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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Watch out! I may go all Thelma and Louise on you!

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So, how was your Monday drive home from work?  Mine was pretty exciting!

First of all, I was witness to an almost wreck involving a police car.

 I was sitting at a red light waiting to make a left hand turn.  There were two other lanes to my right also waiting for the light to change.  There were three lanes to my left heading in the opposite direction and six lanes of traffic in front of me.  Half were moving east and the other half were going west.  Directly across the intersection was a service station and any cars leaving that station should have been waiting for the light to change or a break in traffic so that they could turn right on red.

Well, there was a car leaving that service staion, that for some reason decided not to wait and tried to cross the six lanes of traffic.  The driver made it across the first three lanes, but once he was on the middle of the intersection a car....a POLICE car whose driver couldn't see the idiot trying to cross all the lanes of very busy traffic against the red light came down the road.

I sat there watching the whole thing unfold and had two very distinct and very different thoughts.  The first thought was very logical...

This wreck is going to be bad!

The second thought was very selfish...

Oh God, I'm never going to get home now.  (Don't judge me!  It had been a long day!)

Well, using his awesome "I'm a super cop" driving skills the police car managed to avoid getting hit.  There was lots of horn blowing, brakes squeaking and tire skidding noises though. 

Once the cop got his car stopped he stayed put and turned on his flashing lights.  The idiot in the middle of the intersection just sat there and continued to block three lanes of traffic.

Once the light changed and I was able to make my left hand turn.  I had to wait because the idiot in the middle of the intersection was blocking the way and it was obvious the cop wanted to have a little "talk" with him. 

I sat there and waited,  along with the two lanes of traffic to my right while the guy in the middle of the intersection finished running his red light and got out of our way.  Still, none of our cars moved because we were all watching the cop to see what he would do and he was also...kind of...in our way.

Well, the driver behind me either hadn't seen and heard all the commotion or he just didn't care because once he realized that none of the cars were moving he laid on his horn.  I mean he LAID on his horn and didn't let up. 

I throw my hands in the air and start gesturing toward the police car and then because I'm sure the guy can hear me yelling in my car over the sound of his stupid horn even though he couldn't hear the noise from the almost wreck I yell, "Do you not see the police car sitting right there?" 

Apparently, he couldn't see it because he didn't let up on his horn until the cop turned his car around and came into the lane right beside us and heading in the opposite direction after the original car that caused all the problems in the first place. 

The policeman drove by us very slowly.  I was sure that he was checking to see who was having all the road rage problems and blowing their horn non stop before he sped up to go after the red light runner.  So, I held my hands up in the air.  That way he could see it wasn't me and again, because I was sure he could hear me over all the horn blowing racket said, "It wasn't me."

I can't be positive, but I think the cop winked at me before giving the guy behind me a dirty look.

The cop went on his way, lights flashing, after the red light light runner, the jerk behind me stopped blowing his horn and we were all able to go make our left and/or right hand turns like we wanted.

I was once again on my way home;  with a heart that was beating just a little bit faster than it should have after being witness to all that commotion and a headache that was forming from listening to the horn of the jerk behind me.

I was almost home....I just needed to make one stop first.....

Again, I sat in traffic waiting to make a left hand turn (maybe I should just avoid all left hand turns for awhile!) into a little mom and pop store that has all of four parking spaces.  Three of the spaces were full and as I sat there waiting to make my turn I watched as another car coming from the opposite made a right hand turn and took the last parking space.

My first thought...

Oh crap! 

I decided to just forget the stop, turned my turn signal off and started to move forward.

Well, what I didn't realize was that a car....a police car... had fallen in behind me.  Apparently, while he was waiting behind me he thought, "Oh ,what the heck, I'll just run her tags."

When he realizes that I'm not going to make the turn afterall, he turns on his lights and makes that loud police noise they make to let you know that you're busted.

My first thought...


I couldn't believe that I was about to get a ticket because I decided not to make a left hand turn and was all ready to show him the full parking lot and explain why I had changed my mind.  It was going to be a real Norma Rae moment for me!

I moved forward about two feet and pulled over as much as you can when there's no where to pull over because of traffic and cars parked on the side of the road.

The cop gets out of his car right as another police car pulls up with his lights also flashing. 

I roll my window down look at the man as he approaches my car and say, "I wasn't sure where you wanted me to pull over."

He says, "That's okay" as I watch him look through the windows of my car to see if he can spot anything illegal in plain sight. 

Here's how the rest of that conversation went....

Cop:  Is this your car.
Me:  Yes.
Cop How long have you had it?
Me: Um, I bought it new in 2004.
Cop: 2004?  Have you reported it stolen recently?
Me:  No.  Why? (sounding frantic) Did somebody steal my car?
Cop: The tags are coming back as stolen.
Me: (even more frantic) But, it's my car!
Cop:  Let me see your registration and license and I'll run it again.

I give him the things he asked for as a third police car pulls up with lights flashing.  So, between my car and the three cop cars we're blocking the intersection that is one block off of Collins Avenue.  If you know anything about Miami Beach, you know that Collins Avenue is a very busy area with lots of traffic and pedestrians. That means witnesses! Witnesses that will see me getting arrested and crying like a baby while it happens.

The original cop has gone back to his car to run my tags again.  The second cop is standing by his car directing traffic and I have no idea where the third cop was.  I sat in my car praying that they didn't bring out the police dogs and planning the phone call I was going to have to make.....to my mother.....from jail.

Now, let me assure you, that there was a time, in my younger days when my mother wouldn't have been even a little bit surprised to have me call her from jail.  In fact, if anything, she's surprised that she never got that call.  Heck, I'm surprised she never got that call!  But I'm older now....older and way more boring!

I look up and see the cop coming back toward my car.  He has no gun or handcuffs in his hand and the other two policemen stay where they're at so I take that as a good sign.

Cop:  Here's the problem.  There is a stolen tag that has the same numbers and letters as yours.  The only difference is that the first two letters are transposed.
Cop:  If you get stopped for this again...and you may get stopped...just show them your information and let them know that you've been through this before.
Me:  OK, I'll make sure I have my registration.
Cop:  Yes, because if you don't you'll go to jail.

The look on my face when he said that must have been priceless, because he quickly said....

I'm just joking.  You don't really look like the criminal type.
Me:  I'm....I'm a kindergarten teacher.
Cop: Oh, my wife teaches kindergarten...
Me:  (cutting him off)  Really?  Could we maybe have this conversation at a time that isn't quite so awkward or embarrassing?

He laughed, told me to be careful and sent me on my way.  As I was pulling away, I looked into the rear view mirror and saw him talking as he pointed toward my car and the cops were all laughing. 

They were pointing and laughing at me!

I never did get what I needed from that store, but I did pick up a six pack because I seriously needed a drink and because going to Publix only required a right hand turn.

I was pretty freaked out about the whole thing at first, but now I'm feeling pretty bad ass and a little insulted.

Bad ass... I'm planning the story I'll tell the next time someone says they got a ticket...

Oh really, you got a ticket, in the mail, because you were using the express lanes without a Sun Pass?  Well, when I was driving the stolen car it took three cop cars to chase me down....

Of course, by that time the story will have evolved to include a helicopter, road spikes several hostages and a television crew.  lol!

Insulted....If I were going to steal a car, I would steal something newer and way more expensive than my VW!  I got my eyes on a sweet little Maserati!  lol!

I'm not sure if I'm Thelma or Louise in this story but, can I please be the one that got Brad Pitt?


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