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Taco Bell! This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     “Taco Bell! Taco Bell!” we hollered at the top of our lungs as we sped down the road. As we approached a familiar intersection I realized it had one of those stop signs that nobody ever stops at, a “St-optional” sign. Completely unaware of a car approaching, I shot through. I couldn’t have had worse luck. The sides of the road were filled with blue light. “Uh, oh ....” I heard from the backseat.

Coming home from work late that night I had agreed to be the designated driver for a trip to Taco Bell. These trips had become a tradition because of the joy we felt throwing half-eaten tacos at each other. This trip was just the opposite. As the car rolled to a stop I swore at my misfortune.

The officer was short and fat and had a high nasally voice. He was a walking stereotype. He popped his head in the window and took a look around before giving me the expected lecture on the importance of stop signs. I “yes sir’d” him and thought I was on my way with just a written warning.

“One more thing: spit the alphabet out backwards,” he squeaked.

Feeling the heat of the situation I began to object, “Sir, I can’t do that. Who in the world can say the alphabet backwards off the top of their head?” He snapped a look at me so I gave it a shot. “Z, Y, X,” I continued down to “A” without too much trouble. Feeling pretty good, I gave him a smile.

“What happened to W?” he said with a smirk.

“Sorry, I forgot it.” This was true, I’ll admit. He made me repeat this test, which I flew through on my third try. Next came counting from 35 to 60. “Piece of cake,” I said. I went through several more tests and sighed in relief.

“I’m waiting for another officer, I’ll be back,” he assured me.

The other officer was the unofficial “breathalyzer” cop who is called in when they need to test a driver’s sobriety. Apparently the officer smelled alcohol in the car and I couldn’t provide an answer why, though I knew it must be a friend.

Although I did not drive drunk that night, it taught me a few things. First, I am not as good at the alphabet as I thought. It also taught me to think about things before jumping right in, to assess the situation instead of blindly following my emotions. The arrest of my friends could have meant criminal charges and suspension from athletic teams. I think it is safe to say there will be no more taco fights any time soon.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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