Tuesday, June 18, 2013

lucky bastard

At about 3:25AM tonight, just 150 yards from my apartment building, I got pulled over for speeding. I had been out to Warrenton, about 35 minutes away from my town, to deposit two checks I had received from the family whose kids I tutor; I suppose I was rushing a little too fast along the final stretch of highway before my apartment. Lights came on behind me, so I slowed, made the next-to-last turn to my place, and stopped in the same spot where I've seen dozens of other drivers stop before.

The policeman, it turned out, was Scottish. I didn't place his accent at first; it wasn't the typical American travesty of a Scottish accent. I should have caught the rolled "r"s, though. We had a weird discussion about whether I was wearing any eyewear, and the officer said something like, "If I tell you exactly how fast you were going, I have to write you a ticket." I'd never heard that rule before. "I'm going to check your record," he said. "If you come up good, I'll just let you off with a warning." He sauntered back to his car, and my heart sank, because he would surely see that I'd been pulled over last year for speeding on Route 66. A few minutes later, he walked back up to my window.

"I'm lettin' you off with a warning," he said. "I know it's late, and you were trying to get home, and people get careless when they're almost home. I'm done in twenty minutes, and I'll probably go thirty-five here." He pointed vaguely at the twenty-five zone. That was a relief. The officer chuckled. "You look tired," he said. I was. All I did was nod in confirmation, and promise to behave better—the same empty promise I give every officer who pulls me over.

So I'm home again, and about to hit the hay. One lucky bastard.


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