Saturday, May 10, 2008

Daughter Dearest

I already demonstrated yesterday that I'm a bad, non card-sending daughter. So, I'll add to my evil reputation by telling a Mother's Day story. A funny Mother's Day story. Well, I think it's funny. My Mother will probably come after me with the retro black plastic salad fork. (The salad fork being the corporal punishment weapon of choice in 1974. And my Mother still wonders 34 years later why I don't like veggies. Go figure.)

Allow me to set the stage for my Mom story, and explain the mitigating circumstances. Fast forward from 1974 to 2001. September of 2001. A difficult time for everyone, and a particularly heartbreaking and tragic time for our family. On September 11, my Mother and I were in Michigan for my Uncle's funeral. On September 12, we were supposed to fly home. Except on September 12, 2001 no one flew anywhere unless they happened to be a bird.


So, September 12 found us driving from Michigan back to Washington in our trusty Hertz Mazda 323 rental car. In all fairness, we were both functioning under just a titch of stress.


Still unsure of the state of things, we elected to stay off freeways until we could pick up I-90 in North Dakota. The drive went smoothly until we hit mid-Minnesota. Remember that we're on a rural country road, and we're pushing to get home. So it was early. Not another car in sight. Except the east-bound Minnesota State Trooper that Mummy blew by doing her best Danica Patrick at 80mph.


Sure enough, the nice officer hangs a U-turn and turns on the blue lights. Mom pulls Speed Racer Mazda to the side of the road.

Now, I'm thinking there's no problem here. Two women alone, driving in an unfamiliar car on an unfamiliar highway under unthinkable circumstances just trying to get home three states away (including Montana, which really ought to count as two). Piece of cake. There is NO WAY in h-e-double toothpicks he's giving us a ticket after he hears our story. Once he determines we're not suspicious characters (hmmm), we're good to go.


So, the first words out of my mother's mouth should be a humble apology and an explanation as to our circumstances. But NOOOOOO. What does she tell Officer Friendly? She says, and I quote to the best of my recollection:


"There's no one else around, and I thought the road was mine"


I didn't hear the Trooper's response. I was too busy banging my head on the dash. On the list of things you simply DO NOT say to the cop who pulls you over for speeding are:


1. "Honest Ossifer, I ain't been smokin' any beer"
2. "Where'd you get the snazzy shades?"
and 3. "But I thought I owned the road"


While Trooper Man went back to his car to run the smart a$$ scofflaw's license, I attempt a crash course in Dealing With Law Enforcement 101. (Not that I'm an expert on the subject, but hey, I've seen "Cops" so of the two of us, I clearly had the edge).


Or not. Minnesota's Finest returned to the car waving a piece of pink paper and delivering a lecture on rural speed limits. At the end of which he simply said. "Things are bad enough. I'm giving you a warning. You can take this home and mount it on the wall with your salmon, or whatever you folks out there stuff and hang on the walls". (Once again, quoting to the best of my recollection).


I don't remember my Mother's reaction to this statement, because I was once again banging my head on the dash. If the salad fork had been handy, I'd have smacked them both.


Mothers DO know best!

I do remember that I drove from there until we got safely to Fargo.

Happy Mother's Day!

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