posted by Matt W on February 29th, 2012

So I got into the car the other day with 8 hours of driving ahead of me. I was heading off to my nephew’s house to see his new baby and then going on to Washington DC the next day for my daughter’s volleyball tournament. I am a good long distance driver. When MapQuest says it will take 8 hours, I usually can get there in 7. I don’t go at crazy rates of speed but instead set the cruise control for 9 mph over the speed limit and don’t stop for anything. I haven’t gotten a speeding ticket for years and I get the job done. Every once in a while, my wife will ask if I’m going too fast but as I just said, I haven’t gotten a ticket for years so it’s a pretty easy response for me, “Would you like to drive?” Her sheepish reply, “No, I just thought you might want to slow down.” The speedometer doesn’t even quiver as I continue on my efficient path.

I got a ticket a little over an hour into the drive.

This sucks on many levels. First off, there is the whole ticket aspect of the situation. It’s in a different state, which is always a hassle (I said I hadn’t gotten a ticket in many years, I didn’t say, “not ever.”). It ends up being a $121 ticket “if I choose to plead guilty in the State of Virginia, thereby waiving all my rights to pursue this matter further…” Secondly, I broke my own rule. I was pulled over going 80 in a 70, thereby breaking my rule of not going over the speed limit by more than 9 miles an hour. It was the classic situation of I got behind a slower driver in the left lane, which is my personal least favorite driving characteristic. I would be perfectly happy to empty the jails of all the murderers and drug dealers and replace them with all the people who clog the left lane. They are the bane of “my” society. Well anyways, I finally get around the lane-clogger and as I have had to take off the cruise control and I am a little pissed, I am going over my own personal limit of 79 and boom, a state trooper or as I call them a stater. But the worst part of getting a ticket this early in a driving weekend is I have to not only listen to my wife’s driving lectures, but now I actually have to obey them.

I should have just turned around and gone home.

“I think your going a little to fast.” “OK I’ll slow down.” “Isn’t this a 65?” “Yes, I’ll slow down.” “Do you want to get another ticket?” While the urge to say, “Yes, as a matter of fact, it would indeed be worth it to me to get another ticket right about now as I would gladly exchange a lecture from a stater for a lecture from you,” quivers on the edge of my lip, I just got a ticket, so I have to say, ”No, your right, I’ll slow down.”

All my driving powers for the whole weekend have been removed because I got a ticket in the middle of nowhere Virginia from a stater who should have looked into my car, noticed that I had my wife and kid and we were packed in for the long haul, and then thrown me a “Middle-aged male, I feel your pain” bone and let me go. Give a fellowman a break.

Now if my wife was the speedster, he should have thrown the book at her. She would have the conversation all by herself, “I know, I know, I need to slow down. I know, I should do a better job driving… I know…” I would just have to sit back and let her nag herself.

File Under Jack of all Trades