Saturday night, around the midnight hour, I was on my way home from my sister's apartment across town. I remember thinking, "Boy, my headlights are awful dim. They must be covered in snow." Approximately 3 minutes later, a cop pulled a U-turn after I passed him, red and blues a'blazing. SHIT.
I did a quick assessment in my head of everything I've done wrong. Drank two beers tonight. I don't have a job. Can they arrest you for unemployment? I'm not drunk, am I? Did I kill anyone today? Am I speeding? What day is it?
Cop man strolled up to my window.
"You know your headlight's out?" he asks, as I slap my forehead.
"I do now," I said. But he wasn't done.
"And your license plate is expired."
Thankfully he didn't arrest me for being a low-life with no job, and he did let me go with a warning for the dead headlight, but he did not let me get away so easily for the expired plates. Eighty-right dollar fine, BAM. And I went on my merry way.
[FIVE MINUTES LATER, ON THE BELTLINE]
A car comes alongside me with a missing headlight. I laugh. Sucker, I think. Immediately behind that guy is a sheriff. I laugh again because OMG HE IS TOTALLY GOING TO PULL THAT GUY OVER FOR HIS MISSING HEADLIGHT. Justice! Both cars are just ahead of me in the left lane. Just then, the sheriff slows. Slows waaaay down. Wait a minute, he's switching lanes. HE'S GETTING BEHIND ME. WHY IS THE SHERIFF BEHIND ME? GO GET THAT OTHER GUY! HIS HEADLIGHT IS OUT!
[red and blue lights]
Hardly five minutes after being pulled over at midnight on a Saturday night, I'm being pulled over again. I JUST DOUBLED THE AMOUNT OF TIMES I'VE BEEN PULLED OVER IN MY ENTIRE LIFE IN FIVE MINUTES. I knock my head against the head rest of my seat.
"YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME THIS IS NOT HAPPENING WHAT THE HELL OH MY GOD THERE IS NO JESUS."
This is seriously not happening. Is this happening? Did this happen? Am I alive? Is this the part where they arrest the low-life? Is this karma? Who will take care of my cats? Can I say goodbye to my mom?
Sheriff comes strolling up. I roll down my window, previous traffic violation time-stamped FIVE MINUTES AGO in hand, along with my drivers license.
"Hi there -- " he starts, but I cut him off.
"Hi, my headlight's out, I know. And my plates are expired. I know this all because I was just pulled over five minutes ago for the exact same thing," I tell him with a defeated sigh. Luckily he laughs. Oh, thank you, sweet Lord. With that he taps the hood of my car with his flashlight and sends me on my way.
I am pleased to say I made it the remaining six miles home without incident. Also without a headlight. DID YOU KNOW MY HEADLIGHT WAS OUT? BECAUSE I WASN'T CERTAIN. UNTIL NOW. THANK YOU, POLICE. TWICE. I'm also pleased to say that as of today, my license plates are no longer expired AND my headlight is fixed.
I am now the most law-abiding driver you know. But I'm still a low-life. Don't worry.