Helpful Hints for Reckless Drivers and General Complainers

The BF told me the other day that there is a story in my pocket which I apparently don’t tell enough.  He meant the one about the cop car, from when we moved in early June of this year.

It goes like this:  the morning of our move I went to pick up our rental truck, drove to our place with no trouble, got there and had to circle the block until the loading driveway was free.  While circling I managed to side swipe a police car… with the policemen inside.  Not entirely sure what I had done, and probably in a state of denial, I slowly kept driving.  When they followed me and bleeped their siren, I cursed to myself and pulled over.  They exited their car and both came up to my window, looking stern.  I cringed and said: “I did hit you, didn’t I?”  And promptly burst into tears.  Now… yes, I have acting training.  Yes, I would try to get out of a ticket by crying (I’m not that proud).  However, this was a real and true breakdown.  I gurgled and blubbered I Love Lucy-style and apologized through my snot while trying to explain that I was moving and stressed and didn’t want to be the truck driver in the first place.  The officers must have spotted the sincerity because they abruptly backed off, trying to calm me by assuring me that no one was hurt (“Hey, whoa, I’m okay!  Jim, you okay?  See?  Everyone’s okay!”), and I just needed to be careful getting to the driveway.  I flashed them a hideous cry-smile while shakily steering away and refused to drive the truck for the rest of the day.

I only bring this story up because I recently discovered a website called “Letters of Note,”.  (I love the lost art of letter-writing and lament my own failure to write more letters.  I have boxes of old letters stuffed into my downsized new apartment.  But I digress.)

The first letter on the site that I stumbled upon was from Justin Lee to a police department in Auckland, New Zealand, written in 2004, regarding a speeding ticket he’d been issued.  It could be argued that, if one has as much time on one’s hands as Justin did, one might write a letter like Justin’s, in favor of crying.

Here is the first paragraph, as a teaser:

“Yesterday, I was presented with the above infringement notice (copy attached for your records) while returning home from the Parachute music festival at Mystery Creek near Hamilton over the long Auckland Anniversary weekend. I had a most excellent weekend, but that is not why I’m writing to you at this time. Unfortunately, there are a couple of irregularities with the infringment notice that are causing me some consternation and hopefully you can clear them up or, preferably, forget about the whole thing entirely.”

Should you have a moment to spare for a chuckle, I highly suggest you read the whole thing.  It may inspire you to write eloquent responses to all governmental agencies or customer service departments that may have done you wrong.  Certainly seems a whole lot more fun than whimpering, swearing or yelling at the poor bastards.


… when pulled over by a policeman, defeat is not inevitable.  Policemen have senses of humor, and daughters, too.

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3 Responses to Helpful Hints for Reckless Drivers and General Complainers

  1. Rex Berkshire says:

    The police didn’t pull you over because you hit them, they pulled you over because you were a babe and they needed a diversion. They weren’t prepared for another blubbering female coming apart on them and didn’t persue the obvious cop’s tactic of shakedown for a kick. Cops may be fathers and have daughters but they are also guys who need a cheap thrill to spike up their otherwise boring day. They didn’t pursue the sideswipe angle because they didn’t need more paperwork to do, and there should have been a mountain of it to cover the story of the dent, which they apparantly failed to show you. They just wanted a closer look and wanted you to look back and possibly offer restitution. Snot wasn’t in their plan. So, don’t you wonder where you get your cynicism from and why wasn’t it turned on that day.

  2. Oh Dad. I never wondered where I got my cynicism from. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Love Letter to the Love Letter People | greengreengrass

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