Thursday, June 07, 2007
WANTED - Dead or Alive!
Rise, if you can believe that anyone heading south to beach and sun, would forget to pack a swimsuit, did. Forget to pack a swimsuit.
So one of our first gadabout adventures was a shopping trip. We had something frivolous in mind. In hot pink, or neon orange, or lime green. Sizzling. Tropical.
So we headed glumly to store #6. Which neccessitated crossing to the other side of the highway. The usual route was blocked by construction. Plan B was implemented. Drive to the light. Execute a U-turn. Wait patiently at the red. Then slowly, when it is safe to do so, make the u-turn.
"Are you allowed to do that?" enquires Rise, ever in search of knowledge.
"I think it's okay. Though now that you ask, I'm not a hundred percent sure."
We were about to find out. Shall I even bother to continue?
Bright red and blue lights were suddenly flashing in my rear view mirror. Simultaneously, a horrible sinking feeling settled in my gut.
"Rise," I whispered hoarsely. "There's a cop behind us. He's not coming after us, surely?"
He made no motion to pass, only came closer and closer. My gut was quaking now with dread. I pulled over on the shoulder. The last vestige of doubt evaporated as he tucked himself in neatly behind me.
A burly young whippersnapper got out. A well-fed representative of The LAW.
"You're being pulled over for executing an illegal u-turn back there ma'am," the young whippersnapper growled when he reached my window.
I babbled piteously. Something about the construction and the road that I normally use being blocked.
"Yes ma'am. Too many people have been making illegal turns at this intersection. We've had too many accidents. We have to crack down."
On the criminal element, who are causing mayhem in their quest for beauteous garments with which to disport their aged bones on the beach.
There are crack dealers out there.
Breakers and enterers.
Crazed lunatics holding up terrified bank tellers at gunpoint.
Abductors of innocent children.
Dirty old men exposing their parts to unsuspecting virgins.
But, no. It was the last day of the month. Have to make our quota. Today, men, we're out to make the fastest buck we can. The honour of the Sherrif's Office rests on your shoulders.
Shake Joe and Josephine Ordinary Citizen out of their complacency.
Never mind the fellow speeding through the red light.
Never mind the guy holding up the bank.
See that woman in the green Ford? Making, nay,executing, a u-turn?She's the one we want. The criminal element, with the silvery hair and the shifty eyes.
"Nab her, boys!
What do you think the taxpayers are paying you for?
To sit around eating donuts all day?
We need to stamp out crime!
And we need to start at this intersection!"
"I don't suppose you could let me off with just a warning?" I ventured meekly.
"Sorry ma'am. You broke the law. "
I'm not feeling merciful today.
My groin itches.
Besides, you're not blonde, twenty, or buxom.
If ever I wished to be blonde, twenty, or buxom, this was the hour. This was the day.
"Your license and registration, ma'am?" he said, holding out a meaty paw.
I fumbled in my purse.
I rummaged in the glove compartment.
Thinking mutinous thoughts.
Produced the required documents. Proof that the shifty-eyed, menace-to-society look was just a halloween costume, getting an early airing.
"Wait here, ma'am."
Leaves us stewing in our own sweat while he returns to his vehicle.
To investigate my criminal history.
Fifteen long minutes later [they must have ALL the dirt on me], he swaggers to my window, again. He looks like he played football in high school. He looks like that wasn't very long ago. Like he only has to shave once a week. But he's got the disapproving frown down pat.
"Here's your citation, ma'am. You have thirty days to blah, blah, blah di blah....." He droned on.
I sat meekly.
Rise, mute beside me, exuded sympathy.
The final outrage?
"Have a good day, ma'am!"
"You too," I mumbled, insincerely.
And may a swarm of sticky lovebugs infest your windshield.
And may your groin continue to itch.
And may they be out of French cruellers when next you stop at the donut shop. And.....but never mind.
I was wrong.
I broke the law.
And now I have to pay.
We did find a swimsuit, when we crept fearfully to store # 6.
A sober little black number.
A fitting choice.