(Let me apologize to my mother and fellow feminists for this entire post. My head is hanging in shame as I type. But obviously not so much shame that I won’t share this story. I realize there’s medication for this.
On my way to Scamp headquarters in Backus, MN, a South Dakota Highway Patrolman clocked me going 71 in a 65 construction zone.
(No, this is not the reason I apologized to my mother. Wait for it.)
I was baffled when he leaned into my car and asked if I knew I’d been speeding.
“Really? I thought I was going the speed limit.”
“I’m afraid not, ma’am. Step into my car and I’ll show you the readout.”
“Step into my car and I’ll show you the readout”? A cop had never said that to me, and after the initial anxiety – I’m about to get a ticket! Crap! – something else kicked in. I heard the boom chukka pow of my own internal porn soundtrack.
I thought, Finally. I mean, they make movie after movie about exactly this scenario, so couldn’t it actually happen in real life? Was this my chance to check something off my dirty little bucket list?
I straightened my t-shirt and did my best to casually follow him back to his car. I slid into the front seat.
He asked questions: Where had I been? Where was I headed? What did I do for a living?
Wait, when was he going to ask what I was willing to do to avoid a ticket? (Appropriate response: You purr, “Why, anything, officer.” Duh.) But this was starting to feel a little less XXX and a lot more Law & Order.
He tapped away at the laptop that sat between us, running my info, and said, sounding surprised, “You were born in South Dakota?”
“Yep, I was born in Winner.” A small town a few hours south of where we sat.
This seemed to please him. My fantasy was in reach! Maybe flattery would move things along.
“You have such a dangerous job. I don’t know how you do it.” My voice dripped admiration.
He smiled, just a little. “It’s not so bad. It pays the bills.”
“Well, I think you’re brave.” (I’m not kidding. I actually said this. And yes, I heard my feminist cred splat onto the blacktop like road kill.)
He smiled a little wider. “Really, it’s just my job.”
Satisfied I’d made progress, I looked in wonder at all the stuff in the cab – pins and buttons attached to the cloth ceiling, many mysterious gadgets on the dash – and said, “I’ve never sat in the front seat of a cop car.”
He cocked an eyebrow. “You’ve sat in the back?”
“Oh. No,” I lied.
After more typing (him) and dreaming (me), he snapped his laptop shut and said, “I’m just going to give you a warning this time.”
What? This was great for my record, but so, so bad for my fantasy. This fantasy never has the officer giving just a warning.
But Internet, I’m not entirely crazy. I thanked him, twice, and made to get out of the car. He smiled and said, “Be safe.”
“You, too.” I got in my car and he watched me pull away. I drove exactly the speed limit, taking my one kind of happy ending with me.