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"Do You Know How Fast You Were Going?"
How is it that parents always know what they are talking about? I truly believe they have a chip implanted in their brains. This chip gives them knowledge about everything I’ve done, and everything that they know I will do. They are experts in all fields, especially driving. Yet, one day, I decided to disregard five simple words of advice from my mother on this particular subject. This was a huge mistake. My mistake ended in flashing lights, tears that came way too late, and a mother who was quite angry with her daughter. Note to self---from now on, always listen to my parents about driving.
As I scurried off towards the door, I heard my mother shout from the basement, “Drive safe, and be CAREFUL!” I never could understand why she must reiterate these words every time I was going to place her “precious cargo” behind the wheel. These words meant absolutely nothing to me. They became a mere noise. No sense was triggered, no thoughts provoked of what she actually meant. They were simply a murmur of consonants and vowels to form sounds.
I muttered back in a dull, yet somewhat irritated tone, “Yes, Mom I will.” I leapt to my car as quickly as I could; hoping to avoid the dreaded phrase of, “Call Me when you get there!” Does she not realize that my time as a teenager is precious? None of it can be wasted on a phone call to tell her I made it safely! Couldn’t I just send her a quick text message?
When I began to lurch my car out of the garage into the dank eve, my mind was free from all burdens. I was ready to blare my music and roll my window down, allowing the mist to nestle on my bare skin. As I began to edge my small, white Saturn towards the edge of my drive, my cell phone chimed the lyrics of “Pop, Lock, and Drop it”. I glanced down to see who could be calling; the caller ID held the name of Natalie. “Hellooo?” I called into the phone.
“Duuuddee, where are you? YOU ARE WAY LATE for our art party!”
“Sorry Nat! I had to wait ‘till my Mom got home, so she wouldn’t worry about where I was,” I explained.
“Well, you need to hurry up,” she exclaimed. “The clay and paints will be all dried up before you get here, therefore, not allowing me to make an accurate sculpture of you.”
I responded in a cynical tone, “Very funny Nat. I’ll be there in a jiffy.”
“You better,” she whined, “or I will disinvite you from my art party. END OF STORY!”
Although I knew Natalie was kidding, I honestly wanted to have as much time to create a stunning masterpiece for the home refrigerator. I could not remember the days of refrigerator art work, and wanted to be reminded, once again, of what those days were like.
I barreled my car onto the rough pavement of A Street, disregarding the swift oncoming traffic. The car tires screeched against the street, and I eased my Saturn to a smooth forty-five miles per hour, in a thirty-five mile per hour zone. Unfortunately, I was quite oblivious to the upcoming hidden hazard. As I yelled along to Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark,” and let the cool breeze caress my hand, I noticed a white car dart out in front of traffic. This white car resembled a police car. “This cop can not be following me,” I whispered. “He doesn’t even have his ligh…” When I peeped through my rear view window, I saw red and blue lights blinding my line of vision. I had been caught.
My mind began to fill with worry. I had never been taught what to do in this situation. I kept driving, probably a not-so-smart mistake, until I reached the Amigos parking lot at 70th and A. I slowly turned my car into the parking lot, and parked myself between two open slots. The police car parked right behind me, almost to the point of grazing my bumper. As I sat there awaiting my sentence, my mind raced with ideas of how to get myself out of this ticket. In movies and on television, the women seem to flirt with the policeman, bat their eyes, and flash a winning smile. Unlike the women in movies or on television, I’m not an actress, and all I could do was gawk at my car’s windshield.
I heard the thundering sound of the policeman’s steps. He had on a pair of sunglasses (which was strange since the sun had made no effort to peek through the clouds all day) which were so intimidating they seemed to pierce me like a dagger. This could have been the most terrifying cop ever. Everything seemed to be happening in slow-motion. The menacing cop bent over at his waist and placed his thick hands on his hips. He grumbled in a cocky manner, “Excuse me, Miss, but uh… do you know how fast you were going?”
It took me a moment to respond. I tried to well up a good cry. However, not even a solemn tear would squeak out of my eye. All I could do was look straight forward like I was under the trance of a hypnotist. I bluntly stated that “No, I have no idea how fast I was going.”
He shook his head out of disappointment, “Well uh… let me tell you,” smacking his gum loudly in my face, “You happened to be going forty-eight in a thirty-five. How does that sound?”
I gulped, not realizing that my car karaoke had distracted me to the point of negligence. “Sorry?” I winced.
I knew from the look on his face, blank as a canvas, that this cop was going to be unrelenting. There was nothing in my power that could alter the outcome of this circumstance. “License and registration,” he spurted out like a machine.
I handed over my wallet, and scrambled to find my registration. Unfortunately, my father had never enlightened me as to where he had put the car registration. “Umm…I...I... don’t know where my re...registration is!”
With another chomp of his gum, he managed to sigh, “That’s fine. I guess I can just scan your license and look up the registration.”
As he strolled away, I heard the haunting voice of my mother say, “Drive safe and be Careful!” I realized I was in monstrous trouble at that moment. “My mom is going to murder me when I get home,” I murmured.
Time seemed to stand still until the instant the policeman came back and shoved a $113 speeding ticket and a sheet for STOP class sign-up into my more than accepting hand. “Have a nice day, and try to be more careful from now on,” he hollered in a sarcastic nature as I began to pull my car away.
The tears finally arrived. Each tear was a waterfall flowing onto my lap below. I picked up my phone and reluctantly dialed my home number. “Yes Megan,” my Mother answered surprisingly.
“Mom…” I whimpered.
“What’s wrong Megan?” she hushed into the phone.
“I…I…I got a speeding ticket!” I blurted loudly and uncontrollably into the receiver.
There was a moment of silence on the other line until, “You get home right now.” My mother’s voice was a symphony of anger, rage, and threat. There was not going to be any art party for me today.
The day I decided to ignore my mother’s famous five words “Drive safe and be CAREFUL,” was the last day I ignored driving advice. It seemed as if my mother’s advice chip was sending strong signals that day. She put extra emphasis on the words careful, and my teenage ignorance was too unaware to detect this signal. Obviously, I need to install an antenna to pick up these types of hints. I pressed the gas peddle too hard, and was caught doing so. I was definitely not being careful. Note to self---when mom says careful, take that word into consideration.