Slow Day on Center Street

I support the troops and all, I just don't like being pulled over by police. This is fresh in my mind as Chup was pulled over on our way to Sunday dinner at my parent's house. From the moment it happens, the whole exchange is awkward.

Like tonight, always-respectful-Chup sees the flashing lights, pulls over, turns the dome light on and puts both hands on the steering wheel. Meanwhile, I sit there clutching the lemon that I brought with me to squeeze into my aprés dîner Coke. Police people make me feisty.

I need your license, registration and proof of insurance.

Chup reaches for the proof of insurance card in his sun visor.

Me under my breath to Chup:
I forgot to put the new proof of insurance in your car. This one is expired as of November first.

Just a moment sir.

Chup flips through some cards in his wallet and pulls out his license and an ancient proof of insurance card and hands it to the officer.

Me under my breath to Chup:
That one expired twelve years ago.

#1 Obvious Statement from Officer:
This card is expired.

Me under my breath: Ugh.

Oh right. Well, it seems that we forgot to put the new card in my car.

I start looking through the glove compartment (not accurately named) for the registration.

Taco Time napkins.

Dinner mints.
Greasy oil change receipts.

Two papers crusted together with something smelly.

Tithing slips.

Chup to Officer:
Sorry, we're just looking for that registration. What is this about anyway?

#1 Patronizing Moment from Officer: As soon as you get me these items we'll have a "talk."

Chup is breathing down my neck. Just a little bit.


Safety and Emissions test from 2003.

My raspberry-peach-ginger infused lotion.

Four ball point pens (all dead.)

A letter from a mission companion.
Car manual (leather covered.)

Two turtle doves.

And one current registration.

Chup hands it to the officer.

I pulled you over for two things. One, your tail light is out. Were you aware?


Me under my breath:
Lie. Remember someone at Grandma K's funeral pointed it out as we left the cemetery?

Second, I saw you put your seat belt on when you passed me on Center Street.

Yes. I had forgotten until I saw you.

#2 Patronizing Moment from Officer:
Do we need to have a "talk" about how important seat belts are?


We usually wear them, we're just being Sunday drivers today.

#2 Obvious Statement from Officer:
People die on Sundays too.

Me under my breath:
Well, of all the days in the week it would be best day to die.

(Think about it.)

The officer shoots a glance that says "Don't get smart with me."

(I read facial expressions.)

#1 Chup covering up my disrespect:
Ahem. Well, you make a good point there.

My seat belt is securely strapped. I learned that in the fifteenth week of pregnancy it should be positioned below the belly. Also that when you are pregnant (or British) you call them "lap belts" which always reminds me of "lap dance" which reminds me of "Flashdance." I could go on all night . . .

I am going to run your license. I'll be right back.

This is the part I hate the most about the process. The officer goes back and takes seven-and-half hours doing Idon'tknowwhat while leaving their lights flashing in your face. Meanwhile, you are left to assume the worst.

Me: Ugh. The mashed potatoes are probably getting cold.

Better call your parents and tell them that we're going to be late.

Me to Councilwoman:
Chup got pulled over. Keep my mashed potatoes warm. No. No. Maybe but I don't know. Bye.

Do you think he is watching an episode of
Family Guy back there?

I didn't even see one cop in the Bahamas this weekend. Let's move there.

The sun is starting to set.

Christmas is coming.

My baby grows three inches.

#3 Obvious Statement from Officer: Your insurance is current, your card is expired.


This could be a $400 fine.


#4 Obvious Statement from Officer:
Tonight would be a good time to go home and put that in your car.

Great idea.

#3 Patronizing Moment from Officer:
And do you need a $8o ticket for not wearing your seat belt?


#3.5 Patronizing Moment from Officer:
I said, "Do you need an $80 ticket for not wearing your seat belt?"

Me under my breath:
Do you mean
need or want? Yes to both!


Officer giving Chup a ticket: This is a "fix-it ticket." Get your tail light fixed, bring it down to the station and we'll waive your fine. Or, you can have your wife bring it down.

I will do no such thing.

Officer: What?

#2 Chup covering up my disrespect:
She's not that kind of wife.

Officer signing off:
Remember to always buckle up.

See what I mean?

Why couldn't it be more like

(Step bump. Step bump, bump. Thanks Cub.

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