Anybody who has ever ridden in my car knows one thing about me. I am very efficient. By “efficient” I mean that I like to get the driving part of my trip over as soon as humanly possible. In other words, I might drive a little fast.
Sometimes, when people ask The Pastor and I for directions to the nearest town, The Pastor responds with “Twenty minutes”. I say “It takes exactly thirteen and a half minutes to get from my driveway to the highway on the far end of that town.”
The Pastor then reassures these people that it will take them at least twenty minutes to get there. This is the part where I just roll my eyes. He’s probably right. It will probably take them at least twenty minutes to get there.
We all do things at our pace.
It turns out that the police don’t subscribe to this theory.
The other day, Baby Snarky and I were in the car. I was driving and he was in the back seat. Because I am a law abiding citizen. Mostly.
Baby Snarky was telling me all about the Australian Outback. He was going on and on about how fascinating the Australian Outback is when it suddenly occurred to me that I’ve probably never mentioned Australia to him.
“Wait a second,” I said “Do you even know where Australia is?”
He sighed, exasperated. “Momma, Australia is an island continent south of Asia. It is very unique. It is unique because it is an island continent. It is also unique because of all of the animals that are only found there.”
YOU are the unique one. I thought as I continued to drive. He continued to tell me all about the village he was going to build in the Australian Outback so people could visit the animals there. Basically a large zoo that he could live in.
At this point I turned down a street that I don’t usually drive on, thinking it may be a short cut.
It wasn’t a short cut.
I was driving along, timing myself, when all of a sudden I looked up and saw a speed trap.
I frantically looked around for a speed limit sign while ever so stealthily sliding my foot off of the gas pedal. When I finally spotted the speed limit sign my heart sank. If the officer inside of the car was at all conscious, they were going to want to talk to me.
Oh no, I thought, I’ve been able to slip through the steely claws of the police for over ten years now. I should have known they would catch me eventually. Then I remembered that I was not a gangster in an old movie. I was a middle aged woman with a lead foot.
As the police officer pulled onto the road and started flashing her lights, I pulled over and said “Baby Snarky, we are about to pulled over by the police. It is very important right now that you are very quiet and don’t say anything unless someone asks you a question.”
Now let me assure you that I do not have any horrible secrets that I need to hide from the government. I just know kids. I know that any of my children would be more than happy to start chatting away about how much mommy loves wine (I drink maybe one glass a week, tops) or how daddy has a HUGE collection of guns (If by huge you mean one shotgun used to kill the groundhogs that destroy our barn floor). I wasn’t taking any chances with the loose cannon of a mouth in the back seat.
The police officer came up to the car and recited some spiel that ended with “Were you aware that you were speeding?”
I considered my options here.
I could fake being in labor. I am somewhat round and have done the whole labor thing several times. I could probably fake it. However, this would probably end with a police escort to the hospital where the doctors would confirm that I was indeed not even pregnant. I could pretend that Baby Snarky had an emergency injury. However, she would probably then ask him a question which would get him monologuing on platypuses again. Or wine and guns.
Also I had been driving the opposite direction from the hospital.
I decided to just open my mouth and hope for the best.
“Can I just be honest with you?” I asked
She looked a little confused but said “Um, please do.”
“I don’t normally drive this way and I honestly wasn’t even thinking about the speed limit until I saw your car. That’s really my only defense.”
I don’t lie. I really, really suck at it. I don’t consider this a flaw. Instead I just tell the very honest truth and pray for the best.
The police officer just pressed her lips together and took my license back to her car.
Oh, please let her be trying not to laugh, please let her be trying not to laugh, I prayed.
At this point another police car pulled up behind the first car. I started to panic. Why did she need backup?! Maybe I WAS a gangster from an old movie and just forgot! Had I committed a major crime recently? Had I committed a major crime ever? I didn’t think so, but what was going on?
She returned to my car grinning.
She gave me a warning and informed me that the speed limit on that street was twenty five miles per hour.
That was it.
I didn’t even have to wear handcuffs.
As I drove away, slowly, Baby Snarky let out a sigh of relief.
“Were you worried, Buddy?” I asked
“Yes!” he replied “I was worried that they were going to take you to jail and I was going to have to find my own way home. I don’t know how to get home from here!”
“They don’t usually put people in jail for speeding.” I assured him.
“Oh I know that.” he said.
“Well then…why were you worried?” I asked, confused.
“Criminals can be anyone.” he informed me. “Some criminals could be mommies and daddies. Criminals can look like anyone, even you. I’ll bet a lot of their families don’t even know that they are criminals. I might not know if you were a criminal. I might not even know if you were a villain!”
“Are you worried that I might be a villain?” I asked
“Not anymore!” he declared “If you were, the police would have taken you to jail!”
Yes, he’s unique.
Apparently the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.