Monday, January 12, 2015

"Did You Know Your Taillight's Out...?"

I passed the two cops parked at the bottom of the hill, one with lights flashing, the other not. I really didn't think much of it. I mean, I pass cops all the time. So, it was all the more surprising when I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw it ablaze in bright lights.

Crap, I thought, Instantly I recalled the last third of a mile I traveled since I passed the cops. Did I run a stop light? I don't think so. I know the registration sticker is current. Did I speed as I drove up the hill? Probably, but not excessively--not like I used to...

Ah, I used to. 

Back in the day I had what you'd call a "lead foot." I partially blame the Danes. You see, back in high school when I first learned to drive, I drove an old VW bug (about which I've blogged many times...). The thing did not move, almost to the point where I almost got tickets for driving too slow. I always wanted to make a parody music video of I Can't Drive 55 with my car.

Then, I moved to Denmark for a couple of years and had access to a car for part of that time. I know that Utahns get knocked quite a bit for their driving skills, or the lack thereof. Let's just say the same cannot be said for Europeans. Those people know how to drive. And lucky for them, the cars they sell and drive in Europe are made to be driven, and driven quickly.

So, I feel I learned to drive in Denmark with the Danes. This turned out to be a problem for me once I returned home, and I HATED driving at home. The people were too slow and they NEVER got out of the fast lane. I drove bugs and VS Rabbits at the time, the Rabbits were a tad quicker. And I was a jerk behind the wheel. My attitude translated to several tickets.

Fast forward almost thirty years and things have changed. I even surprise myself by how differently I drive now. Then again, when you're driving a minivan, there's just no way to look cool. And I'm okay with that. Plus, know I'm a safer driver which is better for me, my family and everyone else on the road.

"I'm sorry, Officer," I said as I dug into my glove box and fished out the proper paperwork. "Is there a problem?" My mind still searched for any reason to be stopped.

"I pulled you over to let you know your taillight's out, so you need to get that taken care of."

"You bet, officer. Thanks for letting me know."


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