After a day on Sanibel Island scooting around on our hog named Lola, we hopped into our foul-smelling rental car to return to our house in Naples. We were sad to leave the amazing island, and were tired from our day of dominating Lola the Scooter.
I was feeling a little sassy after wearing a helmet that said “Outlaw” but I tried to curtail the feeling as I drove the 10 horsepower rental car back to Naples.
It was a bit of a drive back to the house, and we were exhausted. It was most likely the combination of adrenaline from having such power between our legs and the sun.
I drove the Forte, as I wanted to give Matt a break from his day of operating heavy machinery. For some reason, the iPhone gave directions back to the house that were different from those we took to get to the island.
As we drove back on the new route, we found ourselves on a two lane road behind a slow moving conversion van, that had the windows tinted and most likely housed abducted children in the back.
My lovely husband, who most likely was still fired up from driving Lola all day, looked at me and said “You know, you can pass this van.”
For those of you who are married (or for those of you who aren’t married but frequently have aggressive back seat drivers in your vehicle), you know that this comment wasn’t a suggestion, but an order.
Although I didn’t have a desire to pass this conversion van (because I didn’t want to catch a glimpse of what horrors were housed in the van), I knew that if I wanted to keep my marriage happy and jovial, I needed to pass the van.
I stepped on the gas of the tiny piece of crap of a rental car, got into the other lane, and passed the van. As I returned to my lane, my eye caught something in the rear view mirror.
All of a sudden I saw a policeman barreling down on me, his lights flashing. Seriously?!
I pulled the Forte over into a very nice gated community, as that was the only place there was to safely pull over. Immediately, I began getting stares and death looks from the tenants of the facility.
Some of them stared in wonder, clearly unsure as to the brand of car I was driving, as most of them had most likely never seen a Kia up close before.
The smell from the vehicle probably added to their amazement, as they most likely wondered if all Kias smell that way (I assume they do).
I advised him it was a rental car, and the only documentation I had was the rental contract I signed, which pretty much signed away everything I had, including my first born.
He seemed to be okay with that and headed back to his patrol car to begin his background check of me and my criminal history.
I sat there wondering if the red light ticket I refused to pay was going to show up on my record, and if that outstanding ticket was going to be my ticket to the Naples’ clink.
As I sat there imagining if I would look good in an orange jumpsuit, I saw my husband out of the corner of my eye. I hadn’t said a word to him since I was pulled over, and he was noticeably quiet.
The police officer took an eternity to return to the car with my ticket, which I think was intentional, as I’m pretty sure he wanted to see if he could catch me brutally strangling my husband with my bare hands.
Maybe he got a bonus for catching domestic abuse as it happened.
He sauntered over to the Kia, encouraging the gawking residents in their $80,000 vehicles to move on. I’m not sure if they were fascinated by the Kia or the large bee-hive of a hairball that had formed on the top of my head from wearing a helmet all day.
Either way, he encouraged them there was nothing to see, and they should keep moving.
He handed me a ticket, and told me he cut me a break, and only gave me a ticket for improperly operating a vehicle…a break in the ticket of $180.00.
Didn’t he see the kind of car I was driving? Couldn’t he tell by my ratty hair, the smell from the car, my petrified husband, and the tin can we were driving that times were tough?
Apparently he had no concern for my down-on-my luck status. He also clearly disregarded the fear in my husband’s eyes.
The officer then took the opportunity to tell me about the legal profession, how the court system works, and how I had no chance of fighting the ticket unless I wanted to come to court.
He then advised me that if I decided to fight the ticket, I would have to go to court where it would be “you versus me.”
He said it in such a way that it suggested we would be required to fight in a cage match instead of utilize a series of harmless questions and answers in an air conditioned courtroom.
I told him I understood the system just fine and wanted to be on my way. Before he walked away, he took one last look at my husband, most likely contemplating offering him a pamphlet on battered spouse syndrome.
As I drove away, I glared at my husband and told him that if he wanted to remain married to me, he needed to remain quiet and steer clear of me for a while.
We returned to the rental house where I seethed for about an hour, cursing my husband for making me pass the conversion van.
Eventually, I decided I didn’t want to be mad at him anymore, as most of the time I like being married to him (Don’t tell him I said that). So I allowed him to apologize for his horrible error and we went on with our day.
The next day I called a local law firm and they entered their appearance on my ticket and will most likely get it dismissed.
But, from here on out, I will no longer listen to a back-seat driver, or in this case, a passenger driver high from the rush of driving a scooter named Lola.
I guess the “Outlaw” helmet I wore that day was a little more foreshadowing than I thought. Let’s just hope Bernie the lawyer can fight my ticket like he advertised he could on the bus stop benches!