"Gawd, the weekend is already starting off sh***y," I said.
I have NEVER been pulled over in my entire driving-life. The only thing I know is to never get out of your vehicle. My father did that before -- thinking he was being helpful (sigh)
I rummaged through the glove compartment and got out my registration. Then I picked it and my driver's license up and stuck my left arm out the window.
"I might as well be helpful," I said, giving Leah a good chuckle.
The officer finally walked up and I was immediately apologetic. Honestly, I would fold like a cheap party chair in an interrogation.
"Sorry, that intersection's traffic lights are shut down so I guess I just went through."
"Why do you think I pulled you over?"
"Because I didn't stop at an intersection where the traffic lights have been shut off?"
"No. The street before that you rolled right through a stop sign."
Oops. According to him, a car in front of me stopped and I didn't. That's what I get for talking while driving. The officer then glanced down at my open wallet and he noticed I had a second Arizona driver's license.
"Why do you have another license?"
Oh gawd, is that against the law too? I thought.
I hang onto my old driver's license so I have something to use should I ever misplace my current one. But for him, I just said "sentimental value." He seemed to find that a good reason and went back to his car again. At this point Leah's trying to soothe me and I see a second police car has showed up. A second officer decided to back up his colleague and came around to the passenger side. He had Leah row down the window so he could watch her. Two police cars for little me? Geez. Next time I pass someone on the street surrounded by two police cars, I won't assume the driver must be some no-good d-bag.
The officer came back to my window and gave me back my license.
"So, what do you do?"
"I'm a reporter."
"Really?! Do you know another word for 'manage' that also starts with M?"
My first thought: WTF?! You want help with your crossword puzzle?
Leah and I looked at each other and came up with "monitor."
"Oh, that's a good one," the police officer said. Then he explained how he was writing a project for his bosses that's titled TEAM. But he hadn't yet found the right word to fill in the M. He said the last project he wrote was called "Project PIMP" (three guesses what crime that relates to) and had been chronicled in local media. Project TEAM is related to homeless outreach, especially along the light rail.
I didn't know what to say. So I said,"Say, have you ever seen a guy dressed as Superman on the light rail?"
"Yes I have. He's not homeless. He actually does it for parties and has a business card. I also think he does it for attention."
Leah: "Gee, you think?"
It is then the officer makes my feelings go from regret to relief.
"By the way, I'm NOT going to give you a ticket. I'm just wasting your time now."
Like the good girl I hopelessly am, I didn't want him to think I was happy as though I got away with something and I took our conversation seriously. So I said: "Give me your email address so if I think of a better word, I can let you know."
He actually wrote down his number and his email on a police interrogation card; I guess he had no business cards that day.
So, I still am not sure if my being in the media actually got me out of a ticket or this officer was just in a good mood. But it was by far the most random, odd conversation I've had so far in 2013.
Next New Year's resolution: watch out for those stop signs!