Friday, November 16, 2007

How Many Troopers Does it Take?

As I was heading back to my husband's workplace after lunch today, I noticed flashing blue lights in my mirror. I turn to Brian and say, "Um, is he trying to pull ME over? Was I speeding? Did I not use my blinker?" Brian just looked at me and shrugged. I had just gotten on an entrance ramp to a small highway and Brian's work was only two exits away. I slowed down, put my blinker on to let the trooper know I had seen him, and then pulled over on the side of the road at our exit.

Jaina asked, "Why are we stopping, Mommy?" Then she saw the state trooper walk up.

"Do you know why I pulled you over, ma'am?" he asked.

"No, sir, I do not," I replied, trying to use my best manners, since I heard that can help in situations like this.

"I noticed that your tags expired last month."

Brian and I looked at each other. Where was that damn sticker thingy? Brian thought it was on his desk upstairs. I thought it was on the table in the eat-in kitchen area.

"License and registration, please," he asked. Brian looks in the glove compartment and hands him an expired registration from 2004. Whoops! Brian looks again and finds the most recent one. Along with the 2008 tag sticker!!! That's where it was!

I hand the officer my license and the correct registration and show him the missing 2008 sticker we just found. He walks back to his vehicle. In the meantime, I'm searching for my insurance card, just in case he asks next for it. When I find it, I realize that its my old one that expires on November 6th, 2007. Goodness knows where my new one is. Brian's desk, perhaps?

Jaina pipes up from the backseat, "Mommy, are you going to jail?"

"No, sweetie."

"Then why is that man mad at you?"

"He's not mad, he just pulled me over because I don't have a sticker on my car."

"So, why don't you just put a sticker on your car?"

"We will in a minute."

Silence.

"Is he going to give you a ticket?"

Daddy answers this time, "I hope not. It would be really stupid if he did since we have the sticker right here with us."

Then Brian notices the second trooper car. "How many troopers does it take to give a car a ticket for expired tags?"

He finally comes back and hands me my stuff.

"I'm going to let you off with a warning, Ma'am," he says. "I'd go ahead and put that sticker on your tags now." He hands me a written warning and goes on his merry way.

"Did you get a ticket mommy," asks Jaina.

"Nope, just a warning," I answer.

"What's a warning?"

I think for a minute. How do you explain a warning to a kid? "Jaina, its like getting a yellow star at school. But its not as bad as getting an orange star and losing recess time."

"Oh," she says, understanding. "Then I guess you don't get to watch TV today!"

(TV is Jaina's consequence for receiving yellow stars at school)

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