Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Defining "Luck"

Today is the last day of my summer vacation and to say that it didn't exactly go as planned would be an understatement.  I headed out early to take care of a few errands and it was on my way back home that a local police officer ran a very random plate check.  An old traffic ticket of mine, long since paid and forgotten, was still lingering in the system and causing no end of havoc.  Thus ended any plans I might have once made.

Now, don't get all flustered or anything.  It's not like they slapped the cuffs on me right there and then.  As the nice policeman put it:

1.  I could tell in less than a minute that this was gonna be one of those crazy, huge misunderstandings

and

2.  We've only got the one cell and there's kind of somebody in there right now.  I'm pretty sure you two wouldn't get along...


This was followed by a rather lively discussion between us regarding the fun one can have making new friends.  I find that, in these sorts of situations, it is best to be respectful, understanding and to retain a good sense of humor about the whole thing.  Humor, especially when it's not expected, can be appreciated.  It can also be rather disarming.  The officer and I were still chatting amicably when the tow truck arrived.  (hardened criminals such as myself cannot be trusted to drive until we prove ourselves worthy, you know...)  The tow guy was impressed.

This is an impound?  Really?  Usually by this time there's someone in the middle of the road giving me the finger and stuff...


Disarming.  That's the key, here.  I disarmed the heck out of this situation and in temperatures quickly rising to 90 degrees.  In the end, the nice policeman even gave me a ride home.  This, apparently, is frowned upon when dealing with the criminal element, but he felt really badly about the whole situation. Plus, I probably reminded him of his mom or something.

I mean...I had to ride in the back and everything, but that was OK.  If you're not actually in handcuffs, riding in the back of a police car is kind of cool.  My escort sort of ruined it by offering to let me have the window open.  I declined because that is not what edgy, wild women such as myself do.  We don't take charity from The Man ever!  He also didn't do that thing where the cop puts a hand over the perp's head when the enter and exit the vehicle like they do on TV.  That was kind of disappointing, but I wasn't really in a position to make demands at that point.  I thanked him for his consideration and shook his hand like Mommy Sheep taught me.

That was the end of my fun.  Once back home, I needed to begin Dealing With Matters.  The rest of the day was spent on the phone or waiting for people to call me back so I might know what to do next.  Or whom to call next.  It took a while, but I finally managed to convince The Establishment that I was worthy of driving privileges.  I retrieved my license and rescued my car from the impound people and if I had to walk around town in what was now 95 degree heat, well that's just the way things go sometimes.  It's also the way the day goes because, by then, the hour was growing late and summer vacation was basically done.

For all this, I am going to surprise you by saying that I feel like pretty much the luckiest person strolling the planet right now.  Truly.  Because if this same set of circumstances had happened in any other place or time...I probably would have been arrested.

Seriously.  It could have happened on the highway while I made my way to work.  It could have happened in front of the school where I teach.  This could easily have been a Cuff The Perp And Ask Questions Later kind of situation.  That was one of the things the nice policeman and I were chatting about while we waited for the tow truck.

Instead, the whole thing played out during a very small window where I had the time to deal with matters and while the right people were sitting at their desks to take my calls.  Oh, by the way...one other thing.  Until further notice, there are to be no words of ill will aimed at the Maine Department Of Motor Vehicles.  At least three of today's calls went to one extension there and I can honestly say that I have never before been treated so respectfully and kindly or with such understanding.  The woman who worked with me on this went so far above and beyond the call of duty that she was probably hovering above her cubicle for a time.  I'll likely change my mind regarding the status of this particular government office at some point but, for now, we praise the DMV.  Long and loud...

The day is done and I'm back to being a respectable member of the driving community.  I somehow managed to find the only people in the whole world who could untangle this situation enough to extricate me and it all happened so close to home that I barely had time to miss the place.  And I was not in handcuffs at any point during the festivities.  When I say this could have gone worse, I am so totally NOT kidding.

And school tomorrow?  Well...I still don't want to go.  I would much rather be on vacation for another decade or two.  Working for a living is a dull thing indeed when compared to being on vacation.  But, I gotta tellya...

I have never before been so utterly and straight-from-the-bottom-of-my-heart grateful to be able to go back to work tomorrow.

SA

14 comments:

Leah said...

Well, well, well. Mercury is retrograde. Mercury Regrograde creates snaffus in communications and transportation. It looks like you have paid your debt to the God Mercury today. Period. In spades.

Congradulations.

Julia G said...

Wow! The karma gods have been working overtime -- first you're $20 up on Dr. deSade, then the karma adjustment drops on you like an Acme Brand anvil. But you did exactly the right thing, treating people who are used to getting all kinds of guff and upset with respect and empathy -- good manners are always a winner!

But if you ever have another brush with the Man, just put the word out on the Twitter. I, and half the blogosphere, would be up I-95 in a heartbeat to bail you out! Plus I work in the law biz and know a thing or two about a thing or two. We simply cannot allow such a disruption to the AGK's and VCK's busy schedule, and or worse allow petty bureaucracy to interfere with your vigil for zombie invasions from the North.

kmkat said...

You truly deserve sainthood for your attitude. Probably comes from working with *challenging* middle-schoolers, right? Plus being able to maintain that attitude in 90+˚. Canonization looms in your future.

PICAdrienne said...

Rational Mind obviously prevailed, but how did Hysterical Mind take this turn of events? Glad to know you are safe and sound. Good luck at school tomorrow.

Mia said...

what a day! But you got to ride in a real police car!!!!

Maybe yesterday was such an icky day that today will go so easy it will be a treat... but I'd suggest packin' somethin' a little extra in the ole lunchbox.. just in case :)

trek said...

Goodness, Sheepie, only you.

Today's dry run on being awake, fed, dressed, and brushed before the time the school bus is scheduled to arrive gets a 3 out of possible 5 pencils.

Neatnik is so not allowed to read during breakfast on school days.

Hmm, that sounds like a tweet...

Donna Lee said...

What a mess that was and you handled it with grace. I agree with you that your attitude goes a long way to making people want to help.

Did your heartbeat accelerate when they pulled you over? Mine would have thumped through my chest!

Northmoon said...

Congradulations on handling the situation with such grace!!

Karen said...

WOW! What a day. You handled it beautifully. BUT I hope you dropped the "when I was taken in the cruiser yesterday" into conversation at school today:) It would give you street cred with the kids.

Cursing Mama said...

HOLY BUCKETS! Won't the kids be excited to hear about your little ride. This will go far in promoting your hallway cred.

Anonymous said...

I can only hope I would have as much grace and humor were I in your shoes. Nicely done.

April said...

Sheepie! Sheepie! OMG, OMG, I am SO jealous! Oh you lucky, lucky thing. I have NEVER gotten to ride in a police car EVER and I've been stopped a bazillion times. You should have had the police officer take your picture with your cell phone of you in the back seat. That would have been the best blog picture EVER.

I am way jealous but thank you for letting me live vicariously through you, you hardened criminal, you.

Kath said...

Wow. I do not think I could have handled that situation as well as you did. Pulling over is one thing, but impounding my vehicle as a result of a ticket that was in fact paid? I'd have lost my mind.

Beth said...

Were you allowed to knit in the back of the police cruiser? You weren't handcuffed, but did you get frisked? I, like the others, admire your attitude! I hope the whole thing is put to rest now so you don't have to repeat the ordeal.