevermore. Did you like Wings too? Obli di, obla da. I only became a Beatle fan after the Rutles. Write on!

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