Well I almost made it through the year without a police incident. Only 27 days to go. I could have kept my mouth shut and cruised through the rest of the month. But no-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o.
I stopped by the forest preserve on my way to the city for lunch to do a drive by cleaning of my front seat. This entails leaning out the window and tossing junk mail [with my name and address removed], empty bags of fast food, boxes, dead magazines, old newspapers, candy wrappers, napkins and iced tea bottles into one of the forest preserve's convenient trash cans. Better theirs than mine, I figure. But actually, it was just more convenient than going home to do it.
I pulled up parallel to the can, put the car in park and took off my seatbelt so I could aim better. I left the engine running because it was very cold.
After I did my due dilligence with the trash, I pulled up just past the garbage can to put on my makeup, after which I would drive to the city. I should point out that many times the cops from my town sit in the exact same spot where i was, doing their paperwork.
Meanwhile, after moving up a car length so i wasn't blocking the can, I put the car in park again, and left the engine running again. My seatbelt was still off, since I wasn't leaving yet. It might be worth noting that there wasn't another civilian car, parked or otherwise, in the whole place.
This all took about ten minutes.
Suddenly there was a forest preserve sheriff's officer next to me. I rolled down my window. He said that I had to park my car between the parallel lines, not sit perpendicular to them. He didn't use the word perpendicular.
At that point, all I had to say, was, "Yes, officer, thank you officer," and do as I pleased, which was finish my make up and drive away. But then, I wouldn't have an entry for this blog.
Since I am Mrs. Linklater, I said "But why? There's no one here. And I wasn't going to park, I was just dumping some trash out of my car."
"Well, you're not by the garbage can now. I passed by here ten minutes ago and you're no longer throwing out any garbage."
"Because I was putting on my makeup. Then I'm going downtown."
"You just said you were throwing out garbage and now you're putting on your makeup. How many excuses are you going to come up with."
Now he gets out of his car and comes around to the driver's side window. "Let me see your license and proof of insurance."
Then he started playing semantic games.
"So are you parked or are you driving?"
"I'm parked with the engine on. Why are you harrassing me?"
"Harrassing you? I'm harrassing you? You're looking at three tickets."
"Yes, you are harassing me. I was about to drive downtown because I have to be there at noon."
[NOTE TO SELF: You shouldn't have told him you had to be someplace by noon.]
"There is no reason for me to have to park between the lines because then I'd have to get out of the car. Pulling up next to the can is easier. What is your problem?"
"So you admit you're driving, not parked."
"I'm parked with the engine on."
"You just said you were driving. I can give you a ticket for not having your seatbelt on."
Then he looked at my insurance and it was last year's card. Rats.
"And you don't have your current insurance card."
"Look I'm tired of this harassment. Write the tickets." I still had half an hour to get downtown without being too late.
"Write the tickets?"
"Yeah, I want to get this over with. Write the tickets."
While he was writing the tickets I thought I would multi-task and put some more garbage into the can. I got out of my car this time, because his was blocking mine, only to have him order me to get back in or he would take me to the police station.
"Where's the station?" I asked, giving it some thought before I decided just to get back into the car.
It then took him half an hour to write two tickets, not three: one apparently, for not wearing my seatbelt while the car was in park with the engine on: and one for not having my current insurance card. The third offense never materialized.
I called my lunch peeps and said I would be running late because I was duking it out with a cop.
He gave me my tickets and announced that my court date would be January 12th. Fark. I need my driver's license to fly, so I asked him how to get it back. I didn't mention I had a passport, because he didn't ask.
[SECOND NOTE TO SELF: Get a bond card; get a bond card; get a bond card.]
He didn't know the process for getting my license returned to me before my court date and had to call back to base to ask. He wasn't counting on this little wrinkle.
"Do you have $75?"
"We have to go to the nearest police station so you can pay and get it back."
He looked at his watch. Maybe now I was messing with his plans.
We got to the police station in ten minutes and he spent ten more minutes making personal calls before I could hand him the money, sign the bond release and get my license back.
Here's the ironic bad news: even though I got my license back, he checked the box on the bond release that says I can't leave the state without a judge's permission for six weeks. Fark again.
Here's the good news: I called the court house about getting permission to leave the state during the next six weeks. Lovely Linda said to come to court on Monday afternoon and talk to a judge. I don't need a lawyer. She said the judge may also take care of my tickets then, too. Without the officer there? Yes. Personally I think she's wrong. Also part of me wants to meet this jerkwad in court. I'm already taking photos of the crime scene.
On the other hand, if the judge can actually hear my case, I'll be very happy to get it over with. But just having permission to leave this igloo will be good enough for now.
And I got downtown in time for a tasty entree salad and profiteroles for dessert. Na na na na na.