Black and White Fever

For years I told myself I didn’t have it. I not a victim of the disease. Why should I worry? I wasn’t doing anything that warranted concern. I knew how to avoid the pitfalls and the mistakes. For years I was right, narrowly escaping punishment for things I knew I had done wrong. It seems that the tables of fortune have turned. I now cannot escape the fact that I have a rabid case of black and white fever.

A couple of weeks ago I was driving to work the same way I always do. He spotted me. I spotted him. I pretended everything was fine. He slammed on his brakes and flipped a u-turn across heavy traffic, cranked on the sirens and the flashing lights. Out of my lungs I expelled all my air, will and hope. I was going to get a ticket for the first time in a decade.

The way he whipped through traffic I could swear I was a wanted man. I felt like Edward G. Robinson cornered by the fuzz. “YOU’LL NEVER GET ME COPPER!” The main difference being I didn't have a machine gun. So instead I rolled down my window smiled and asked “What seems to be the trouble officer?”

“You were going ten miles over the speed limit. When you saw me you started to slow down. Are you aware that it is 55 on this road?”

“I’m not sure. I was just driving to the road conditions. This was my exit that you pulled me off in front of. That's why I was slowing down” I have to confess to being a little put out by this. “Was I driving reckless? Was I endangering other drivers?”

“Getting in a head on collision at 65 miles per hour could be deadly.” The way he said this made me feel like a six year old. I almost expected him to pat me on the head, and ask if my mommy knew I was driving like this.

“But getting in a head on collision at 55 miles per hour is perfectly safe, right?” I regret saying this because it ended our conversation. I thought it was a good point, but the officer didn’t want to discuss it with me. I signed my violation and he thanked me. He thanked me the way a mother thanks a stubborn child for doing something they were told, only after they have been punished.

Now it seems that I’m no longer the confident driver I was a few weeks ago. I have a case of black and white fever that is out of control. I have all the symptoms clammy hands, cold sweats. I pull off the road or onto side streets to just avoid being on the same road with the cops. I’m neurotic and making more simple driving mistakes than I have since I was first learning to drive. I know it will pass in time but until then I wouldn’t suggest driving with me. If for some reason you have to, please refrain from wearing anything black or white.

15 comments:

SJ said...

My first ticket was on the way to our Homecoming Parade in Missouri - I was the cheerleading sponsor and was afraid I was going to be late - needless to say I was - after being stopped. The worst part - I had two of my cheerleaders in the car with me - how embarassing! And on a side note - I did cry. People say that it works for females - not in my case - BIG HUGE ticket - and yes, I had the black and white fear for a long time!

Jason said...

I just read on cnn.com about how some scientists are working on an invisibility cloak. Apparently, this composite material lets radar waves pass around the object being monitored. This sounds like just the thing you need.

Call Me June... said...

I actually break into a cold sweat when I see the black and white! I attribute it to guilty conscience. I received my first ticket here in Indiana, a stone's throw from my home. The neighbor kid kindly gathered all the other neighborhood kids, granting me the special privelege of an audience! The worst part is that I, the most easily moved to tears person that I know, could produce nary a tear to aid my case!

kludge said...

SJ-
I understand, everything but the crying part. I cannot imagine what would happen had I started wailing!

I hate begin caught. It's funny too, because we've all done really stupid things on the highway and never been ticketed for them. I can't say I don't deserve the ticket, but still fume about being ticketed for what I consider a small offence.

kludge said...

Jason-

I heard about that! I could really go for one of those! Could you imagine..

"It looks like he's flying but the radar says nothing..."

kludge said...

June-

Only one thing worse than getting caught. Everyone knowing you got caught

I once got pulled over for a fix it issue with my registration tag. It was in the worst part of town. People were all gathered around waiting for him to haul me out and put me on the hood I guess. Nothing like a street full of thugs shaking their heads at you.

Windy City Survivors said...

Right there with you on the cop fear. So far I have never received a ticket (well that was mine-I got pulled over when I was 17 driving my parents car. Somehow they didn't receive their registration information and I got the fix-it ticket. I was right on 101 during commute traffic too!).
I am sure there have been plenty of times I have deserved one, but my trick is to let one other person go faster then me. The cop will want him before me. THe other thing that helps is as I've said before, I haven't seen that many people pulled over in my time in Chicago.

kludge said...

Patricia has never been pulled over either. I'm glad, our bank account is only sufficient for one of us getting tickets.

I used to drive this beat up 1980 dodge that I traded a 486 computer with a guy to get. I got pulled over very day, just because. I one day found a needle and giant spoon under the dash board, and figured there were problably some priors on the lisence pate.

After that I just left a bible and random church bulletins on the back seat. I can't tell you how much this accually helped.

Ando said...

Way to sweet talk the nice man. Criminal.

SJ said...

I think I was crying mainly because I was embarassed having two students in the car with me - and knowing I was going to be late - but also hoping, since others have told me it would work,that the crying would help - this guy had not a sensitive bone in his body - - - -

kludge said...

Ando-

Yes... it wasn't one of my finer moments...

kludge said...

SJ-

Someone once told me that they got out of traffic violations by always pretending they had to go pee real bad. I just couldn't imagine trying to pull that off.

jenylu said...

Your Sunday school teacher knows of a good, painless, online traffic school.:-)

kludge said...

Jenylu-

Thanks for the hot tip. This might sound nuts, but I'm looking forward to traffic school. It might give me some good posting material.

jenylu said...

Kludge--
That does sound nuts! On the other hand, the blogger's silver lining gives new meaning to all sorts of otherwise unpleasant experiences!