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Let me preface this with saying that this is not one of my proudest moments. Let me also give the warning announcement that I see on every episode of The Dog Whisperer which says, “Do not attempt these techniques yourself without consulting a professional.”
A night out with my friend Lindsay was always a recipe for disaster. On this specific night we were driving back from a bar in Seaside after their St. Patty’s Day celebration - add just a touch more of disaster - to her mom's house who lives about 8 minutes away. In proud Jersey form, a rare gem of a hardly ever played Bruce Springsteen song - "I'm Going Down" - came on the radio and I, too excited for my own good, got a little foot heavy. Just having turned onto Lindsay's mom's street, I see red and blue lights flashing in my rear view mirror. God I really hope those lights pass me. They didn't.
I shoved the cigarette I was smoking in her face - because I felt that would make me look trashy - turned down the music, and I started repeating, "Oh my God Lindsay, I'm so screwed!"
She started talking about the universe (which was often the spoonful I would always fed her in time of angst) and how everything was going to be fine.
I pronounced very matter of factly, "S-h-u-t up."
I opened the glove box, which had long since been faulty, and everything dropped out, falling to the floor. (Thank you, Universe. I needed that one.) Out of the rubble, I pulled my license and registration.
He asked, "Do you know why I pulled you over?"
And me really not being sure of the exact reason responded accordingly, "Umm, no. I don't know."
"You were doing 48 in a 25."
I sucked air through my teeth, "Hmm. Really? I'm so sorry, I didn't know." In all fairness, it was the kind of street that looked like a highway but slowed the speed limit to 25 mph. Masked speed limit - not fair.
He asked for my insurance card and after stumbling around a bit in the glove box pile up, I found it. He asked if I had any points or violations that were going to come up, which thankfully I did not - and could still say that I don't.
Then he began the interrogation. (At this point, it should be noted, that Lindsay wanted to smack me in the mouth because she couldn't believe I was being this honest.
"Where are you coming from?" he asked.
"The Sawmill," I answered.
"How long were you there?" he continued.
I looked at the digital clock on my dashboard and then literally started counting on my fingers, "One, two, three...uhh, maybe about four hours?"
"Did you drink?"
I really thought about lying on this one, but I figured - he’s not an idiot, trying to lie now would just be stupid. He’s gotta know, "Honestly, officer... yes."
"How much did you drink?"
I fibbed a little bit, "Um, maybe... like.. 3 beers... 4."
I was always bad at lying to authority types so around this time Lindsay figured it was time to intervene in my way-too-honest-for-her-blood performance. She told the officer about how she "could literally throw a rock at" her mom's house, it was so close. He looked at her with his serious police face and then left with my information.
When he came back to the car he peeked around in my car and double-checked with, "Your mom's house is right there?”
“Yes, sir," we nodded like bobble heads.
He nodded back, "I'm going to let you off this time with a ‘verbal warning.' And I'm going to follow you home, so your mom's house better be right there," he warned, "Go home... NOW."
I must have looked like a Warner Bros. Acme character whose eyes pop out of their face. My jaw dropped through the car to the street and into the sewer. I could not believe he said “verbal warning.” We pulled up to Lindsay’s mom’s house, parked the car, and blamed it all on Springsteen.
Moral of the story: Maybe honesty really is the best policy – especially when it's the only policy you've got.