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Archive for July 15th, 2008

I don’t know about where you live, but warmer weather around here means that road construction projects are in full swing.  And along with them comes speed zones that are watched closely by the cops.  You can get some big tickets fracturing the law in these zones. 

On my daily route to and from work, I drive through such a zone.  The speed limit there is 35 and it is strictly enforced.  Most of the time, I set my cruise to 36 (because I like to stick it to The Man) and I trundle along the way.  Yesterday, I was on my way to a meeting, driving through the speed zone, and passed the cop sitting in one of the blocked lanes, his radar gun pointing into oncoming traffic. 

I checked my speed.  35 on the dot.  Nothing to worry about. 

As I crested the hill I noticed the cop driving through the barricaded lanes, coming up behind me.  I checked my speed again.  Still nothing to worry about. 

He pulled in behind me and as soon as I got out of the construction zone, he turned his lights on and pulled me over. 

The hell…? 

Getting pulled over, even when you know you’re not doing anything wrong, makes your heart jump up into your throat.  I rolled down my window, dug into my purse for my license, and looked in my side mirror at the cop getting out of his car.

It was a guy I went to school with, from first grade on.  He lived right down the road from me all my life.  Every time he sees my mother, he gives her a hug. 

“Hey!  How are you!” 

“I’m good, how are you?” 

“Doing fine.  Do you know why I pulled you over?” 

“No idea.” 

“Your license plate is expired.” 

“Wha….?” 

“Check your registration papers.  I bet your sticker is still on there.” 

I dug into my glove box and found my papers and sure enough, the little registration sticker was still attached.  I’ve been driving around on expired plates since last September. 

Now, I live in a constant state of flux with regard to how I feel about living in the same little podunk town I was raised in.  A lot of the time I wish I lived anywhere else but here, wished I lived someplace where the scenery was different, where no one has known me since I was a baby.  I think you find that sort of feeling amongst a lot of people who live in small towns.  Some of the time, though, I am glad to know that one of my city commissioners is a high school classmate, that the guy who runs the newest bar in town was our class president, that the meter maid who patrols downtown is someone I partied with at graduation.  And sometimes I am especially glad to have a cop who I have known since we were both six years old pull me over to tell me to get my shit together and put my registration sticker on my license plate. 

And as I pulled away I thought to myself “I am totally going to blog this.” 

 

— Mox

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