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From Canyon To Cove: Steered wrong by the Greeter

January 26, 2012|By Cindy Frazier

It's one of the worst moments a driver can face. The flashing lights, sirens and the bullhorn ordering you to "pull over."

And why does this always happen to me around Christmas?

"License, registration and proof of insurance," the officer deadpanned, scanning the interior of my car with world-weary eyes — looking for contraband, no doubt.

"What did I allegedly do, officer?" I said politely, opening the glove box to procure the items. I just had to throw in "allegedly." And he apparently heard it.

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"You didn't see those four big signs not to turn left at Brooks back there?"

"No, I did not."

I didn't, I really didn't.

"Well, they're there," he said, cocking his hip and getting into ticket-writing mode. "So, where you going?"

Where was I going? And why does that matter?

"I'm just going up there on the next block," I said.

"Why?" he snapped as if he were a cop on "Dragnet" interrogating a common criminal. "What's up there?"

I had to think a moment. What was I doing before I was so rudely interrupted? Oh, right.

"I'm looking for the address of a woman I know so I can send her a Christmas card," I deadpanned back.

"Hmph," he said. I guess this satisfied him because he had no further questions. For an instant I thought maybe I'd get off with a warning — it being Christmas and me being on a Christmas mission. But there was to be no mercy. I still got a ticket for failure to obey a sign.

He handed me the ticket and stomped off — or at least it seemed he stomped off. At least he didn't smirk and say "Have a nice day." I hate it when they do that.

After scanning the ticket, making a phone call and almost crying, I pulled myself together. Yes, it was Christmas, and yes, I had gotten a budget-busting moving violation.

But I would not be dissuaded from my goal, knocked off kilter by this demanding, stomping man. I would continue on my way, get the address and then figure out how in heck I had missed those "four big signs" the officer insisted I should have seen.

Carefully, I retraced my steps, realizing "Laguna's Finest" was probably still in the area. Man, wouldn't he love to write me another ticket for, say, a rolling stop or failure to use a turn signal? I was so careful I squeaked.

I headed north on Glenneyre, then realized I was behind the very cop who had ticketed me! No doubt he had me in his sights in his rear-view mirror. Wow, I thought. This is kind of exciting — the tables are turned! He probably thinks I'm stalking him to give him a piece of my mind.

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