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Worldwide Ace » I’m Like A Hungry Baby on a… Headlight

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I’m Like A Hungry Baby on a… Headlight

2 January, 2009 (11:46) | Random

Ed. Note – If I’m “he said,” then this is “she said.”

“So… I just got pulled over on Federal for a headlight out.”

“You ok?”

“Yeah,” Jen tells me, a nervousness underlying the laughter in her voice. “I mean, I’m still coming down, but we should hit a Wal-Mart or something.” I cringe at the name of Sam Wall’s chain of ultimate evil. “Um, do you know how to change a light bulb?”

“You mean a headlight?”

“Yeah, sorry.”

“I’m pretty sure I can do that.” Already the gears are turning in my head. There’s a Checker Auto Parts just around the corner. We can hit that, get the bulb changed, and still have time to hit Borders before the movie. “Just give me a ring when you get down this way,” I say.

It’s almost two hours later when we finally pull out of the drive way. She drove carefully, changed, ate, changed again, and felt obligated to show off her fashionable boots before we could leave. We slide around the corner to Checker. I successfully navigate us through the back streets of the urban labyrinth known as Governer’s Ranch, a minor triumph in a night of hectic events.

The lights of Checker glow with an inhuman eeriness. The parking lot of the strip mall is smattered with empty cars, a still life of aluminum and plastic with an irredescent yellow sheen. It’s obvious they’re closed as we pull up. Jen seems reasonably calm, though there’s a quaver and annoyance.

“It’s no big deal if we don’t get this done,” she says to me. I know she’s lying, though I can’t tell if it’s to me or herself. “I’d rather not be late for the movie.”

“We’ve got time,” I respond. We have about 45 minutes and only a 10-15 minute drive before The Curious Case of Benjamin Button starts. “At the very least, you can pick up the bulb and we can change it after the movie.”

“True,” she says as we pull back out onto the road.

Wal-Mart is nowhere to be found. I’m a little relieved. I hate them with a passion.

SIDE NOTE: This probably isn’t the right story to feature a minirant on the evils of Wal-Mart, but if you’re unfamiliar with the many offenses of the chain of ultimate evil, you need to take the time to see WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price. It’s not as if their problems haven’t been documented everywhere. This is the same company that allowed one of their workers to be trampled to death protecting a pregnant lady (though even I admit that’s more the customers’ faults than the company’s). Their use of censorship is especially damning in my eyes. Not to mention the way they shut down stores that finally win the right to unionize. It’s simply insane. Just comparing Wal-Mart to Costco is a fascinating example of good versus evil.

We pass two more Checkers, though both are closed, eventually heading to the movie.

“I’m going to take it easy on the drive back,” Jen tells me. We’re three cups of coffee in already as we pull through the back alley behind the Denver Diner. For the last two hours we’ve hunted and killed the shit several times over and been regaled with harrowing tales of Colfax by Trish, the most awesome Denver Diner waitress of all time. I’m surprised to see the clock flashing 2 AM as we pull onto the street.

“Sure. It’ll be smoothe sailing.” I glance around, trying to figure out the easiest way to get over to Kalamath. It’s off to our right and there seems to be a straight run down. “Take a right here,” I tell her.” It only takes a few seconds for it to dawn on us. “Wait, where’s our lane?”

“Oh shit!”

“This is one way, isn’t it. Shit. Make a right.”

“I’m going to kill you if that was a cop.”

There comes a time in every police encounter where your life flashes before you eyes. For me, it comes right away: we turn onto Speer, the flashing lights appear, Jen jams on the gas, her knuckles turn white on the grip, and for a second I wonder if I’m going to be on the next Fox special, When Car Chases Go Horrifically Wrong!

“Oh my god,” she yells. “I told you! I told you!” She’s laughing, or maybe it’s crying. I can’t tell.

“I’m so sorry,” I say. “God, I’m a fucktard.” We slow down sharply and pull over. I’m cowering. It’s just a natural reaction.

“This is your fault!”

“I know. I know.”

