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The Ticket

One week ago late in the evening I was driving home from an event when I noticed flashing lights behind me. I had that sinking feeling that comes when you realize that you are going to be pulled over by the police.

These things used to make my heart race and my blood pressure rise. I had none of those feelings. I felt perfectly calm with that Oh brother! feeling.

Not much traffic was going on around us at 9:30 p.m. so I pulled my car to the side of the road.

Get out of the roadway! Go to the next block and turn right! boomed the cop through his loud-speaker.

Okay, I turned right at the next block.

A young and lean officer comes up to my window and gets right to it. Sir, I pulled you over because you were going 46 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone. Please hand me your license and insurance. I did, and he walked back to the motorcycle and did whatever police do for the next five minutes when they make you wait in your car.

The speech was well rehearsed and excellently presented. Sign here. Your signature is not an admission of guilt. Call this number and let them know that you haven’t had any tickets in the last three years and you can join a program that will keep this off of your driving record—provided you don’t get stopped for ninety days.

Thank you very much officer. I’ll be more careful, I said.

With that, we both went our separate ways. And sure enough when I looked back, another officer was giving some poor schmo a ticket about 100 yards up the road. There’s got to be an app for that. In the meantime, I’m driving slower.