So then…I hear the sirens and instinctively, I know it’s me. Of course it’s me.
And on my 32nd birthday, no less!
I pull over to the side of the road and a young cop approaches my window.
“License and registration, please.”
I root around in the glove compartment for the registration, slip out my driver’s license, and flash him my best sorry-officer-please-just-give-me-a-warning smile.
He goes back to his patrol car, then returns with a quizzical look.
“Your driver’s license address doesn’t match your registration address,” he says.
“Oh, yeah, that’s my old driver’s license. Here’s my new one with my new address,” I say, handing him another one.
Now he’s even more confused. “This license is signed by Maria Hernandez. Who’s Maria Hernandez?”
“I dunno – maybe the lady in front of me in the DMV line? The DMV must have mixed up the signatures.” I smile helpfully. “So that’s why I carry both the old and the new ones – so together, ya know–”
“Do you know it’s illegal to carry an expired license?”
“And your registration is not even for this car. This registration is for a different car from 2 years ago,” he says, pointing to the slip.
“Oh, yeah, but this is the same exact model. I just leased the same exact kind of car, so the registration should be similar,” I say, using that tone of voice indicating this is really a potato – po-tah-to type of situation.
He smiles, but says, “Sorry — we don’t deal in ‘similars’ – we deal in actuals.”
“I’m so sorry, officer. I promise I’ll put the current registration card in the car – and I’ll even go to the DMV to take care of the Maria Gonzalez situation. So is that OK? — can you let me off with a warning?”
“But I didn’t stop you for all that. I stopped you for speeding.”
I see the plate of homemade cookies my co-worker gave me at my birthday lunch today. I move the plate from the passenger seat to the window and say to my nice young cop, “Will you let me bribe you with these delicious homemade cookies my friend gave me?”
He laughs and says, “Sorry, I gave up sugar for Lent.”
“Yeah, well — I gave up speeding — and you can see how well that’s working out.”
Apparently, that’s the response that gets the laugh — and the warning, instead of a ticket.
AND I don’t even have to share my cookies.
– Darcy Perdu
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