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Pulled Over (Deliveries 4/8)

I can count on two fingers the number of times I have been pulled over in the last ten years. The second of the two happened Wednesday night.

It started raining last Sunday. The rain turned into a four-day mist. It was damp the whole week. My grass grew with uninhibited vigor. The leaves of our day lilies glowed a vibrant green in the low-light of the overcast afternoons. Several of the tulips were opening. It’s beautiful weather in my book.

I was on my way back from a damp delivery later that Wednesday. I was heading South on 24th Street. The radio hummed with some music or another. I pondered life and music and pizza.

Then an SUV pulled into view with nothing but its parking lights on. They were headed the opposite direction. It was dark. And wet. I was worried about them.

My mind flashed back four or five years previous. It was daytime. I was headed West on L street in a rusted out Buick Regal. The speed limit: 30 mph. I was behind an 18 wheeler that was going 15.

Ok, sorry. He was going 30. I was frustrated. The rest of the WORLD of L Street was at least 35. 45 mph was so close.

I hit the gas and tagged fifteen onto the speed limit to get around the truck. Scotland Yard was all over me in a flash.

“We’re supposed to allow for 10 mph either way, and you had it beat. Here’s your ticket. It’s pink. And yellow. RESPECT.”

Ok, I’m sorry again. He didn’t tell me about the coloration of the ticket. I can’t remember the conversation very well, so I ran with it.

I took a STOP class for that ticket. A STOP class strikes the ticket from your record. You learn about traffic safety, traffic fatalities, and traffic law. They convince you of just how terrible it was that you sped the way you did.

I paraphrase the instructor:

“DON’T FLASH YOUR LIGHTS.

“I know you’ve done it. I’ve done it. This is important. Flashing your brights can make it seem like you are in trouble. It can also make you look like an emergency vehicle. You could blind or distract the other driver, causing an accident. Just don’t do it.”

I reached for the headlight control. The memory from that class continued in my head.

“That’s not all,” he said. “Don’t toggle them off and on, either. That can cause different issues. You might forget to turn them back on all the way.”

I blew right past this memory. The SUV was going to pass me. I was worried. I had to act fast.

I toggled my lights.

I watched for a moment. The SUV kept their headlights off. He/she didn’t see me or didn’t care.

Oh well. I tried. Nobody was blinded.

Then my mind wandered. Why did they have their lights off? How many people do that? Why would anyone do that this late at night? It’s dark. You can’t see. Other people can’t -

Oh look! A cop. And he’s got his ambers on, too. But he’s parked, so it’s cool.

Oh look! He isn’t parked anymore. Now he is crossing traffic.

He’s pulling into my lane. 

He flipped on his lights just as I turned onto the street of my restaurant.

I reached for my headlight switch as I rolled to a stop. I’ll be darned if I hadn’t turned my headlights back on all the way.

The officer was kind. He recognized that I was just returning from a delivery. I was so close to the store that you could make out the kicks on a customer standing in the lobby.

He reminded me to turn the lights back on when driving. I thanked him.

I was lucky. Not getting a ticket helped us save money to fix my $450 inner tie rod ends. I also could have lost my delivery job and a much-needed income stream. And what’s a pizza delivery blog without pizza delivery?

Vacation this weekend. Who knows what will happen next week. Hopefully it will be,

ROE INTENSE

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