Ya know, I go through most of my days without too much excitement. Each day is played pretty level – nothing too spectacular but nothing too devastating either. Every once in awhile though, I come across a day that makes me shake my head and chuckle with wonder. Yesterday was one of those days.
The Renegade Craft Fair was in Los Angeles this weekend. Elana and I took the train into the city and headed towards China Town. The park where the fair was held was nearby, but I wasn’t quite sure where. The plan was to GPS the park when we got close. That plan led us into a two hour walk around China Town and its vicinities looking for that damn park. The GPS kept bringing us back to the same spot, a spot with NO park. Finally after much searching we found it about 3 blocks from where the GPS put it. Things were not off to a good start, but once we finally arrived, the fair was fun. I love being around people who are creative and inspiring. Most of the artists’ work was just lovely.
After our visit, we took the train back to the station and were glad to be back in the car knowing where we were going after all the walking and searching of the afternoon. We jumped on the 170 to head home, but after a few moments there were police lights behind me. “Oh, no,” I said, “I’m getting pulled over.” “You are?” Elana said looking back, “No you aren’t.” Actually, we were getting pulled over. I made my way across the 5 lanes of freeway to the shoulder and stopped the car – nervous and irritated all at the same time. We did everything right - rolled down all the windows, made our hands visible, and waited patiently while the officer made his way to the window. “Is there a reason you were going 83?” The officer asked. In my most apologetic tone I told him that we had just been talking, and I didn’t realize how fast we were going, and that I was VERY sorry. He asked for my license and registration. While I got them out, Elana played the police officer’s card. She told him I was taking her home to see her husband who was ALSO A POLICE OFFICER. Things seemed to look positive as he looked over my paperwork. Kept inside the registration holder are also my proof of insurance cards. I asked him if needed those too. He nodded and I handed them to him. “Do you have anything up-to-date?” he asked, “These are from 2009.” CRAP! We begged and pleaded and lamented that I DID have insurance and I didn’t know where the cards could be but I could call my agent and she could tell him. He told us he’d be back. The two of us waited, watching out the window, wondering aloud if he’d give a ticket. He was writing, which wasn’t a good sign.
A few moments later, he came back. He said that he was giving me a correctable ticket. As he began to explain it, our attention was directed to the freeway due to a screeching sound. The three of us turned our heads to the left and watched a car slam into a stopped car (stopped in regular freeway traffic), flip up onto the stopped car, which then caused a large pile up. All of us gasped, and I think the officer may have let an expletive slip. “OK, please just quickly sign this,” he said handing me the clipboard. I signed, still unsure of the offense(s) at that point. He gave me my copy and ran to his car. While the scare of the accident and the ticket kind of wore off, I realized he hadn’t given me back my license or registration. The slowly moving traffic had basically stopped and I couldn’t get out or even open my door because of the narrow shoulder. Elana went to open her door and jump out, but the guardrail was too close and she couldn’t even get her door open. We waved, called out, and tried to grab his attention as he pulled out into the traffic and made his way to the accident up ahead.
We were basically blocked in by all the stopped cars. While we waited, we watched the police car stop all oncoming traffic to keep the accident scene clear. At first we reviewed the ticket. It was in fact just a fix it ticket with a verbal speed warning. So other than the inconvenience of having to bring proof of the insurance to the closest CHP office, I should be good to go. We also discussed if we should wait and ask for them back or if I should just call about it Monday morning and figure it out. I figured the last thing I should do was wait and ask for it back in the middle of an accident. Elana called her husband and asked him. He said, it would be more difficult getting it back later than it would be to ask for it there. So once the cars involved in the accident were moved to the side of the road and some traffic started moving again, I maneuvered my way through the traffic and pulled up alongside of where the officer was clearing debris. When he saw us, he looked up and said, “I probably saved you from being in this thing,” pointing to the accident. “Maybe,” I nodded and then told him he still had my stuff. After a few moments he returned with my paperwork and sent us on our way.
A few times on the ride home one of us would laugh and ask, “Can you believe?” or “What a crazy day.” Both laughing that at least it was a good story.