Monday, March 02, 2009

Tell Them Jesus Saved Me

Reader, a few months ago I was heading toward TJ Maxx after taking a wonderful hike in a gorgeous regional park. There's nothing like fresh air to whet my appetite for bargain hunting. I was tooling along a windy road toward my destination, when coming off a hill, I noticed I was going a bit fast. Just as I put my foot on the brake, I saw the police car. I knew I was doomed and sure enough the cop made a U turn and pulled me over.

I'm sure I looked completely insane. Those of you that have ever hiked with me can probably picture it. I was filthy due to returning along a route that turned out to be not quite an actual trail, and had a striped knit cap jammed over dirty windblown hair which was sticking out in every direction in defiance of the hat. I considered my options: should I cry? Make up some fake emergency? Could I pull off flirting when I looked like I had just escaped from a mental institution? Then I remembered a former cop friend who used to tell me how much it bothered him when people he pulled over argued and that he would always let people off with a warning if they simply acknowledged their mistake and apologized.

Reader, maybe I should have flirted or cried because my tactic didn't work. The cop was nice enough as he issued my citation and I resisted the urge to say every smartass thing that came into my head about the police force of this very small, wealthy suburban town and maybe he should try coming to Oakland to chase real criminals instead of bothering Professional Critic in her quest for discount jeans. Can you feel my righteous indignation? Entirely undeserved; I was totally speeding.

Fast forward to a few days ago: I still had not received the details of my infraction in the mail and my court date was coming up quickly. I was not relishing the idea of canceling half a day's worth of meetings to attend to this--or to explain why. I got on the horn to the traffic court.

A nice man named Jesus answered the phone. I explained my situation and he sighed and said my citation was not even in the system yet, they were about four weeks behind processing letters. Again I resisted pointing out that they were actually already eight weeks behind, but who's counting? Jesus said to sit tight, and if I didn't hear anything in another month, to call again.

Jesus, I said, I don't plan to get pulled over again, but if I do, am I going to get arrested?

No, no! Just tell them Jesus said it was okay.

Uh, what is your last name?

He laughed. Oh, we don't give that out for security reasons.

An ID number?

You don't need that, he said assuringly. I'm the only Jesus here.


So, reader, if I get thrown in the poky and use my one call to call you, help me out and tell them Jesus saved me, will you?


3 comments:

County Court said...

Hey, at least you got someone to answer the phone and talk to you. Not all traffic courts are good about that.

Anonymous said...

That is frickin' high-larious! If you weren't my friend, I would swear that you made this story up!!! or maybe you did...
Alizh

Professional Critic said...

Lordy, County Court, that's an entirely new perspective I hadn't considered. Thinking about it ....

Alizh, it's all sadly, deeply, true.