95mph and Accelerating: Based on a True Story
I am the worst of sinners! Take for example my driving. I have had two tickets, 1 warning, two wrecks, a day in driving school, a court date, and lots of interesting conversations with cops. I don’t mean to be evil; I just have “momentary lapses of judgment” as a judge would call it. With my record, I might need to permanently set up residence in a confessional booth.
My first momentary lapse of judgment starts when I get in my car. I drive a six cylinder Grand Prix. I think it is named after some kind of race. I always wonder how I can be expected to drive slowly when my car is named after a contest of speed. It is hard to go slow, because this car can fly. One time I looked down at my speedometer and I was going 100mph. Down a mountain! I had no idea I was going that fast. It felt like I was barely pushing the accelerator with my big toe, yet here I was tearing down a mountain. Mom if you are reading this, I have repented and am watching my speedometer more closely. I am making wiser choices now.
My second lapse of judgment comes from the school of Phoenix drivers. I grew up in Arizona where you drive or die. I was taught that a yellow light means “speed up” not “slow down.” My education told me that speed limits are more like a suggestion than a law. Instead of following the numbers posted on a little white sign, keep with the flow of traffic. My experience taught me that if a light turns green, I had better dart out of there at record speed or I will get yelled at, honked at, or be exposed to helpful traffic gestures.
With the car I have and the way I was taught to drive, I am pretty much a wreck waiting to happen. When I get in my car, officers should probably be alerted, pedestrians should watch out, and traffic camera film should be restocked.
As I get on the road it is like I become void of all judgment. It starts as I get random impulses to “floor it.” As I approach a yellow light, I accelerate until I have flown through the intersection. That is unless it is an intersection with cameras. In that case, I jam on my brakes, which nearly causes the truck behind me to rear end my car. As I pump my breaks, I practically fish tail my way into the intersection. Coming to a complete stop directly in the middle of the intersection, the light turns red, and all I can do is smile for the cameras as they go off.
Frustrated beyond all reason, I have to decide whether to sit in the intersection for the whole light and block traffic, or just continue to run the red light I’ve already been ticketed for. Of course I have another momentary lapse of judgment and go forward. You’ll never guess who is waiting for me on the other side of the intersection. Yes, my friendly neighborhood cop.
In cases like this, I practically just pull myself over. I can’t help but feel guilty and then nervous. I hate the feeling I get when those red and blue lights come on. I know I have been caught in the act, and my criminal behavior is about to be exposed.
Every time I am pulled over my brow instantly begins to sweat as I hear an officer coming toward me. I know there is no way of escape. I also know I’m usually at fault. I instantly begin to fret and wonder how I ever thought driving was a good idea. On pins and needles, I fuss at myself until I am completely upset. I am already protesting against the officer’s accusations before even a single word is said. As I wait for the officer to come to my car I feel like taking out all of my frustration by punching the horn repeatedly or by screaming the national anthem to keep from saying unprofitable words. I know my hand was definitely in the cookie jar on this one.
By the time the officer tells me to roll down my window the tears are welling up in my eyes and I have to bite my lip so it doesn’t start quivering. But really what am I supposed to say, “I am sorry officer that I nearly hit that child as I ran through a stop sign in a school zone, or “I didn’t notice that I passed you going 95mph and was still accelerating! I guess I would have noticed at that curve up there. Good thing you stopped me. You have saved me from myself. You deserve a badge of honor.”
Or maybe I should not paint the officer as a hero, maybe I should blame my bad behavior on my car, “I know officer, I need to sell this car. It is crazy! I can’t believe it tried to cut that guy off.”
If the officer doesn’t buy that it is entirely my car’s fault then maybe I can just say “No, I won’t sign this ticket! You can’t make me sign this.” Of course this would be quickly remedied when he jingles handcuffs in front of my face. And I simply respond, “Um… do you have a pen I could borrow?” All of this to say, I don’t get away with much especially when going 95mph and accelerating.