“I can’t afford this right now!”

“I’m sorry. It’s all my fault.” She’s definitely laughing now.

“Shit. There’s a second cop car.” I fumble for insurance and registration as she digs for her license. “Did you even see a one way sign?”

“If I had, I wouldn’t have told you to turn right.”

“Hi.” She’s not talking to me anymore.

“I’m sorry,” I mumble.

“Where are you coming from?”

“Littleton,” she says in the most flighty manner.

“Actually just around the corner from the Denver Diner,” I say. I’m not sure he’s even listening to me.

“I pulled you over cause you were going the wrong way down a one way.”

“It’s my fault, officer,” I say. “I told her to take a right there.”

“Also, you have a headlight out,” he says.

“Yeah. We stopped by like six Checkers tonight but they were closed.” I’m stunned by the blatant exageration.

“So you tried to fix it?”

“Yes,” we say in unison. “But it was late and everything was closed,” she continues.

“We didn’t get going until around 8,” I chime in.

“I’ll be right back.” As the turn and heads back to his car I can feel the other cop on my side fade away. He hadn’t even bothered to bend down and look at me. Then again, this is Colfax. Who knows what might happen when you’re wearing a shield.

“Six checkers?” I say.

“Well we passed two or three.”

“Then say two or three.”

“Yeah, I know. I exaggerate. I’m a girl. You know, that’s the only place where I still use like. ‘We stopped by like six Checkers.’ It’s awful.”

“Well, you could’ve stopped by similar to six Checkers.”

“You are on seriously thin ice.” She smiles as she says it. “This is taking a while.”

“I’m sorry.” We’re not laughing anymore.

“I best he’s writing me a ticket.”

“He’s probably just checking your insurance info.”

“If he gives me a breathalyzer or sobriety test, I’ll be pissed.”

“Why? You haven’t been drinking.”

“I know,” she says. “God damn it. He’s writing me a ticket.”

It’s two tweets and a couple minutes before the cop comes back.

“This is a written warning,” he says. I can feel relief permeate the car. “It just tells them you’ve been spoken to. Get it fixed sooner rather than later.”

“Oh my god,” Jen says. “Thank you.”

“Drive safe,” the officer says as he walks away.

“You just saved his ass, you know,” Jen calls out the window, laughing in elation. For some reason, my ass doesn’t feel that safe.

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  • Pingback: Like a Hungry Baby on a Headlight (or, “How Jen Got Pulled Over Twice in One Night”) « jenny jen jen()

  • You guys both got so lucky, I never get off for anything EVER! The cops were all out in full force here last night and I was sure I was going to get nabbed. I drove through 4 speed traps and cops were just circling the city blocks… :-/ luckily I made it home…

  • You guys both got so lucky, I never get off for anything EVER! The cops were all out in full force here last night and I was sure I was going to get nabbed. I drove through 4 speed traps and cops were just circling the city blocks… :-/ luckily I made it home…

  • Anonymous

    I never get off for anything either. I guarantee it was all Jen’s doing. After all, my last run in with the cops didn’t go so well…

  • I never get off for anything either. I guarantee it was all Jen’s doing. After all, my last run in with the cops didn’t go so well…

  • Jen

    Erm, do you have a pingback address for this?

    Yours is so much better than mine. I didn’t really write an entire purpose to mine… yours, I like it 🙂

  • Jen

    Erm, do you have a pingback address for this?

    Yours is so much better than mine. I didn’t really write an entire purpose to mine… yours, I like it 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Pingback is the first comment. I also added a link back to your entry at the top so LJers can see it.

    Yours is more complete. I wrote more for narrative, leaving out details where they affected flow and probably changing them for humor without even realizing it. Glad you like it.

  • Pingback is the first comment. I also added a link back to your entry at the top so LJers can see it.

    Yours is more complete. I wrote more for narrative, leaving out details where they affected flow and probably changing them for humor without even realizing it. Glad you like it.

  • Pingback: Like a Hungry Baby on a Headlight | jennifer newell()