Remember how I started this year a little worried about getting stopped to or from the New Year’s Day Pajama Party Jazzercise class I helped teach?
I had worn my PJs (and a sports bra!) to class, used my fuzzy robe in place of a coat and was halfway across Stamford, CT, when it occurred to me that this might not go so well if I should get in an accident or otherwise find myself face to face with a police officer.
Fortunately, that experience took place without incident — unless you count Catherine’s deep humiliation knowing that her mother was driving around lower Fairfield County in her pajamas.
Today, this happened:
My dear friend Pina marked my birthday with the gift of a tiara this morning at the Jazzercise Center of Southwestern Connecticut. Of course I clamped it on my head immediately, sweaty scalp be damned. And then I got talking with some customers for a bit. Twenty minutes later, I finally got in the car to head home, where I need to be a quick-change artist to get to an appointment at the Apple store’s Genius Bar.
Anyway, nearly home I noticed a police officer ahead of me. He was having his typical chilling effect on the traffic flow, but appeared to be making a left while I went straight and headed up the hill a block away from Stamford Hospital.
I was a little surprised upon looking in the rear-view mirror, though, to see he didn’t make that left, but instead followed me.
This had its own chilling effect … on my extremities.
Why was he following me?
I did a mental rundown:
25 mph and in a 25 mph zone. Check.
Not talking on the phone. Check.
Both hands on wheel. Check.
Doors all closed. Check.
Why on earth is this cop following me?
I stopped at the stop sign, making extra-special sure it was a full stop, hit the gas and … flashing lights behind me.
Now, I’m not a fantastic driver, but I’ve never been stopped before. You can imagine my panic. I’m sure you could hear my heart pounding from wherever you are reading this.
I put the car in gear, opened the window, switched the car off, reached for my license and had a brief bit of even bigger panic while I tried to remember where Basil keeps the registration and insurance card (I was driving his car).
Just as the officer reached the driver’s-side door, I remembered the tiara, reached up and flung it across the front seat while I tried in vain to appear calm and collected.
I’m convinced he saw it, though, and that’s why I got off with a verbal warning for the rear taillight that isn’t working.