Okay, so except for the invisible spirit of trouble in the passenger seat, most of this is actually a true story. I mean, if he’s invisible, that part could be true too… 😉 This is from Trouble is a Friend of Mine. Stay tuned for the true story below.
The red and blue lights flashed in my rearview mirror, and I pulled over with a sigh.
He snickered and shifted from the front seat to the back before I could smack him in the arm.
I sighed again. I’d make the best of it, I supposed.
The cop who knocked on my window didn’t look particularly in a good mood. He frowned from behind his sunglasses. “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
“As a matter of fact, I don’t.” I hadn’t been speeding, I knew that. “My guess is it’s because I’m haunted by the ghost of trouble.”
He didn’t even crack a smile. “You ran that stop sign.”
Now, I knew I hadn’t. I had stopped long enough to field Trouble’s questions about why we were going to this track and field meet when neither of us wanted to. But I was taking pictures for the school paper, and not going would be giving a big… well, I didn’t swear, but I didn’t want to flip off Josh, my editor, even metaphorically.
“License and registration. And insurance.”
I opened my glove compartment and took out my registration, as well as my insurance policy. I handed them to him with my license.
“What is this?”
I looked at the papers he was holding up. “It’s my policy.”
“You don’t have insurance?”
“I have insurance.” I waved to the papers. “You’re holding my entire policy.”
When my policy had switched over to the new term, I had had every intention of taking the insurance card and putting it in my car. I had punched it out of the policy papers and set it on the counter near my keys. Somehow it had managed to blow off the counter and fall into the garbage disposal just before my mom had run it the next morning. Trouble, of course, claimed innocence.
So I had put the rest of my policy in my car. It gave the same information as the card. More. I had thought myself pretty clever for the solution.
The cop didn’t seem to think I was clever. But he didn’t argue. He handed me my registration and policy and went to his car to run my license.
I settled back in my seat and ran my fingers over my crucifix. Nothing to do but wait for the ticket. I had been through this before, of course. Sure, it was possible I had been speeding last time, but this time Trouble was the cause.
“It doesn’t matter how many times you get me pulled over today, I’m still going to the meet.”
“Come on, Bex. There must be something more exciting we could do. Even take pictures of.”
“Josh needs to fill the sports page. He needs a sports picture. Any other sporting events you want us to go to? I’m open to suggestion.”
I smiled, ever so slightly. I had learned that the key to dealing with Trouble was to handle anything he threw at me as serenely as possible. It was difficult sometimes, but it was the only way to get by half the time. If I made a fuss, it would only encourage him in these instances. Ten years with him had taught me that much.
The officer came back, handing me my license with the ticket. “Your court date is next week.” He circled the date and time. “Or you can send in the fine. Have a nice day.”
“Have a niiiiiiice day,” Trouble said, sticking his tongue out at the cop.
I closed my window and started the car back up, checking my speedometer to make sure I didn’t get pulled over immediately for speeding. Only after the patrol car turned down a side street, did I relax.
This was true for about two more miles. We were stopped at another stop sign when Trouble spotted Denise’s. “Hey, we should get ice cream instead.”
I moved the car forward, my “no” more action, less verbal.
“Please, Bex! Pleeeeease. Let’s get ice cream.”
“I have to get to the meet. You know that. We’ll get some on the way home, how about that?”
Apparently that wasn’t good enough. I shrieked a little when my tire blew. When the other three blew right after, I wasn’t as surprised. I gritted my teeth as I pulled the car over to the curb and got out my cell phone to call AAA.
Trouble smirked at me and put his hand on the door. I hit the lock button, but his eyes were still sparkling at me.
“Don’t you dare….”
He shifted through the door before I could finish my command. I wasted no time in scooting out the door and running after him.
Which is how I ended up in the middle of Denise’s, contemplating ice cream flavors while I waited for AAA to answer the phone.
I once got pulled over for not stopping at a stop sign that I stopped at twice. I couldn’t see around a big bush so I pulled up to make sure the cop I had seen at the next road before I reached the stop sign wasn’t pulling out, then stopped again. But, sure enough, when I finally turned onto the crossroad, he pulled me over. Then he wouldn’t accept my insurance policy as proof I had insurance.
But, wait, there’s more. I didn’t know that he hadn’t accepted that as insurance, so I didn’t send proof of insurance with my ticket payment (I didn’t fight it in court, ironically, to avoid the hassle of it). My license was suspended and the BMV sent me notice of it to my old address, even though I changed my address with them a year before that. It wasn’t until I was pulled over for speeding three years later (and, yes, I was speeding) that I found out. My car was towed, and I was driven home in the back of the police car like I was a criminal. =:-o Luckily, it was all cleared up in the end, and I only had to pay for the ticket.
So they always say write what you know, and this bit of trouble came directly from experience.
Lots of love,