I have not always been the paragon of lawful abiding-ness that I am today. Once upon a time, I wantonly disregarded the most prevalent cause of collisions: Speeding.
I know, I know. I’m all about authenticity, my friends, so it is incumbent upon me to be forthcoming regarding my dark past.
By the time I was 20-years-old, I had five tickets.
All for speeding.
Not once did I have a “good reason”. If memory serves, I didn’t offer excuses because I knew I had it coming.
But, that first time? Oh…that first time.
I honestly thought life as I knew it was going to swiftly came to a most unpleasant and tragic end.
Visions of submarine races (google it, kids) were quickly becoming unattainable as the privilege of driving was unceremoniously denied to me.
As it happens, I was headed to my mom’s office to pick her up. Consequently, I didn’t have much time to craft a good story as to how I got a ticket. I had but one strategy: fall on my sword.
After doing just thought, she said words that to this day still give me shivers. She said, “Pick up the phone and call your father.”
As many of you know, my dad is a retired firefighter. But in 1988, he was a captain in the fire service. On the day in question, he was on-duty. Which meant I had to call the firehouse to break the news.
Picture a 16-year-old MC (just picture a younger version of me with just as awesome hair) calling his dad. The phone was shaking in my hands and mom had to dial the phone for me. This is how I remember the conversation:
Dad: “Station 1, Captain Murder.” (At least that’s what I heard considering I was anticipating that activity.)
MC (all morose-like): “Hey, Dad.”
Dad: “Hey, Tiger! How ya doing’?”
MC: “Um…I need to tell you something.”
Dad (sensing foreboding): “Okay…”
MC: “I got a speeding ticket.”
*Hours passed…or so it seemed to me.
Dad: “How fast?”
MC: “48 in a 35.” (Which, in retrospect is pretty amusing seeing as how I write that same violation/speed daily.)
Dad: “Okay. Everyone gets one speeding ticket. Don’t do it again.”
At some point, I regained consciousness. I think Mom may have dumped water on my head to bring me back around.
Dad: “Seriously, you get one pass. Next time, though? I’ll end you.”
I’m sure he nearly made good on his promise after the second ticket, but I don’t rightly remember the details. Perhaps water-boarding erases certain memories. After my third ticket, the threats diminished. I guess I wore them down. I think when I got number five I actually (jokingly) told him it was his fault because if we had gotten everything we needed from the store the first time, I wouldn’t have had to return and, thus, gotten my fifth speeding ticket.
He was not amused. But the friends we had over helping us with a home improvement project were.
It pays to know when to say certain things, friends.
So, there you have it, one of my deep, dark secrets.