I should have known something was bound to happen. After all, who actually drives two hours, into the next state, to go to a decent Christian bookstore? I also needed to go to a teacher supply store, but there is one of those closer to my home in the boondocks. I realized I must be half crazy to do this, but I was determined.
As I headed out of our small town, for some strange reason I looked down toward the corner of the windshield that houses the registration and inspection sticker on my car….. only to realize they were both expired. And not JUST expired by a day or two….but a whole month. A slither of sanity trickled into my mind for a moment, but really…..would you rather make a trip to the courthouse or a large town that actually has a Chick-fil-A?? They have the best cole slaw. And waffle fries? YUM. If you are really hanging on my every word (as you should be) you remember I said I only had a MOMENT of sanity. So obviously, I chose Chick-fil-A. Duh.
The munchkin tagged along with me today. Just he and I. Me and him. Him and me. Not sure which is correct, so that should cover it. Did I tell you ADHD has a strong presence in my mind today?
Anyway, as we enter a small town about 30 miles up the highway, I say a quick prayer. It’s not like me to drive illegal, much less drive to another state illegal. I was being a daredevil today. A rebel. So a tad bit of worry crept in. Of course, there was also the parking ticket fiasco hovering over head.
Years ago… more than 5….I received a parking ticket that was ‘given’ to me via a camera from downtown Dallas, Tx. I live about 5 hours from downtown Dallas. I was at work that day here in my hometown. For months I tried to call and get this misunderstanding ‘fixed’….with no luck. The number was for an automated system with no human in sight. After trying to get a human at least once a week for a few months, I gave up. I refused to pay a ticket that did not belong to me. And besides, I’m a daredevil anyway, right??
However, the fear is always there. In the back of my mind. What if they put a warrant out for my arrest? If I were to get stopped, would that pop up on my record check? Could it be possible that my 10 year old would get to watch his Youth Director mom get hauled into jail?? Worry almost turned into a complete panic attack.
I began to plan for my arrest in my mind…….my mom was out of town, so she couldn’t come pick up the Munchkin when they were hauling me off. The hubby was out of town for work. I would have to call my Pastor and his wife. What a scandal that would be. The talk of the town. I wondered if I should smile for my mug shot. They are always the worst pictures! Would they handcuff me in front of the baby boy? I was suddenly an outlaw! My breathing began to get labored, I could feel beads of sweat on my back……
I snapped out of my nightmare, prayed a quick prayer that I might be spared being hauled off to jail today, turned up the music, and starting jamming. After all, I’m a rebel. A daredevil. I’m living life on the wild side!!
That’s when it happened. As I topped the hill, I came face-to-face with a Texas DPS officer. He pulled over on the shoulder, and I knew what was next. At least God had given me some warning. Some time to get a plan in my mind. But how was I going to explain this to the Munchkin? Life as I knew it was over. I was a convict. A felon. I was gonna get to visit the pen. In the famous words of Johnny Cash, I could hear the train-a-coming…….
Rebels and daredevils are only cool until they get caught. Then they are just outlaws.
The dreaded lights began to flash. I pulled over. Feeling a bit pasty and clammy all at the same time, my hands were violently shaking and I was having trouble scrounging for my insurance card. More charges to be filed against me.
The officer approached the car, gave the usual exchange………
“You were a bit over the speed limit. And did you know you’re registration and inspection were out?”
What was I supposed to say?
“Yes, officer. I realized that today. But you know, Chick-fil-A is so darn good. I thought I would go ahead and break the law instead….across two states. You want me to pick you up a chicken sandwich or some waffle fries? The waffle fries are to die for when you dip them in their Honey Roasted BBQ sauce.”
My mouth opened, but only a slight moan/whimper came out.
He must have realized I was about to go right on into post-traumatic stress syndrome and felt sorry for me.
He told me he was going to write me a warning for the speeding and a ticket for the registration, which would be removed upon registering my car. Normally, this would be cause for great celebration. Falling at his feet and vowing my allegiance to him for all eternity.
But the parking ticket fiasco was yet to be resolved. The officer walked back to his car.
The rest was pretty much a blur. I thought about calling my husband right then. Just in case the officer wouldn’t let me make a call before patting me down. But I was frozen. Would they search me? What underwear was I wearing? Would they search my car? It was a mess!
It truly seemed like an eternity, waiting for him to come back. I debated jumping out of my minivan and throwing myself on the mercy of the court. Or the State of Texas. Whoever might help me. I started to spew my explanation and that I was innocent until proven guilty. I almost started bawling, fall to the ground, and beg for my freedom right there on the side of the highway. My fate was in the hands of a state of Texas computer.
And then, as quick as it happened, it was over.
“Have a nice day. Be careful.”
The sense of relief was unlike any emotion I have ever felt. I immediately began screaming, “Thank you, Jesus!!!” over and over again. The Munchkin joined in my celebration.
I wasn’t sure what to do. Should I turn around, drive home, and get myself legal?
I thought for a minute. Then two. I even called the hubby. He is the responsible one, so you know what he said.
I know, you are all, just sitting on pins and needles in suspense, wondering……
All I will say is this…………those waffle fries were BETTER THAN EVER.
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