03 March 2008

I am a criminal...

There are two versions to this story...the official version and the truth. This is the truth.
I haven't had a traffic ticket in 22 years. I got one for speeding, coming back from Tuscaloosa, in 1986. I am very careful; I set my cruise control NINE times going into school in the morning, and in the afternoon I just get in the right lane and follow someone. No-brainer.
Yesterday was my nephew's birthday, we had a family party planned at our Mexican restaurant at 5:30 and I had to make a cake.
Mid-morning, my in-law's neighbor called and asked if I would come fix her computer. Now, the computer I use here in the house is eight years old. Obviously, it has some added features...I'm sure if I sat down and figured it up I'm playing on about a ten thousand dollar machine here, but it is a workhorse. Big, ugly and slow but it does baseboards and Windows. Point is, I don't know shit about computers. Nevertheless, I spent nearly two hours at the neighbor's house, deleting cookies and files and installing a computer clean-up. All the things the start-up window tells you to click and install. I am a genius. Insult to injury? The neighbor smokes. Not in front of people but that doesn't matter...I was miserable and my clothes smelled.
I was also late picking up my kids. We left school, stopped and bought a birthday present, came home and started homework. Fed the animals. Changed clothes. The Not Nice Kid went outside and then it's time to go and we have...a meltdown. There are no shoes. After about ten minutes of there being no shoes I start up the steps to shove a pair of shoes down someone's throat and find, in TNNK's room where she has had a TNNK Meltdown, a trashcan with the ripped up pieces of about $20 and her team basketball pictures. In small pieces. She showed me. (She was eight months old the first time she ever pulled a Meltdown and we've been nose-to-nose ever since.)
We were already late but I came downstairs and fixed a drink. Then fixed a go-drink, and we finally got out of the house. When we got to LaHa, my sister said, "There's something wrong with the margaritas. We gave ours to the guy at that table over there." Well, LaHa Guy is famous for his margaritas so that couldn't be right so I ordered one. It tasted like plastic. Like plastic smells. So I got up and went up front and told LaHa guy there was something wrong; and since he's famous for these margaritas he hurries over to the machine and investigates. Turns out, when the boys dumped the stuff in the margarita machine, they didn't mix it up. So everything was in there in layers and the layer I had was all artificial mix. With no tequila to dull the senses. (Or heighten them, depending on your mood.) So here comes LaHa guy to our table with an old-fashion glass full of Cuervo gold, and proceeds to doctor our margaritas. As in, he performed a procedure. And honey, we were healed. Out! Out! demon!
And since the machine was fixed, we had another one. And then, because two is our limit when they're NORMAL, my sister-in-law and I split one. And then because we weren't ready to leave we split another one, but this entire event covered six hours so...since we were sharing that still doesn't add up to whole numbers. And it's possible we had another one on the way out but there were a lot of people there and we visited a lot.
Get in the car, we're coming home and there in Incorporated Town is that red light. And I did that thing that happens all the time...the cake plate slid and I looked down and grabbed it. When I looked up, the light was yellow. Well, OBVIOUSLY, it had just turned yellow and there was only one car around sitting at the red light so I kept going.
Yeah, you guessed. The light had turned yellow the second I looked down and I didn't "sort of" run that red light. I abused the law. I ran that sucker...I did that thing where...you CAN slam on your brakes and stop but then everything is going to go flying into the floorboard and the kids are back there so, I ran it.
ONE GUESS what kind of car that was, sitting at the red light. One. Guess.
And he nailed my ass. Luckily, I saw him as I sailed through the intersection with it's brightly shining red light. So I had time to take the GO-DRINK that was sitting my cup-holder...melted but still illegal I'm sure, and the bottle of BOURBON in the floorboard, unopened but I'm sure still illegal...and hand them off to my kid who funneled them straight through the snow-ski opening in the backseat through to the trunk. There wasn't anything I could do about the cooler, packed with hot beer but full of alcohol nonetheless, sitting in the front floorboard.
And I will be damned if I didn't get a ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-NINE DOLLAR ticket for running that red light. Which I did. Run it.
The funny? When we got home and opened the trunk? The go-drink hadn't spilled. Not one single drop. There it sat, waiting to comfort me.
And my theory still stands...you're middle-aged driving a safe, beat-up Mama car with kids and a car seat, a cake plate and a front seat full of wads of yarn so you can crochet in school line? You can peddle crack out of your trunk and no one will ever see your blip on the screen. Harmless and invisible.
That would be me.

3 comments:

City Girl said...

knock wood
fingers crossed
*thew, thew*
Pinch Poke, You Owe Me a Coke

Melissa said...

Whoa. You are soooo lucky.

And I keep waiting for the school to suggest Thing 1 not go to school on Wednesday...jerks.

Jen said...

I loved this. I read it smiling all the way through. You crazy girls!