Over the weekend my speeding attracted the attention from someone that I normally don't like to associate with. We were on our way to tennis when I saw a reddish/brownish car parked on the shoulder. I didn't see any lights on the top of it and thought it was someone pulled over with a flat tire, so I continued at a rate of speed that was a bit excessive and flew right by. Unfortunately, as I was passing it, I saw four fully-inflated tires and the words State Trooper clearly painted on the side. Oops. Hmm, maybe he didn't notice. Maybe he was reading a book. Or eating a doughnut.
Or maybe he saw me, because sure enough I watched in my rearview mirror as he merged into traffic, moved in behind me and flipped on his lights. Shit. The boys tried not to laugh and Zoe was a little worried, thinking that maybe mom was finally going to jail.
When he got to the car, I had my license and insurance ready and was instantly relieved about the fact that I had just put my new license tabs on that morning. He went through the usual questions of "Do you know why you're being pulled over? (I was probably going a little too fast because we're kind of late for tennis) Do you know what the speed limit is? (Um, 65?) How fast do you think you were going? (Um, 69?) Do you have other speeding tickets on your record? (No)"
He returned to his car, and while we waited Zach said: "What the heck? You were going so much faster than 69. And it has never been 65 mph here and we are not late for tennis!" I tried to explain to him that if you automatically admit your actual speed of travel and also know the posted speed limit, it's like saying "Screw you, cop. I know I was speeding, and I don't care. Just give me the stupid ticket and let me continue with my day." And you're guaranteed to end up with a ticket.
As the trooper walked back to my car, instead of seeing the horrific white envelope with the red stripe I saw him holding a small piece of tan paper. He gave me a warning! I kick ass! All he said was to slow down a little, and that he knows the speed limits in the area are confusing because it's a stretch of road that switches from 70 to 60 mph, so I should pay more attention to the signs. (Obviously he didn't know that I drive that particular stretch of freeway no fewer than five times a week, so of course I should know what the speed limit is.) Originally, I thought that he let me off with a warning because of my willingness to cooperate, my charm and clean driving record. Now I'm thinking he let me off because he looked into my eyes, took a look at my kids and not only felt bad for me, but understood why I speed.
On the way home (three hours later), Zoe was a little bit crabby and everyone was a lot bit hungry. When we were about ten minutes away from home, Charlie (the child that doesn't have perfect pitch) started singing along to the radio in a not-so-quiet voice. Zoe didn't appreciate his performance, and felt that the best way to inform him of her disapproval was to yell, "Charlie! Stop with the annoying singing!" and then fake-spit toward him. Even though no moisture actually touched the boy, she might as well have launched a giant glob of mucus onto his arm, because he started yelling at her: "Zoe! Gross! Don't spit on me! I can sing if I want to!" She of course denied the spitting, so he pointed at an invisible spot of saliva as evidence, then she cried and Charlie continued to sing.
At this point, instead of flinging my door open and throwing myself onto the freeway, I looked at my speedometer and noticed that I was, in fact, speeding again. Gee, I wonder why.