Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Never Act Irresponsibly In Front Of Family Members

It was a hot and humid 97 degree day last summer. I had an hour's worth of driving to do in 30 minutes time. I had just picked up my 15 year old sweat soaked son from his soccer practice, and we were on our way to his swim lesson, with three stops in between. He sat, shirtless, next to me, while I was my own Garmin "recalculating" my way between two small towns amid all the summertime construction and road repair.

Wisconsin has two seasons: construction, and winter.

We were in construction.

Earlier that day, with a string of errands before me, I had run out of the house barefoot, jamming two twenties into my front pocket. With just my housecleaning clothes on, I grabbed nothing on the way out except for my lemonlime Powerade. Before hitting the community pool, I had a  planned quick stop at MickeyD's for dinner to make tonight work, (I hear your gasps, and I know, and I don't care) and then a run into the grocery store--which he'll have to do for me--sans shoes and all, AND all the while knowing that I had 20 minutes to make it to pick up Baby E from his soccer practice.

I guess I must've been going too fast, because as I looked in my rear view mirror, I saw the cherries go on behind me.


In the front seat, sitting across from my impressionable teenage soon to be driving son, I glance into the rear view mirror and say, "shysters."


Now what.

And, this is just what I need.

"Mom!  Is that the cops?? Are they after you?"

Holy frijole. "Yes. Yes. They are after me. And what's worse? This is never quick. Never."

"Mom? How do you know it's never quick?"


"Well, I mean, you know, they have to check all your information...and...CRAP! I left the house WITHOUT my purse! Oh, they are going to nail me to the wall."


OK. Inner dialogue, going like this: the role parents play in the lives of their children coming into sharp focus. This is truly a defining moment.  One my son will not soon forget. Great example. High expectations. Awesome role model.

I look across the seat at my young, morally developing teen son. I take a deep breath, and say, "You know what we do now? We pull over. And then we stay in the car and wait. He'll walk to us here."

"Then what happens, mom? Do they take you to the police station right away? We're going to be so late."

"Yes, yes, we are. And I must've been doing something. And the sign somewhere must say what the speed limit is, but I didn't even see it."

The police officer walks over to my rolled down window. "How are you this evening? May I see your registration and license?"

Me, extending my palm out: "Officer? Please give me a ticket."

My request was earnest.
I continued, "my son is at an impressionable age, and he needs to see what happens when a person breaks the law. Please serve me with the maximum allowable for breaking the law in a residential area----NEAR A CHILDREN'S PARK YET--- in this obviously quiet, residential street."

"Is that your son here?"

"Yes, officer. This is my son. And I want him to see what happens when a person breaks the law. Please. Do everything allowable by penalty of law for speeding while driving." I feel the need to have this ticket.

He peeks into the car, and looks at my son: "Hello, how are you? Ma'am? how's your driving record?"

"Perfect, officer."


"Yes, officer. Perfect."

::son whispering:   "mom! don't lie!"  me whispering:   "I'm not lying!" ::

"Let me go check, if it's "Perfect," we'll decide from there."

The officer walks away with my registration information, we wait, a tense 10 minutes we wait. And don't think there was quiet in the car: "See, son, because of this now we're really messing the whole night up. I should've noticed the speed limit. Look, there's a kid's park, and it's a single lane, all CLUES, honey...all CLUES..."

The police officer returns, "Well, your driving record is perfect. I'm going to give you a warning. Pay attention to the speed limit. There's a kid's park here."

"Officer, I really need you to give me something. Like a ticket. My son needs to see this." There is such an affordable lesson here, I want this ticket.

Officer: "ah... I gave you a warning." 

"Officer, I think my son needs to know that I should have gotten a ticket for speeding NEAR A PARK." I will plead my case.

"Ma'am, I did do something. I gave you a warning. You have a perfect driving record for 30 years. A warning is what you got for going 6 miles over the speed limit. Don't do it again."

"Officer, can you tell my son that speeding is wrong while driving? And that he should not do as I did, and he should pay attention to the speed limits posted?"

"Ma'am? I think he's gathered enough information from our interaction here. I think he gets it."

