It’s Just a Warning

For all my time in Texas, I’ve not once gotten a traffic warning, let alone a ticket. I pride myself on being a safe driver. But, I can’t say that anymore. Last week, on my way to see a movie, I see those familiar flashing lights behind me. Surely that’s not for me, but I pull over. It’s for me. The lady cop tells me I was speeding in a school zone. I’m not confrontational, but I tell her I don’t think so. I saw the sign and I slowed down. She said my car probably picked up speed coming down the hill past the school. (What! I thought, if you knew that, why stop me?) She tells me she’s giving me a warning and asks for my driver’s license. I sit there, averting my face from the traffic going by, in case someone recognizes me. How humiliating! Then I wait, and I wait and I wait. Ten or 15 minutes later she returns apologizing that her printer wasn’t working. I noticed another police car had pulled in behind her, so I guess she called for backup! I tell her it’s my first warning for the last 15 years, since living back in Texas, hoping she might empathize. “That’s good,” she says, as she hands me the warning to sign. By this time the movie had already started and I wasn’t in the mood any more anyway. I muttered again I didn’t think I was speeding. I didn’t want to sign something that read I was speeding in a school zone. She said, as she walked back to her car, “It’s just a warning.” It was the letter of the law for her, but for me I wanted grace! Come to think of it, maybe that was grace.

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