I know I am probably coming across as the crazy teacher's pet that pounces upon any opportunity to assert herself above the class by posting on our free week... but this story was so crazy and, after the shock wore off, quite hilarious. Thanks to the Humor Studies class, I was able to see this occurrence for its humor and not feel embarrassed by it. I am positive that my fellow classmates will appreciate this story as much as I. As for the title, allow me to explain that occurrences like this are not out of the ordinary. I am classified as a "walking sitcom." It's a term that my high school history teacher dubbed me and the name has stuck ever since.
It all began last night when I was driving back to Loyola. I had guzzled down two bottles of water and a large blueberry iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts all while weaving around New York drivers and ice cream trucks that think going below the speed limit and slamming on the brakes is the way to go on I-95. Three hours into my drive, nature calls. Her summoning was so strong, I had no choice but to show my gas pedal a little love because I knew I was now on a time limit. The next rest stop was about two miles away, and I calculated that if it takes about a minute per mile, I'd be cleaning out my car within the next two minutes. I was cringing in pain and trying to find a comfortable way to cross my legs without having the car spaz between two lanes. I was completely unsuccessful and that only added to my frustration. I believe I had to go so bad, my bladder was leaking out of my eyeballs.
Just as I peaked at 87 miles per hour (Tom-Tom told me so), a flash or red and blue erupted in the distance. My first instinct was to slow down and pull over while my second was to blow smoke all the way to the Walt Whitman rest stop and have him arrest me there in the bathroom stalls. Luckily, the prior won. I began squirming in my seat in attempts to find a comfortable position. Unfortunately, my bladder protested the movements. I began to panic. One one hand, I was sobbing, rocking back-and-forth, and my legs were jerking/shaking with adrenaline. Knowing my luck, the police officer would have me walk a straight line under the suspicion that I was under the influence. If it came to that, I'd sprint the straight line and hurdle over the guard rails. I'd be his own damn fault if he decided to chase me.
When the tap on the window came, I obediently rolled it down and stared up at the officer through my watering eyes.
"Cut the crap. Crying isn't going to make this ticket go away."
I shook my head and felt as though Mount Vesuvius was about to erupt in my britches. "I don't care about the ticket!" I gagged and was surprised by how strained my voice was. I honestly sounded like a possessed child. "I really REALLY need to pee!" I honestly didn't care about tact or poise anymore. Even the sweat on the officer's face reminded me of Niagara Falls.
He looked disturbed as he shined his light in my face. I guess he was looking for bloodshot eyes or something. Either way, my eyes turn fuchsia when I cry so I probably looked like I was tripping on something. "Do you know how fast you were going?"
"Yes!" I shouted, "I was going 90 in a 65. Look, just give me a ticket because I REALLY NEED TO GO!" In hind sight, I probably should have said something else. But, when it feels as though an alien decided to burst out of one's bladder instead of the chest... the ability to think clearly malfunctions. It's probably the same deal as when one's clothes catches on fire. You can't make small talk while your hair is burning. Your priorities kick in; and mine were currently kicking in the most uncomfortable and painful manner.
I guess Jesus decided he had tortured me enough for the night and sent a state of grace into the officer's mind. "Okay, fine. I'm going to escort you to the next rest stop. After you go... do your thing - "
I cut him off with, "ThankyouohmygodIamsosorrybutIreallyneedtogo." I managed to get that out before exhaling like a fat kid that had just finished walking up a flight of stairs.
Figuring I had nothing to lose... I sped to the Walt Whitman rest stop. Looking back, I find that funny since I'm an English major. However, at that moment I couldn't care if Emerson and Thoreau were having a luau in Whitman's lawn. I didn't even care if the officer hadn't pulled into the parking lot yet. I was gone. I was sprinting (well, more like flailing) to the door. Maybe that proved to the officer that I wasn't high/drunk/absolutely bonkers. But maybe it did. Who knows.
When I came back, the officer was by my car with a notepad in hand.
"Are you done?"
I exhaled in relief and smiled like a happy idiot. I guess my priorities hadn't shifted back to normal at the moment. I was grateful that he allowed me to retain some dignity, so I thanked him.
I guess he didn't know what I was thanking him for, since he looked a bit troubled by my sudden friendliness and cooperation. Maybe he had planned out this huge screaming match or for me to jump back into my car and start a great highway chase. I definitely perturbed and disappointed him. "CSP-73?" He motioned to my license plate.
Figuring he was getting info for my hefty fine, I added, "Yeah, this was my dad's car before he gave it to me. CSP-73 is for Connecticut State Police class of 1973." In Connecticut, you aren't allowed to have C-plates unless you've served on the State Police. I was guessing he knew that, but it didn't hurt to throw in my connections just in case. My goal was to prove to the officer that I wasn't going to make a scene, or that I was driving drunk or high. My dad has a wicked 6th sense and I am more terrified by his reaction than the consequences to doing such a moronic thing.
"You're an officer's daughter?"
"Lieutenant," I corrected, "He retired and bought himself a Shelby. I took this off his hands."
He whistled as a light of understanding shone in his eyes. He tucked his notebook back in his pocket and gave me the look. I know that look. All police officers have this look when they are about to do something that they'll regret. My dad does it every time he volunteers to do the dishes or the laundry. "Have you learned your lesson?"
"Which one?" I returned, not sure if he was mocking my inane decision to drink legal beverages like a fish or fly down the highway like OJ after his robbery. I think it was the latter, but I wasn't sure. Officer's have a strange sense of humor.
He nodded like I had made a point and began to go back to his car.
"Wait... what about my ticket?" I called out. To this moment, I am still confused what exactly was going on in this guy's head. I am also confused about what made me WANT to get a ticket. Maybe I was so shocked my Christian guilt took over.
"I think you had enough. Now get out of here before I change my mind."
He didn't have to tell me twice. Within five minutes, I was on the highway again. When I was positive I was out of his patrol unit, I crept back up to 75 and flew all the way back to Loyola.
I still haven't told my father, mother, or sister this story. Mainly because they'll yell at me for causing a commotion and telling an officer the reason why I was crying. Then they would yell at me for speeding... and then they will yell at me to say thanks to whatever forces that be that allowed me to squirm out of this one. Either way, this entire break was just full of awkward and strange happenings that either drew blood or elicited pain/mortification/profound humor. I'll save these stories for class or the next blog post. Maybe then you will believe me that my life is never dull. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter Break and that they don't drink too much H20 before climbing behind the wheel. It'll be the worst decision you will ever make.