"Well, thank you, officer. Thank you. And this was a wonderful lesson. And God bless you. And I won't speed again and I'll make sure that I talk about this with my son some more and thank you for doing your job and pulling us over. This was a time appropriate opportunity, thank you so much. I'm so happy you pulled us over. This couldn't have been more perfect --he'll be driving soon, and this was just wonderful. Thank you..."

"Well, you seem like a very nice woman. And I think your son understands what happened here."

"Officer. I know I should really leave this alone, my husband tells me this all the time. But, I just have to ask you one more time, can you give me a small ticket? Just like, a little bitty small one? You know, to show this is wrong...for my son to see..."

::son hissing: "mom!! you should just go, dad is right. just.go".::

"OK, then officer, thank you, again...this has been such a wonderful, wonderful night. Thank you!"

::son eyerolling: "mom, you are so crazy. You know that? So. Crazy."::

"Yeah, well, honey, I may be crazy, but you won't forget what it feels like to see cherries going in your rear view mirror and looking back at your own face reflected in officially issued regulation aviator mirror sunglasses anytime soon, will you?"

*This is a true story that happened last summer. I hear my son tell it to his friends, still, as in,  "man, that was the scariest thing. I hope I NEVER get pulled over."

I will never understand why I didn't get the ticket, I wanted my son to see what happens. I think, pretty sure, it's because of my 30+year perfect driving record.


  1. I think the lesson was learned! I know it never makes me feel good to see those lights go on, and I'm not even the one driving!

  2. I'm so glad I'm not the only one that leaves my house without my wallet/purse/shoes/sanity whatever.

  3. Two things:

    1) This reminds me of the time my ex-wife got pulled over around the corner with my 9 year old daughter in the back of the car screaming, "JUST GO, MOM! JUST FLOOR IT!" as the cop was walking up..


  4. Wait a minute...was the cop your husband? because it sure sounds like it when he said "dad is right...just go"

    funny though...six miles over. Come on there

  5. You are lucky! I got pulled over and had left my license behind..I got a ticket! Then had to go to the court house to prove that I had my license and still got a fine!

  6. If you're ever in LA and you're driving and you have 400 kids in the car, don't EVER beg for a ticket. LA cops don't play nice. They'll assume there's something you're trying to hide, like a body in the trunk!!

  7. That is hilarious! The cop must've thought you were insane!

  8. You are too funny! I've been pulled over more than I'd like to admit. My husband believes that our Paramedic technicion license plates will protect us, professional courtesy, and all that, but it's a load of crap.

  9. roflmbo.. I got pulled over once for speeding. I wsa on my way to the hospital to my mom, I had the back seat out of the van cause we were moving and 2 of my kids were asleep back there in the floorboard. Ya shining mom moment. I got he ticket for speeding he never saw the kids who I MADE get up and get in the middle seat just in case, they could sleep on each other. Went to court and it got dismissed cause I had never received any kind of ticket or anything in my life.

  10. MrsJenB: it is an awful feeling to be pulled over.

    Livingsj77:I do this MUCH too often.

    Moooog: "floor it." cracks me up.

    Lynn: yeah. Son was referring to how my husband says, "you gotta let things go, take the gift." I just can't.

    Holly: These are the joys of a small town.


    Cheryl: you think I lie when I saw I had to turn to the internet for friends? I'm nutz.

    Angel: I think the same went for me, too. My perfect record.

    KristinaP: really? the license doesn't work?

  11. Ok, you totally got me. Begging for a ticket? Really?? I knew you were a good person, but this good? This is going to take a while for me to digest....

  12. This story has made my day. Loved every second. Especially the part about his thoughts on the story.

  13. Love this story!!! I am sure the cop still tells HIS friends about you, too. You know once I had this lady that BEGGED me for a ticket. I wasnt going to do it lol.

    BTW-did you go grocery shopping without your shoes on? I thought they frowned on that, even in WI :).

  14. He learned that if you keep you record perfect for a long time you may just get a warning when you slip a little. Great lesson!

