Monday, May 11, 2009

XOXO to my little park ranger

I was pulled over the first time ever on Friday (I like to pride myself not on driving at the speed limit, but for alluding law officials while not driving at the speed limit). I live a couple miles outside of a National Historical Park, which I drive though daily to work. It's beautiful and tranquil and deer-filled and all of that nonsense. On Friday I was driving through the park to pick-up my sister-in-law from the train station and was, admittedly, a bit late. So the Corolla and I were booking it to the station and I was clocked at 52 mph in a 35 mph zone. There is no denying this: they had one of those electronic monitors and I saw it flickering 52, so I immediately slowed down to a more suitable 40 mph. I thought I would get extra kudo points for heeding the warning, but NO!, a park ranger pulled out of nowhere (SNEAKY!) and put on his lights.

I pulled over at quite possibly the worst area: right in front of a monument that had gaggles of kids and families, and where passing cars slowed dramatically. This meant that my fellow drivers, and wholesome families, were privy to my embarrassment. I felt dirty and quite criminal.

I would like to say my first time being pulled over was awash in excitement and grisly cops and good acting on my part. None of that happened. First of all, I was pulled over by a PARK RANGER, which really doesn't have the allure of a seasoned Philly cop. Second of all, I think he might of been five foot or so. He was really quite endearing. He had a very unfortunate overbite and was only about six inches taller than me while I was sitting in my car (which is not an SUV, mind you). He said, "Do you know why you were pulled over?" I was pretty exuberant, actually. "Yup!", I replied. "I was speeding!" What was I going to do? Argue that his fancy smancy radar thingy was wrong? I thought briefly of going the "Sir, I just had surgery, please take pity of me" route but then thought he might question why I was driving if I "just" had surgery (as a side note, I have been cleared to drive and am not taking any strong pain meds - who do you think I am?!). So then I decided to just go the straight-forward, "my bad" route - a very respectable route, if I do say so myself.

He asked for my license, registration and insurance and then walked back to his ranger car and proceeded to sit in there for a good ten minutes. So I took this time to call Matt asking what he was doing in there for so long ("They like to make you sweat" he said), and then Silla, who I was picking up, telling her I was going to be late. She pretty much said she got off at the wrong station anyway, so no worries. Then I spent the next eight minutes cupping my hand over my face so that the oodles of families walking around the monument wouldn't see my disgraced face.

The ranger came back and was hard to read because he wouldn't take off his "Top Gun" sunglasses. "Do you travel this road often?" he asked. I said recently I have because the main road is closed due to construction. "We are monitoring this road closely due to the increased traffic," he replied. Then a pause. This is when I started to sweat profusely. Why was this little man staring at me?! He then asked if I was heading home, and I said, like a dummy, "Nope! I'm late picking someone up at the train!" and he said maybe I should of left earlier. I replied that was probably a good idea, and thought better than to mention I
couldn't leave earlier because I was entranced by a riveting segment of Dr. Phil about a 25-year-old boy who lives at home and whose mother irons his underwear.

Then the ranger (who, thinking about it, now reminds me of a cute little rodent given his overbite and stature) finally said he issued me a warning, and if I got caught next time it would be a $250 fine. I thanked him profusely and flashed a dazzling smile. When he turned to walk back to his ranger mobile, I thought perhaps he was enamored by my classical good looks (ha!), but then looked in the mirror to find lipstick on my teeth and perspiration pooling on my nose and forehead. Then I thought maybe he just felt sorry for such a sorry-looking girl, which is much more probable. Now my warning is up on the frig, and everytime I reach for some juice, I am reminded of my little park ranger and our brief tango that Friday afternoon.

Pictured: The scene of the crime!


  1. You are too funny.
    It is humiliating though, to be pulled over--why does it feel like such a disgrace when we are all law breakers at heart when it comes to traffic tickets?

  2. I just wanted to say I hope you are feeling better! How are the insides? Do they still feel displaced? I hope everything is going well!

    And I read about your lacking ability to suck in your stomach- don't worry, your ability will return:) Have faith!

    Have a great day,

  3. Hi Nancy!
    I think it's because speeding is the lowest common denominator of unlawfulness and we were caught, so it's humiliating. :)

    Hi Rosie!
    I am feeling really well, thank you!! Everything seems to be in working order, although my stomach is super-sensitive, but I suppose that's completely normal. And my stomach is already not sticking out as much - I win! I guess the lack of muscle ability coupled with everything being inflamed led to a an even bigger gut than I was used to!

  4. Kathryn, What a coincidence! I was just pulled over for speeding last week, only instead of a warning I got a ticket. Although, I must say that he did give me a break. Instead of citing me for going 75 in a 55 MPH zone, he wrote it up as 62 which probably saved me some big bucks. I was on my way to Penn State to pick up Julia and after driving at 75 (like everyone else) for the last 4 hours on route 80, I neglected to slow down as I hit the local highway where the limit was 55.

    That's pretty impressive that you hadn't been stopped before this. By your age I had been pulled over 3 or 4 times. But in my younger days I also got away with a warning. In my experience, the cops aren't so easily swayed after you hit 30.


  5. Uh oh - I'm only a few years from 30 - I am sick of this country's obsession with youth!!! ALL women should get out of tickets! (Notice I didn't say men.)

  6. More and more, I like the way you think.

  7. Hey Kathryn,
    Hilarious post! I got pulled over once when I was lost in a neighborhood due to a detoured main street. I got into a major argument with the cop because I was on prednisone. I was in full 'roid rage when he pulled me over. I got TWO tickets!! My husband said I was lucky I didn't get thrown in jail!! He's probably right! I'm glad you got a warning only!!

  8. Two tickets? What was the second one for - like disorderly conduct or something?!

    I'm trying to remember if I had a lot of mood swings while on prednisone....I would ask my husband, but he'll attest I have mood swings all the time, so he's no help!

    And, well...if you got thrown in jail, think about what a good story that would be! You could have even blogged about it, ha ha!