It is Friday. As good a day as any to get a speeding ticket.
It’s ok, I was going way over the speed limit along with every other car on the freeway, my car just happened to be in the HOV lane, closest to the cop. He was really nice, and I didn’t cry or try to negotiate with the man. I was speeding. He was doing his job. The whole experience brought to mind all the other times in my life I had been pulled over. . .
Today was speeding ticket number five, I think. The first ticket I got in the very same spot on I-5, passing Federal Way. It was 1999, I was listening to a Metallica song. I tried to explain this to the cop as an obvious reason why I was going twenty miles over the speed limit. She didn’t care.
The next ticket was just over the county line into Spokane. I was on my way to visit my parents in Montana. I thought the speed limit was 75 because it is later on different parts of I-90. The cop asked me if I knew how fast I was going, I said “Uh, 80.” Like it was no big deal. He thought it was a big deal.
The next two tickets were in the same day. Also on my way to Montana. One coming over Snoqualimie Pass. That was just stupid. Then, later that day I got a speeding ticket in Montana, the state infamous for not having a speed limit. The Montana cop also asked how I would like to take care of it. I handed him twenty bucks and the ticket never went on my record. That wasn’t my best driving day. I also hit a raccoon. I can still see him in my head, stopped dead ahead—and I swear he had his hands in the air pleading with me not to run over him.
But those last four tickets were all between my freshman and junior years of college (sorry mom). I drove really responsibly after that for eight years. I promise. But I did find it odd that this afternoon, my two kids in the back seat didn’t even question why that policeman was giving mommy a little piece of paper. Don’t worry about it, kids. We’ll never have any money to insure you, or buy you a car.