  15. hehe...kinda glad you did not end up at the hospital for this, yeah dispatch i have this crazy woman that wont let me go until i give her a ticket...please send the

  16. Wow, you are brave ASKING for the ticket! I tried the tears thing once and it didn't work. I got the ticket. :(

  17. I have seriously never heard of someone begging for a ticket before.

  18. Ok. So next time I get pulled over I'm gonna ask for the ticket. Maybe I'll get lucky and not get one!

  19. Oh, I loved this! My son will be driving in just a few short months - I think I would have done the same thing!

  20. I got pulled over one morning while driving the kids to school and all my daughter could say as the policeman was walking to the car? "Ohhh, Mommy. Your hair!"

  21. Yep, I'll bet that cop thought you were nuts! You can also bet it made for some good laughs over his coffee and donuts, with his fellow officers.

  22. Haha, loved this! I bet he won't be forgetting that experience any time soon!

  23. Oh, Empress! Only YOU would be begging an officer for a ticket! But you are such a good mama for thinking the whole time about the best way to turn this into a teaching moments for your son.

  24. You brought to mind my one and only driving infraction. I just about ran an officer off the rode while passing a semi on the highway up a hill. He was soooo mad. Yeep. My little car wasn't as fast as I thought, and the semi moved back into the lane. He probably saw the police car and knew he shouldn't have pulled over for me. I was so scared. I have been a very safe passer since.

  25. Mission accomplished in regards to your son! That's why you're a good momma cos you could still think about setting an example in front of your son in times of duress.
    f it were me, the first thing I'd do (and this is VERY likely) would be to point my finger to the 6 yr-old girl in the car with me and said, "I'm so SO terribly sorry officer, but my daughter here had just 'shitart' (that's shit + fart)and it's gonna be, like, all over the car seats soon, and oh, I don't know what to do... The last time it happened it was EVERYWHERE!!! ." If the trick works, then I would've told my daughter: that, my girl, is how you get it done!

    Your son is lucky to have you as a parent! :)

  26. i would have totally gotten a ticket because I have been driving for 17 years and do NOT have even CLOSE to a perfect record.

    Also? You are my hero.

  27. Hmmm, I wonder if he only let you off b/c you asked for it. I should tell my husband to try that the next time he gets pulled over. B/c he has a horrible driving record.

    Mine is perfect, like yours. :)

  28. I got my first ticket TWO HOURS after I passed my driving test. I never had a chance at that "perfect driving record." Not one little chance. haha

  29. *cackle* WORD VOMIT! Wow you really had it bad ;p but 30 years perfect record - well done you!
    Re-edited vsn of The Arrival now up and just .99c for May ONLY

  30. Now my ex-wife would have told the officer, ‘Sir, if you will pull into the back side of that park over there, handcuff my son and put him in the trunk, I will make your day and you will forget all about that silly ticket.’ Yeah! She loved a man in uniform.

  31. I don't know what impresses me more...

    That you tried to talk an officer into giving you a ticket or that you have a perfect record.

    The first makes me question your sanity.

    The second makes me super jealous.

  32. Going barefoot in summer is one thing; but not wearing shoes in construction?

    That sounds dangerous.

    Be careful out there.

    I can't imagine not being able to read your blog while you do time in the big house.


  33. My heart stops every time the lights go on, even if they're not for me. I'd be a terrible criminal.

  34. i was there when this happened!!!!!!!!!! i didn't know that's how you reacted. i'm so impressed. i bawled cuz mine was so expensive.


  35. You are a stellar parent. Truly. Finding a teachable moment in that time? I would have just devolved into a swearing, gibbering idiot.

  36. Oh for the love of Pete sister I was sitting here telling you to shut up lol. Great lesson for your son though....hope his record will be as clean as yours.

  37. You are so funny! Consider this a successful lesson learned, because your son has been saying to his friends, "Man, I hope I NEVER get pulled over!" He'll never forget it!!

    On another note, you got pulled over for going 6 miles over?!! A good wake up call for me when I rush my son to school...

  38. I confess to having draped myself out of the window of the car and mock crying to get out of a ticket (and I did,) but I will NEVER ask for an insurance premium increase, a.k.a. traffic ticket! You are high-larious!

  39. And this is why I love you so much. Even though I was all, "EMPRESS!!! SHUT IT!!! JUST DRIVE AWAY!!"

    But I'm glad your son learned his lesson. I don't think he'll be speeding anytime soon.

