Friday, July 24, 2009

Two Firsts, Both Involving Vehicles

1. I got pulled over.
On official Young Women business (Young Women: the organization at my church for teenage girls. I was playing Camp Leader for the Young Women in my congregation) But, it's not as bad as it could have been (such as the time that I turned into oncoming traffic, again, on Young Women business, because how was I to know that the street was divided what with Tucson refusing to provide streetlights!)

This is how it went down. My car's headlight was out, which, no big deal, right? People get to call out "padiddle"and I cause much joy for those people. And since I was on my way to Town for said Young Women business, I planned to get the light fixed the next day anyway.

But, nooo. The Town I went to is in the middle of a budget crisis, or else their police officers are extra-enthusiastic or bored (or all three). So, there I was, in an unfamiliar part of town, trying to find my way in the dark, my google map printout in one hand, my steering wheel in the other when I notice (and thank heaven I noticed!) flashing lights in my rear view mirror.

I guessed that my headlight was the reason I was being pulled over. (One can never be sure until the officer tells you why, but my dibs was the headlight). I was annoyed by this because (a) aside from the headlight, I was being a model driver (b) I was on the verge of being lost as it was and was already plenty tense (c) I've managed to get this far in life without being pulled over and, he was wrecking my track record over a HEADLIGHT?!.

So, in good news, the officer was pleasant, though somewhat nosy.

Now. This is the part my law school self is slightly conflicted about. As he's asking me what my destination is, and I'm hurriedly trying to remember the name of the people I'm going to see (I'd only chatted on the phone with them once)... I'm also furiously trying to remember the state of the law on this point.

Was I free to tell him to get lost, none of your business, just give me my ticket/warning or whatever and leave me alone, OR was I obligated to answer? (Now that I'm in a non-stressed state of mind I'm pretty sure I could have told him None of Your Beeswax Mr. Officer, Sir. But, the world of Reasonable Suspicion and attendant questions is a Very Mushy part of the legal spectrum and, understandably, I didn't want to run afoul of it.)

Anyway, I was too worried to tell him to get lost...which leads to my next point: I didn't KNOW my destination, having never been there before, having no idea what the address was. I said, "Actually, I'm going here." And handed him my goolgle maps print out.

At that moment I realized how sketchy any answers I gave him after that were going to sound. I didn't really know the names of the people I was going to see, I didn't know where they lived, I'd never met them before...this sounds just like the kind of answers that criminals make up, ahem, I mean, "give" all the time when questioned by police officers.

Believe me, statements such as, "I'm going to see a friend whose name is Friend, and sometimes Jack, but mostly Friend, and who I can't give more information about as I just met him today, but I promise, he's my best friend. Oh, and this is his car and so is anything else in it," are highly suspect.

Also note how I have a teenage girl in my car who looks nothing like me (she's darker skinned and has a Brazilian accent). Also note that her name has also conveniently slipped from my mind as soon as the questions started.

This is my story: we're going to spend the night with people from church. Right, the same church even though we live in a completely different and distant town. We've never met said people before, but it's ok, because I'm staying there too. And the reason we're staying the night is so that she (note I didn't use her name) can go hiking tomorrow. Hence the gigantic backpack in the back seat. And no, I'm not going hiking too, I just came to drop her off.

If you know anything about Mormons and/or girls' camp, the story doesn't sound all that implausible. But, viewed with an impartial, non-mormon eye, if someone told me that story I'd be skeptical.

And, of course, my out loud version sounded much less concise and there were a lot more "ums" and "errrs" and pauses and blinks, while I tried to assemble coherent sentences while my unhelpful brain was firing off things like: now he's looking around the interior of the car for open beer bottles and drug paraphernalia, now he's smelling for any odor of intoxicants, now he's looking to see if my eyes are watery and bloodshot.

Then a second officer (because I'm the kind of stopee that requires backup) pulled up and came around to the passenger side (while the first was still talking to me) and began shining his flashlight in the windows.

At this point, my sense of worry maxxed out and I almost said, "Look, I want to leave now. And if you pull the old, 'Can I just search your car really quick before you go' routine, my answer will be, ABSOLUTELY NO YOU MAY NOT. And I hope you spend the rest of the night wondering what it was you would have found had you searched my trunk. Byeee.")

But, I was hyperventilating, and he only issued me a work order and let me go on my not so merry way.

And thus, I have officially been pulled over. The one good thing about the event is that the family we stayed with turned out to be AWESOME times TEN! I had a wonderful time with them so much so that all bad feelings of being pulled over were canceled out.

2. I was in a car accident. Not serious, thankfully.

In fact, all that is broken is The Rock's truck's taillight. And it totally wasn't my fault at all! (huge sigh of relief).

The girl who backed into the taillight said, "I'm so sorry! I thought you had left [/moved] already."

Blink, blink.

Are you joking?! You weren't looking as you backed up because you thought I wasn't there anymore?!!! WAH!

So, she gave me her info, and we did not call the police, because, it's a taillight.

Famous last words, right? At the autoparts store they quoted it at $170! Thanks to the internets, I found one for $70ish. So, either I misheard the guys at the auto parts store or else their store is a total ripoff.

So, now I'm wondering, what if she wants her insurance to pay for it, but they won't because we didn't get a police report? What then? Never having been in an accident (which, technically, does this qualify as an accident since mostly it was someone being careless. I mean, she didn't say, "OH I accidentally forgot to look behind me." No. She chose not to look behind her. Hmm.) I don't know this sort of thing. And, also, the thought of dealing with an insurance company fills me with dread. Hours of phone calls and thank you.

Well, it's a little too late to do the police report thing now, I hope it all works out for the best.

Oh, and that also means that officially, I've been in a car "accident" live and in person. My very first.

Check those two firsts off my list. I think I've had enough of those kind for a while. The next one I have lined up (note that I'm instigating it of my own accord, which already makes it more desireable) is to cook BBQ chicken...bone in. (gasp!) That's more my kind of First.

1 comment:

Megan said...

Another good first is Boston in the Fall! ;)

My word verification is deezessi. Not sure what it means, but I find it amusing.