RIVENBARK

Why, no, Officer, I just left a hole

McClatchy-Tribune News ServiceNovember 28, 2010 

The blue light came out of nowhere, but then they always do.

"Mommy, I think he wants you to stop," said the Princess.

"Nonsense, dear," I said. "He's probably after some miscreant. So many idiots can't drive in this town you know." And, yes, I actually said "miscreant."

"I'm pretty sure he wants you," she said.

It was odd how the policeman didn't seem to be passing me and hurrying on to catch a real criminal but, no, he just stayed back there bathing my Mustang's interior with that sickly blue light.

This was weird. I turned onto our street and he turned right behind me!

"License and registration," he said somberly.

OK, I don't know how y'all act around law enforcement, but I tend to act like there's a ton of weed in my trunk.

After a few sweaty minutes, I finally found my registration. Meanwhile, the officer leaned into the window, surveying the Princess, who was pretty much stuck between "mortified" and "scarred for life," and our back seat full of shopping bags. I started to tell the officer about the fabulous purple suede ankle booties I'd gotten for a steal, but the timing seemed off.

"Do you have any idea why I pulled you over?"

Because I really hadn't done anything wrong, I felt a little huffy.

"No, sir, Officer Sir, no disrespect intended, sir, but no, no clue here. Respect." I sounded like Ali G.

When in doubt about things lately, I like to ask myself WWTCMD? (What Would the Chilean Miners Do, of course). I thought I'd struck a good tone. This would be over soon.

"You went through a red light back there," he said.

WWTCMD? WWTCMD???

"No, sir, I did not. As you can see, I am traveling with the Princess here and I would never jeopardize her safety" (or risk smashing those purple booties to bits, just saying.)

I turned, pleadingly, to the Princess and said, "Tell him! Tell him the light wasn't red!" She shrugged. "I wasn't looking, sorry."

OK, we so have to have the talk about watching my back when very expensive tickets are on the line. Besides, y'all, I swear on my TiVO and everything season-passed on it that the light was not red but had just turned yellow.

And then a miracle happened. Not Chilean miner rescue levels of miracle but pretty danged close. The officer believed me. Perhaps it was my shaky voice or perhaps he had an oblivious teenager of his own.

"Just be careful," he said and headed back to his patrol car.

"Thank you, Officer Sir, thank you! You rock!" The Princess slumped farther down into the seat.

Just like a miscreant.

www.celiarivenbark.com

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