  40. What a wonderful story! You crack me up...begging for a ticket. I love how you wanted it to be a teaching moment.

    What a wonderful mom you are :)

  41. You all: this is QUITE the true story.

    You think I kid when I tell you I had to turn to the internetz for friends?

    I am nutz.

    With a Z.

  42. Oh man, I can totally relate. I constantly get warnings for 2 to 4 over the limit. 2 to 4. Am I the crazy one here? I also got my first ticket going to my brothers funeral stuff. It was totally bogus, because theypulled 15 - yes 15 of us over at once. We ALL got tickets. Mine was for ... and get this; 3 over the speed limit. 3.

    Georgia cops need a life. and he was all creepy about it too "So I'm yer first eh?" - followed by a sicko perv grin with his black teeth.
    I wanted to throw up.

    Glad my kids were not in the car. Wish my husband was.
    Thanks for stopping by - SITS girl here.

  43. This is one of the funniest stories ever!

    Unfortunately my driving record is not as pristine as yours. So now whenever my children see the lights they assume that we need to pull over.

    But really I am still stuck on the fact that you were going to the grocery store with no shoes on!

  44. I totally thought you were shining him on. Like reverse cop psychology.

    You are fabulously good. Love it : )

  45. Well I am shocked! You drink lemonlime Powerade?! (you think you know someone)

  46. Liz is right, only you would beg a policeman for a ticket! And that's just another one of the reasons why I love you. (Good lesson--gonna try that sometime myself when my kids are older.)

  47. When I get pulled over I just assume I'm due and I'm like you...bring on the ticket and shut the hell up because after working at dispatch for 10 years and being married to a deputy I know most anyone who pulls me over in this town. On the flip side, my kids won't be able to get away with anything, I have extra sets of eyes everywhere.

  48. So funny story...
    I stayed at my boyfriends house (who is now hubs) way too late. His house was a good 30-40 minute drive. I had to make it home before Dad would kill me or him...not necessarily in that order...and I flew home. I was on the home stretch and I just had that feeling...then whoop whoop...I get pulled over...two officers approached the one on the passenger side had his gun drawn...gun...and I started bawling my eyes out. They laughed and let me go.
    Moral of the story...don't trust boys who live in the country and beg you to stay at their house for one more minute.

  49. I have a pretty good driving record only because I flirt and smile and....lots of flirting. And when I'm wearing a dress or skirt, it magically slides way up so that you can almost see my hooha

  50. What a great story! Totally love it. I don't have a perfect record, so congrats to you!

  51. Brilliant! I'll have to try that angle sometime--begging for a ticket. Erm... not that I ever get pulled over.

  52. I can't stop giggling! It sounds like your son learned a very valuable lesson!

  53. Wombat: like most EVERYTHING in my life, I have no angle. It just happens that way. I think I'll write a book called, "Well, that didn't turn out too bad."

    Kimberly: oh, your comment cracked me up.

    LeChef: I think I like you. A lot.

    SoberJulie: you'll see more of these stories, sadly, so I hope they don't get you too worried about me.


  54. I dated the daughter of a police dispatcher in high school. Any time that I was driving home, even close to curfew, I didn't stand a chance. I could be driving the speed limit, under the speed limit . . . I got pulled over.

    The cops would give me shit, just to make sure I was late, let me off with a warning, and then that was it.

    It at least worked to my advantage the one time that I got pulled over for truly excessive speeding (I think I was doing 55 in a 35 -- it was a straight, empty road in a rural area . . . I just didn't realize how fast I was going), the cop kind of felt bad for busting my balls as he did.

  55. You? Are wonderful.

    And he? Is lucky.



  56. Cracking up! Good lesson for your son, though. So funny that you begged for a ticket to no avail!

  57. Omg stomach pain from laughing!! I bet all the officers have your license tagged for "don't pull her over...ever". :)

  58. six miles an hour over, huh? yeah, listen to dad:) funny.
    sounds like you got a good thing.

  59. Hilarious!

    I could see why he wouldn't give you a ticket, but I can't believe he still didn't after all that begging for one!

  60. Urghness. Okay, so I just commented only then something weird happened and I'm not sure if my comment went through but if it did I don't want to write it again and be that person.


  61. You are a nut, and a great mom, and that's why I love you. And that's why your kids love you too.

    Now let's see if Sonny Boy gets a 30 year perfect driving record.

