Saturday, June 2, 2012

Driving While Poor

As I've said before, my husband and I have one car. Technically, we have two, but the second one is inoperable, due to it being an Aveo and having Aveo problems*, and while, the first one is an Aveo, as well, it hasn't quite succumbed to the ravages of time - in the Aveo's case, being older than 2 years. When I need the car for whatever reason - usually because I don't want to be stuck in the apartment with no way to escape save my own two feet - I take Three to work and go pick him up at the end of his shift. Last night was no different.

He has an odd schedule, in that he doesn't really have one right now. He works a standard number of hours, sure, but how they're organized? I don't really know. During the week, it's usually the 6A - 2:30 (sometimes 3A) shift, but last night, Three said that he might have to work a 12-hour shift if the other guy didn't come in. Thankfully, at 11:45P, I got a text, telling me that I could pick him up at 2A. And by thankfully, I mean, fuck, I have to get up in the middle of the night. Oh, well. I set my alarm for 1:32A** and fall asleep.

I get a call at 2:34A. It's Three, who is none too pleased.

"Please tell me you're driving."

I look at the clock on my phone and groan, "No, but shit. Damnit. Uhhhhh, fuck."

My woken-up self does not have a very extensive vocabulary, unless it's a combination of various swear words.

"I'm putting pants on right now."

I basically flop into the car and head for the interstate to drive the 30 or so minutes to where he works. It's a fairly affluent area of town, and I hate driving down there for various reasons. It's WASP central, and it feels like I'm walking into a set of "The Stepford Wives." And I'm usually looked down upon because I don't drive something other than an Aveo. But, at this time of night, it really doesn't matter, since most of them are at home, asleep.

Then there's the other problem.

I get off at the exit closest to Three's work and follow all the rules. I even stop at the flashing yellow lights, just to be sure. Then I notice him: the parked police car that's situated right by the only working set of traffic lights. And of COURSE, the light turns red as I get close to it - just close enough to run the yellow light and give him an excuse to pull me over***. But I stop, because hell, I hate the cops in this area, and I really don't want to give him a reason to turn on his flashers. The light changes back to green and I go down to the next light, where I'll be turning left.


What. The. Fuck. I didn't even DO anything.

So I text Three: "Hey, just got pulled over for driving an Aveo. I'll call you in a second."

I assume the 10 and 2 position**** and wait for orders, although in my head, I'm like Quentin Tarantino out of the first scene from "From Dusk til Dawn." Pissed off as hell.

"Good morning, ma'am," he says. "I will need to see your license and registration."

Since I don't drive too often, I don't really know where Three keeps this information, but I assume glove box. A shitload of papers fall out and I'm like, "Dude, I'm sorry, this is my husband's car, so it may take a minute." I find the registration and give him that and my ID. He goes back to his squad car and after a few minutes, comes back and returns my license and paperwork.

"Um, so are you going to give me a ticket? Did I do something, sir?" My head voice is, "Seriously, motherfucker, you just made me LATER picking my husband up?"

"Do you live in this area?" he asks.

"No," I respond. "I'm actually on my way to pick up my husband from work."

"Oh. I thought your car just didn't look familiar to me." He pauses. "Where does he work?"


"Alright, well, have a good night. Be safe out there."

I blink. A lot. My car didn't look FAMILIAR to him? Do you mean that my car is a piece of shit and no one else who lives here would be driving it? I'm raging mad at this point, since the only reasons I've been pulled over for in the past are as follows:

1) I had a tail light out.
2) I was going 85 in a 65.
3) I ran a stop sign, which I totally didn't see.

Three has been pulled over plenty of times in his nearly 36 years. The most recent is when he was going to pick me up from work, which is in a decidedly LESS affluent area, and the officer thought he was there to buy weed, since Three has a sort of hippie look to him. But me? I've always been pulled over for legitimate reasons.

I call up Three, and my opening words are, "I just got pulled over for driving while poor."

That sends Three into fits of laughter, which under normal circumstances would have had me joining him, but I am just too pissed off. I reach his work and proceed to tell him the story, and he commiserates with me.

"It's happened to me lots of times since I started working down here," he says.

So today Three asks if I want to take him to work, and I politely decline. I'll just stay at home, thanks.

* Seriously, the Aveo is KNOWN for just being a shitty car. It's like Chevy engineers were like that scene from "Family Guy," where the scientists have the technology to rebuild Peter but "don't want to spend a lot of money." Just Google "Chevy Aveo problems" and you'll see. My fuel gauge sensor stopped working after a while, so the check engine light has been on for forever. Prior to the damned engine basically exploding on me for a completely unrelated reason, but that's for another post. After the battery died (because the lights wouldn't fucking turn off even after I turned off the car???), the radio and cigarette lighters-turned-chargey things did not work, and then my clock decided that it always wanted to be 1:00. Every time you'd open the door or start the car up, it would be 1:00. These are just some of the funnier issues I've had with my Aveo. As I recently told an acquaintance, do not buy these cars for any reason; it's grounds for divorce.

** I don't know why. When I picked up Three at work, I wanted to prove that I had set my alarm and was dumbfounded when I saw it was for 1:32A.

*** This is what the cops do for fun around here. It's happened to me a bazillion times. They literally have NOTHING better to do with their time. Nothing else happens around this area. I remember when I was in high school, and there was a botched bank robbery that they had NO IDEA what to do, so they called the metro cops, who were like, "Um, guys, it's ONE person in there. And I'm pretty sure his gun is fake." It was. So they beat their boredom by changing light sequences and just daring someone to slightly break the law.

**** Cops actually really appreciate this, from what I've heard. You roll down your window, put your hands on the wheel, and stare straight ahead, only responding when talked to. It seems to put them at ease.
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