Three Tickets in 30 Seconds

When I was talking to my friend Laura on the phone last night, I got pulled over for what must be the most violations one person can rack up in 30 seconds.

Violation #1: Driving with one Starbucks in hand and another between legs. This is the real reason I thought he had pulled me over because I had just attempted to make the sharpest right-hand turn into our neighborhood with only one hand on the wheel, and I overshot it real bad. I figured he thought I was drunk. So as he approached my car, I rolled down my window and waved the frappuccino and venti iced chai out the window.

"I'm driving with two Starbucks," I said. "That's why I was so clumsy on that turn." At least I knew I could pass any breathilizer or walking test he may throw at me, since I was as sober as a stick.

"I can guarantee that's not why I'm pulling you over right now," he said.

Oh. Hm. What, then?

Violation #2: "Your back tailights are out," he said.

"Really?" I asked, incredulous. "But I just got them both replaced!"

"Well, they're out. I even checked your headlights when you were turning at the light, in case maybe you'd just forgotten to turn on your lights in the first place, but those ones were on."

Ah. There's the problem, I thought. "My headlights go on automatically when I turn on the car." (I drive a spunky white 2001 Jetta.) "But how long have you been following me? Because I was talking on my cell phone and forgot to turn on my lights until just a minute ago."

Violation #3: Driving without lights. "Oh, so you mean I have to give you a moving violation, too?" he asked.

Shoot. Crud. DARN it. I looked at him helplessly. "I'm so sorry," was all I could say.

Plus, nestled in that last exchange was Almost-Violation #4: Talking on cell phone while driving. Thankfully, this is not (yet) a crime in central Florida. But it did make me worry that I'd been doing something wrong on that count, too, that I didn't know about.

"Just don't forget to drive with your lights on," he finally said, easing up on me. "I wouldn't want some drunk person hitting you, even though your car is white."

And with that, he wished me a good evening and stalked back to his car. I'd never felt so thankful in my life. Well, that's a gross exaggeration, but it was incredibly relieving. Laura and I got quite a great kick out of it. Don't you?

Also, thanks to Laura for the great idea for this post's title.