  62. OMG. You are killing me. Keeeeling me. That's all.

  63. I'm just really impressed that you didn't curse, because I know that a lot of my "learning moments' are going to involve my potty mouth. ;)

    this is hilarious and adorable and the worst exampl...ASKING for a ticket...SHEESH!!!! ;)

  64. OMFG -- while I loved the entire post, I will be "borrowing" and/or quoting (with credit!) this gem of a line FOREVER: Wisconsin has two seasons: construction, and winter.
    Fucking BRILLIANT and wickedly dry. Just that line alone would have me coming back every day.

    If you want to see how unfunny my parallel experience was, wherein my son was crying, the cop DID issue me a ticket, and it turned into one of the worst mornings with my son ever... go to ... then again, maybe you shouldn't, as you'll learn what a horrible mother I am, plus it's kind of a bummer and you seem to be in such a good mood!

    Wouldn't wanna be responsible for bringing down the Empress. It could instigate the fall of an empire!

    Great post!

  65. Melinda: SO GLAD I made you laugh. B/C you do the same for me.

    Partly Sunny: You know I like it when I make you need your kids' inhaler.

    Megan: take the chance. Be one of those people. Then I'll have company.

    Gigi and Kir: you're both always so good to me. Good, solid, good to me. Thank you

    Minka: I am a fool, and at your service.

  66. The cherries? You are such a bad ass. Oh my god, Alexandra, you pull this shit out of nowhere and this is why I love you. HILARIOUS. Way to teach your kid right from crazy.

  67. Please explain to this poor innocent soul what "cherries" are supposed to be a euphemism for?

  68. You are such an awesome mama!!

    I'm betting he wanted to "go easy on you" because you asked for the ticket....and then that poor police officer didn't know what to do when you weren't happy with your warning. LOL.

  69. Yes that is lucky he let you off- especially since you didn't have your license. He was probably so taken back by your asking for a ticket that he didn't know what to do. And really six over is hardly anything :)
    Coming over from Shell's today.

  70. LOl - I am so laughing! I wish I could have been that wonderful when I got pulled over about 10 years ago - and I had such a perfect record then. Funny, how that record goes down the tube when you're trying to get your kids everywhere!Your post was definitely the treat of my day!

  71. I never speed up in the town roads, usually the speed limit is way to low and none follow it except me but then again, rules are rules.

    I guess your son and your husband is right about you, no point asking for a ticket, it is their job, if they feel you deserve one, you should get one. Also, i guess pretending to teach your son that you faked the speeding to teach him a lesson, which you did not, you sped up because you were late, and your son knows it, so over all, am sure your son gathered that you pretended/lied about the "teach him a lesson" story in front of the cops... not a good thing to do. Accept your fault, as it is... especially in front of your family that looks at you as a role model,

    sorry for being a bit harsh, i just felt it right to make an honest comment here,

  72. Yuliya; cherries: the red flashing lights atop.

    Emily: So nice to see a new visitor. Thanks for stopping over.

    From Tracie: you are a dear one. Happy Mama's day, sweetie. I love you.

    Blue Cotton Memory: can you believe this? It was 25, and I was going 31. I thought it was 35 in a residential, but he told me it's 25 when there's a park close by.

    Easy to remember that now!

  73. You never got the ticket because you're so sweet and sincere, and all "Please officer, please give me a ticket!" And you're son's in there looking all, "Please Mr. Officer, show me why I should respect the law!" And the officer showed him by being respectful to his mom. Perfect ending to a perfect law-breaking episode! Try robbing a bank, see if there are any consequences...I need funds for BlogHer, maybe I'll try that...

  74. I have tears in my eyes from laughing at this post. It made my day.

  75. I love this story. It is totally ridiculous how nervous cops make me. I'm never even doing anything wrong. Never ever want to get pulled over. I'd have a heart attack.

  76. The housecleaning clothes....I totally have those and they are not what I would wear to impress the local "finest"! Not that they wouldn't make an impression of course.
    Loved the post. Loved the note you left on my blog. Thanks for stopping by. I will be back here to check on your progress in being a role model for the teen boy. Need all the suggestions I can get on that myself.



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