Fast and Furious...and Busted
As we rolled up and down hills and banked sharp curves, I kept pressing the accelerator for more speed. I wanted to see just how fast I could make Dad's Chevy go on this hilly and winding country road. It was like riding a roller coaster.
Since most of my friends didn't have their licenses yet, I was the cool guy who drove everyone around. So, of course, I had to show off whenever I could.
"Faster," my friends urged. I grinned smugly and pressed harder on the accelerator. At the crest of a hill, we went airborne and then the car quickly jolted back onto the road with a loud thud.
My friends went crazy. "Yeah!" "Woo-hoo!" "Awesome!" Right after I cleared the top of another hill, my heart jumped as I spotted a cop car hidden behind some bushes. I'd caught the blurred shadow of a man pointing a radar gun out the window … right at me.
Instinctively, I slammed on my brakes and skidded past the officer as he fishtailed his car onto the road and sped up behind me with his lights flashing. To punctuate the capture, his siren let out a loud, quick "whoop."
Busted. "You've gotta be kidding!" I groaned in frustration as my mom's warning echoed in my head.
"You'd better slow down," she had recently told me. "If you get a ticket, I'm taking your license." Even when I was driving with mom in the car, I had a tendency to push the speed limit. I'm sure she could only imagine how fast I drove when she wasn't around.
I won't get caught, I thought. I know where the cops hide.
Obviously, I was wrong.
As the burly officer approached my car, ticket pad in hand, my stomach churned. Mom and Dad are gonna kill me!
My friends, who had only encouraged me to drive like Speed Racer, were no help. They sat there snickering, trying hard not to laugh out loud.
My heart pounded hard as I rolled down my window.
"Son, do you realize you were going 59 in a 35 mph zone?" the officer asked me in his deep southern drawl.
I desperately searched my thoughts for a reasonable excuse. Then it hit me. I remembered my driver's education instructor reminding us to watch our speed after exiting the highway onto in-town roads. He had warned that an extended period of high-speed driving on the highway can make you feel like you're going slower than you really are. He even had a word for it that came to me just in the nick of time …
"Uh, I'm not sure," I responded as I strained to keep my voice from quivering. "But I think I must have been velocitized."
The cop crinkled up his eyebrows and looked at me like I was crazy. Clearly, my brilliant excuse hadn't worked. When the cop handed me a ticket, my stomach dropped. I knew some guys who'd gotten tickets from the county sheriff's department, and their parents had received a letter telling them all about what had happened. Now my parents would get a similar letter.
Great. I'm toast.