Thursday, February 23, 2012

Driving While Blonde

I got into a car accident a couple of weeks ago that left me with whiplash, a smashed in car and a ticket that I am determined to fight.  Armed with knowledge of the law (I knew that J.D. would come in handy sooner or later) and some tricks about municipal court civil procedure (it's good to have friends who actually practice law), I put on my fancy pants and headed to court this morning to attempt to exempt myself from the laws of society. 

I was dreading going to court, but not because of the points I was trying to fight or the hefty fine I was planning to incur.  I wasn't even concerned about waiting 3 hours with other operationally-challenged members of society.  It was the embarrassment of facing the responding police officer that had my stomach in knots.  The officer who had the um, pleasure (?) of finding some morally questionable things in my trunk after the accident.  Yeah...

So, during the accident, my car was t-boned by another car and my head played a nasty game of pinball against the frame of my vehicle.  Not messing around with a head and neck injury, I was stabilized with a cervical collar, placed on a back board and sent by ambulance to the nearest ER to ensure that I wasn't going to die, become paralyzed or experience any other parade of horribles.  I looked a little like this....ok, I looked exactly like this:

Since I was strapped down to a hard board (which sounds a lot hotter than it actually is), I was unable to retrieve any personal items from my car.  I had to instruct the police officers on what to take from my car because it was being impounded for the weekend (also, something that sounds a lot sexier in theory). Keeping in mind that I'm a single divorced woman living with my parents, I knew that there were certain "personal items" in my trunk that I would rather keep, um, personal.  As such, my conversation with the officers went a little something like this:
Me: "Please look only for Bar Review books and put them in the ambulance. You have consent only to search for books.  Do not look in any boxes!" (way to give the cops reasonable suspicion there, Blondie)
Cops: "Um, ma'am is there anything illegal in the trunk?" 
Me: "No, but please just look for books!!"
Cops: "Um, ma'am...?" ::rummaging through trunk for books and godknowswhatelse::
Me: "Nothing illegal, just embarrassing, I swear. I'm recently divorced, I live with my parents, give a girl a break and please just check for books!"
Cops: ::snicker, snicker::  (presumably finding condoms and a sex toy)

Strapped to the board, I was thankful that I couldn't see their faces as they undoubtedly laughed at their findings.  As I arrived at the hospital, I thought perhaps they saw nothing and were just laughing at me freaking out over a sports bra and some dirty socks in my gym bag.  Yeah, that must have been it. 

However my fears were realized when, on Monday morning I went to the impound lot and met the man who towed my car from the accident scene.  He made sure to tell me he was at the accident scene with the police and asked, with a knowing smile, if I needed any help getting my "personal items" out of the car.  I asked him what he was smiling about and he said he was standing next to the police when they went rummaging through my trunk for books.  Apparently everyone saw or heard about my "personal items" because he informed me that the paramedics got a good laugh out of it too.  At that point, another man working at the impound lot sauntered up, looked at the car and said, "Oh is this the girl you were talking about?  Why do you always get the good tows?!" If my car wasn't all smashed in, I might have hid underneath of it for a while!

$6,000 worth of damages and unquantifiable embarrassment later

So this morning, it was off to court I went to face this officer and fight my ticket, citing that I'm somehow a reasonable enough member of society to escape points on my license despite the presence of embarrassing personal items in my car.  Wearing my fancy pants, I walked up to the clerk with my dignity in hand...and was given a later court date.

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