Thursday, December 06, 2007

Damn the man! Save the empire! (A long recap.)

Ok, maybe two of the people who read this actually know where the title came from... And that's alright. Just know that if you didn't get it, that those few people out there who did know are just a little bit cooler than you. (I still love you either way.)

Ok, so let's have a chat about the turd sandwich which so delightfully capped off my vacation. In fact let's get into a recap of the whole thing.

Saturday morning I got up, got my crap together, paid my rent before leaving, and took off for the city. Things were going well enough for the first hour and a half. At which point, the sleet started. Now it should be noted that I don't care about driving in unfavorable conditions. I am ok with driving in snow, ice, rain, whatever. My problem comes in the form of everyone on the road who IS intimidated by these things. The fact is that if the roads have been properly salted, there is no reason for you to drive 12 miles an hour. However, there is also no reason to drive 70 like it's a clear sunny day. Visibility is lowered, and the precipitation on the roadways should cause you to slow down a little bit, or at least not try to cut across three lanes of traffic and cut people off when you know that their stopping distance is going to be greater than usual. So I drove through an ice storm to get to Chicago, because I was NOT turning back on account of the weather. It just WAS. NOT. HAPPENING. During the drive I talked to Alana who informed me that she was going to the Bears game on Sunday and that as a result she planned to be really hungover on Monday. We made plans to get together on Tuesday.

So I got there in one piece. I got to hang out with Face and Turkey. We had our Christmas on Sunday morning and we went shopping. It was a really good time. (Turkey recently proposed to Face, and although I told him already, I think it deserves to be commemorated in text that he did VERY WELL with the ring selection.) Sunday night I went to stay with Anthony. We talked, we caught each other up about the events of our lives lately, and we went to bed. Monday morning Anthony had to go to a rehearsal of the show he is producing, so he went off to work, and I went off to shop. I visited my friend Harsh at work, and then ordered takeout from my favorite Thai place and had a pleasant evening in. Tuesday Anthony had another rehearsal to go to so we did brunch, he went on his merry way, I did a little shopping and then proceeded up to the old alma mater to argue with them. The lady I needed to speak to was out of the office so I was forced to change my plans and schedule a trip back to campus to pick a fight on Wednesday before I left town. Midday on Tuesday it began to snow. Tuesday evening I got a call from Alana indicating that she was too concerned about the road conditions as a result of the continuing snow to drive into the city. (She's in the burbs.) Knowing that I drove through an ice storm to get there I was upset. I was very disappointed, but I also understood where she was coming from... It's bad enough to drive with all the idiots in unfavorable conditions as it is, but when you factor in alcohol which would have been consumed at the bar, it was not fair to ask her to compromise herself to come in and see me, because a cab fare out to the burbs would have been ridiculous.

So that I was kind of bummed out that I didn't get to see one of the people I really wanted to see, and I didn't get to go to my old haunts and drink my face off. So I stayed in and read a book, and watched the snow fall on the city (Anthony has a nice view), and watched some televised sports action. (It was a nice way to spend an evening in the city, and it was my vacation after all.) When Anthony returned home from rehearsals, we hashed out ideas for our trademark, and basically I think we both really realized how much we missed each other.

Wednesday morning came and we had breakfast at the Jewish deli/diner near Anthony's. We said our goodbyes and we parted ways. He went off to work, and I went back up to campus to fight with those bitches. After two hours of arguing and accomplishing nothing, and being fed up with having idiots talk to me as though I was even more of a simpleton than they were, I was ready to kill someone with my bare hands, so instead, I noted that it was once again snowing quite heavily and that I had to go before I got snowed in. I left, and they are still under the impression that I owe them money. This further upset me.

So I am headed home at this point. I'm driving along in the snowy mess. I get about an hour and a half outside the city and the snow has stopped. The roads are clear. I wholly admit that being pissed off about the finish of my trip, and generally distracted as a result, I was cruising along well over the speed limit. I got pulled over. The police officer was a dick. (Much more so than he needed to be anyway.)

(I read this dialogue section over after typing it up, and trust me when I tell you that his asshole-ish-ness does not really translate well into the text... So you need to imagine his end of the dialogue with a snotty power-tripper type of delivery, and add in long awkward pauses. Basically, he wanted to make it obvious that he was enjoying the knowledge that he was being a dick.)

Police: "Ma'am do you know how fast you were going?"
Liz: "No."
P: "You were going 95 in a 60."
L: "EXCUSE ME!?!?!?!? I'm sorry, there is just no way!"
P: "Yes ma'am you were, and you're trying to tell me that you didn't know you were going 95 in this little car? ... License and registration."
L: "No officer, I genuinely don't think I was going that fast." (Handed over license and registration)
P: "So, where are you headed in such a hurry?"
L: "I'm headed home sir."
P: "And where is that?"
L: "[Name of city redacted]"
P: "Yeah, but where are you going?"
L: "Umm, the east side?"
P: "No, where exactly are you going?"
L: "Sir, you have my license, my address is on there. I'm going home. I'm driving to [address redacted]."
P: "Yeah... Hmmm... All right. Stay in the car ma'am."
(Mind you, I know he kinda has to say that, but we were on a well traveled highway in the middle of barren Indiana farm country at this point, in December. I don't know where the hell else he thought I was going to go.)
He runs my license and registration and comes back with a ticket in hand.
P: "You know what you were doing was a misdemeanor, by all rights, I could take you to jail right now."
L: "Um, no, I was not aware of that. I'd like to avoid jail if at all possible."
P: "Yeah, well, going 95 in a 60 is considered reckless driving. I could just take you to jail right now."
L: "I'd really like to avoid jail, sir."
P: "Well, here's your summons. You need to sign here at the bottom. Signing does not admit guilt, it just indicates that you know you have to appear in court. If you don't want to sign, then we go straight to jail right now."
L: "Ok. I fully intend to sign, but before I do, I have one question. Do I have to appear in court here, or since I am a resident of this state, is it possible to appear in a court where I am more local?"
P: "You're going to have to appear here ma'am. So you can sign or it's off to jail."
L: (Signs summons/ticket, and mentally noted the repetitive mention of going to jail... I was very uncomfortable, even by the standards of being handed a ticket for something you didn't do. Oh... and who goes to jail for speeding? Running over a small child while speeding, maybe, crashing into a house or another car, or something ok, selling speed, yeah, you're going to the hoosegow. But speeding as an imprisonable offense?) "Ok. Thank you officer."
P: "Slow it down ma'am."
L: "Thank you officer. Have a nice day."

Now while I wholly own that I was speeding, there is NO WAY IN HELL that I was going 95. My car is not new, and he's got 132,000 miles on him. His days of going 95 are long gone. If I were to go 95 in my vehicle, that car would shudder so hard that the wheels would fall off. If my car were capable of going 95, believe me, I would be aware of the speed I was going. Now, I would admit to 80 in a 60. I would readily admit that I was going well over the posted limit. I would own that. And I think that 80 in a 60 is much closer to the reality of the situation. The fact is that I think this guy was probably having a shitty day, his wife probably yelled at him before he left for work, and after letting that ruin his day, he decided to ruin mine. I am also guessing that he is trying to boost his numbers to meet the end of the year ticket quota, so there's that.

This shit sandwich of a 24 hour period just kind of nicely bookended an otherwise pleasant vacation.

On the whole, I had a good time, and I found that I missed the city and all of my city friends more than ever, and I found it really easy to fall back into my old rhythm. It made me kind of sad. But at the same time, I was really happy that I haven't lost my foothold there. And it made me really anxious to get back sooner rather than later!

1 comment:

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