Friday, July 09, 2010

Premonition (writing exercise)

As soon as I see the flashing red and blue lights in my rearview mirror, I have a premonition... I'm about to get a speeding ticket. It's almost like that time I spilled a glass of water on my pants at work and had a premonition that I'd theretofore be THAT guy. I'd have to tell people that no, I did not have an accident, that I merely spilled a glass of water... but despite my protestations I would endure a barrage of playful ribbing about my bladder control or lack thereof.

But now, here I am, about to get pulled over. I KNOW I'm about to get a ticket and all I can think about is how I ended up with the nickname "Puddles" and how wouldn't it be ironic if this time I actually earned the nickname.

So I start thinking about deserts, towels and other things that are dry. Anything at all to prevent my premonition and my history from colliding in some weird karmic way that will end up with a speeding ticket and a trip to the local car wash to have my driver's seat shampooed. Heaven forbid my friends find out as then I'll forever be known as "Puddles." Oh and this time I'll actually have legitimately earned the nickname!

*TAP*TAP* The officer gently knocks on my window.

"License and proof of insurance, please."

"What seems to be the problem, officer?"

"Do you have any idea how fast you were going?" I wonder if the officer realizes that yes actually I DO know exactly how fast I was going, that I DO realize I was speeding. Figuring I have nothing to lose, I decide to play the honesty card.

"Yes, I was going approximately twenty miles over the speed limit."

"Yes that sounds about right." The officer replies somewhat surprised with my honesty. "Is there a reason you felt the speed limit did not apply to you this afternoon, sir?"

"Oh I know it applies to me the same as everyone, but please officer could we please move this along? I understand I deserve the speeding ticket but if we keep talking I'm not only going to have to pay for the speeding ticket and probably a larger insurance bill every month for the next few years, but I'll also be spending the rest of my life known as Puddles."

He didn't need to know that I already had earned that nickname through no fault of my own.

The officer looks at me quizzically.  I'm not sure if it's that my face is red and grimacing in pain from holding it far longer than I anticipated needing to do so or if it has to do with my unconventional responses to his questions.  At this point I don't care about the ticket.  I just want to find the nearest McDonald's, Gas Station, shrubbery, potted plant... whatever, wherever I can end this torture. 

The Spanish Inquisitors have nothing on this guy.  He's taking his time.  I still can't tell if he gets it, if he really understands what I'm going through right now or if he's really that oblivious.  With some people it really is difficult to tell. 

He walks back to his car... And I'm sure it's just my imagination but he seems to be walking especially slow and his car for some reason seems to be about 100 yards further away from mine than it was when he first pulled me over. 

I turn the radio back on while I wait.  I try to pay attention to the radio, to the birds in the trees, to anything but the unbearable pressure. 

Then I check my rearview mirror...  Is he flossing his teeth?  Is that a can of Barbasol?  Is he about to shave? 

Eventually he gets out of his car and I feel like a dam about to burst.  He has my driver's license and proof of insurance in one hand and a disposable razor in the other hand and a towel around his neck!

My seat starts getting a little wetter and the pressure rapidly subsides.

"I'm going to let you off with a warning this time, Mr. Puddles-" he stifles a laugh as he dabs some shaving cream off his cheek with his towel, "but be more mindful of your speed in the future."  He hands me my license and proof of insurance and walks away red in the face, tears rolling down his cheeks and a deep belly laugh.

I almost wish he'd just given me a damn ticket.
Write about a premonition.  I lost what I'd originally written from this prompt.  The first 2 paragraphs were re-written from memory... and the rest of it is where I went with the story after my writer's group.


Dan said...

The shaving part had me actually laughing out loud, and not in the typical LOL LMAO heart-really-not-in-it way.

Perplexio said...

Glad you enjoyed it! I had fun writing that one. The Puddles bit was all fiction, but the getting let off with a warning bit has actually happened to me... twice. Once the cop was just being really cool/kind, the other time I was actually able to talk the cop down from a citation to a warning.