If you want to feel a little rebellious and incur severe monetary damages to your mere college kid savings without going to jail, try speeding at 24mph over the speed limit through the town of Port Ann, New York. There is nothing to hit in that town but cows. I tested this tactic on the final morning of my 1,000+ mile drive home from my summer internship at school in Wisconsin. I had three windows fully down and one cracked open for my jade plant which sat crunched between a paper bag filled with food remnants and a radio which I didn’t have time to install before I left. In lieu of the radio, I turned the sound on my iPhone all the way up with Sharon Van Etten’s latest album “Are We There.” I was super into whatever emotional intensity she was channeling, so I coasted down Port Ann’s lush rolling hill at what I thought was an efficient, but not dangerous speed. The state trooper behind me thought otherwise. He chased down Leo the Subaru in no time, his sleek SUV casting a dark shadow on me and my happy hippie car.
As I sat waiting for the cop, I knew I had to make myself cry. The only way for women under the age of thirty to get out of speeding tickets is to play up the over-emotional “I’m a poor kid just trying to become a real adult” pity card. I knew this then, but instead I chose to put up all my defenses. I can be an emotional fortress if I want to, so it worked well. I calmly told the cop that I didn’t realize that I had been speeding because I was eager to get to my home to New Hampshire. He walked away, leaving me there for long enough to realize what he was doing. He came back with a flimsy receipt which meant no good. Guilty of blasting through sleepy old Port Ann, my defendant’s statement sounded straight out of the California Valley: “I think I was going like 60.” I let out the waterworks only after the cop walked solidly away from my window. With no one to watch me, I had some fun bawling, listening to more Sharon, and putting along under speed in the low 30s.
$650 in fines later, I’ve come clean with “the People of the State of New York” for my criminal speeding infractions which I’m sure they were ALL displeased about.
What have I learned from all this?
- Spacing out is a costly business.
- Red cars with artfully-clad bumpers are subject to discrimination in the eyes of cops the world over.
- It’s best to pay up and pay up fast.
- Walking and biking are less suspicious and more enjoyable ways to travel– hoping to do these activities more in the future and live life with less car in it.
- Possibly speeding is unsafe and something one should avoid.