Monday, February 25, 2008


I had the most unusual, mind-blowing, still-kind-of-freaked-out-about-it encounter with a cop yesterday afternoon. I was on my way to run, so I was channeling all my mental energy into that, but then this cop totally busted my concentration and almost ruined my run and my week (key word: ALMOST). Let me explain:

I was driving down Belle Meade Boulveard, telling a story to my passenger/friend, when I absent-mindedly passed a cop. As I was doing it, my friend interrupted my story and said, "Should you really be passing this cop?"

No. I should not have been passing that cop.

Of course the police officer pulled behind me and 30 seconds later had the blue lights on. Great, great, great. As I was pulling my car off to a side street, ANOTHER cop pulled behind the one that pulled me over. WTF? Backup? I was screwed.

As I turned the car off, I realized something very important. I didn't have my license, and that was not by accident. Since I was going to run, I didn't bring my wallet because I didn't want to leave it in my car. Infraction Number One. I asked my friend if I was going to get arrested.

The cop got out of her car. She stood around outside, talked to her backup, studied my car, looked in the back seat, and finally came up to my window. She explained why she pulled me over: not only was I speeding (Infraction Number Two), I passed her (Three [though I don't think that is necessarily against the law]), and had been "cruising" in the left lane, which on this particular street is to be used only for passing and turning (Four). There are even signs that say so. "But I was using it for passing," I wanted to argue. Instead, I held my tongue. She asked for my license, registration and proof of insurance.

"I have my registration and proof of insurance but not my license. You see, I'm on my way to run and didn't want to bring my wallet and leave it in my car," I stammered. She looked at me like I had just offered to roll her a joint. "Then get those two things and I'll be right back."

I opened my glove compartment/the black hole. Maybe that is where I will hide my wallet in the future, because there is no way in all that crap anyone could find it, just like there was no way I was going to find my most recent registration and proof of insurance before she came back. I found an AllState card which had expired in November (note: I am a law-abiding insurance payer [right, Sam?], it was PROOF of this that I was having trouble procuring). I was still looking when she returned.

She asked me if it was a Tennessee license, took down my name, social security number and DOB, then asked me with a little bit of a snarl, "Do you live here?"

Now, at that point, I remembered something else: for almost two years now I have been driving around with Alabama plates and a Tennessee license. I'm told this illegal. Infraction Number Five. Not wanting to lie to the cop, I tell her yes.

Then (my second favorite part of this story) she asks me if this was my car. Okay, seriously? That's just insulting. If it wasn't my car, why would I be driving it? Because I stole it? LOOK AT IT. WOULD I STEAL THIS CAR?!?! I said "uh, yes ma'am," possibly a little too quickly and with a little too much attitude.

Then she asks if I'm in school here. I said no. She asks if I have a dual residence. I look at her blankly. She asks me something about living in Alabama. Wondering if she has picked up on Infraction Number Five, I mutter something about living in Alabama part time (come on, for the first year, it was easily a dual residence). "What I'm getting at is I need an address," she says.

Now, in the time since I had my TN license made, I've moved twice. When I got the ID, I was living in the nastiest apartment ever off of West End. I've blocked it out of my mind, but not off my permanent record, which was not good because at that exact moment, I forgot the name of the street we lived on/listed in the DMV. I look at my friend and ask, "What's the street that runs beside West End?"

That's like asking "What's the street that runs beside 280?" My friend looked at me like I had just offered to roll him a joint as well.

I turn back to the cop. "I'm sorry, I'm just nervous. It's behind the Chili's, it splits off of West End by Centennial, umm umm umm..." She was getting exasperated. I'm surprised she didn't ask me to step out of the vehicle. She looked at my friend. "Do you live here?" "Yes." "Do you have your ID?" "No."

Suddnely I remembered the hell-hole address: "Elliston! Elliston! 3315 Elliston Place." As she writes this down, she begins lecturing my friend and I on the dangers of wandering around ID-less in Davidson County, and how it's a law and they can hold you in jail for up to three days while your fingerprints are processed to prove you are who you say you are, etc. She is going on and on about how we always need to have ID, and I need to hide my wallet or lock it in my glove compartment, when something magical, wonderful, and unbelievable happened.

Maybe she got tired of standing in the cold.
Maybe she felt sorry for me that I drive that pathetic car.
Maybe she was boring herself, too.
Maybe she didn't have that many blank tickets in her car, or that much ink in her pen.

Because she stopped mid-sentence, and miracle of miracles, homegirl LET ME GO. "Here, we won't do this," she said as she handed me back my (expired) proof of insurance. "I'm not gonna do this--just slow down and make sure you carry your ID on you, okay?"

I was STUNNED. Speechless. Dumbfounded. Aren't YOU?? Was this a joke? Am I on TV? Was this some new test for DUI?

Do you all understand - that cop could have made her ticket quota for the ENTIRE YEAR in one fell swoop with all my infractions. She was sitting on a pay raise and had no idea. And then LET ME GO!?!?

Not one to argue, I thank her, promise to follow her advice and roll up my window. I wanted to get out and hug her but restrained myself.

So what can we take away from this story?
1. I need to clean out my glove compartment.
2. Leaving my wallet at home - on purpose - was not a good idea (...or was it? Think she'd have let me go otherwise?)
3. I need to update my DMV records.
4. When driving to go run, do not speed because if you get pulled over it will break your concentration and you'll really not feel like running, no matter how much gatorade and carbohydrates you've had.
5. The rest of the year can only go downhill from here, because whatever fortune and good luck I had coming my way in 2008 was definitely used up in those magical six minutes off of Belle Meade Boulevard.


  1. you're right, I don't believe it. she probably couldn't even keep up with how many tickets she needed to write and decided it wasn't worth the trouble to figure it out. and since when is it illegal to pass a cop?

  2. Lucky girl. Those Belle Meade cops are brutal. I'm shocked you weren't thrown in the slammer (glad you made it out alive and without a ticket).

  3. you must have been looking some kind of hot. i guess you'll have to change that plate afterall, huh?

  4. Trust me, I was looking FAR from hot. I hadn't washed my hair since before the wedding, no makeup on, quite a sight.

    And PS - I just remembered the 3315 part isn't even correct. That was my Long Boulevard address. Lying to an officer, is that Infraction Number Six?

  5. You should have gotten a ticket! I'm glad you didn't, but you should have!

    I think she's a lesbian. Shoot, I didn't learn anything in "Learning for Life."

  6. I know you're not from Nashville, but you HAVE been living here for at least two years. Don't you know to NEVER speed in Belle Meade? Everyone knows that, lucky duck!


Oh goody!

wordpress blog stats