Yesterday I was sick. Cold, with all the usual symptoms. A messy proposition, so I called in "sick" and loaded up on drugs and vitamins. A few hours later I realized that I could be doing more than just being sick. I could be using the time to do some business. With the medicine working well, I did not feel too bad. So I got myself ready for public display and headed out to take care of some necessary errands.
Based on previous research, I went to the office nearby where I could get a new license plate (sometimes called "tag") for my vehicle, now that I've been here a month. It was an involved process, of course, but I got through it with little difficulty. Next stop was the driver license office several miles away. I waited there for almost two hours to transfer my license from my old state to my new state. No pictures taken, however. No, I was required to go back to the first office, show them the paperwork from the second office, and they would take my picture and make a driver license for me. The picture was servicable.
During the four hour errand-running period, I got my car tag, my driver license, an electronic box for the turnpike charges, and registered to vote (and, subsequently, to be eligible for jury duty). Then I headed home, with my meds quickly wearing off and illness returning.
However, it was some new illness that disturbed my afternoon, something of the gut variety. I was forced up from my nap to deal with what some may describe as a stomach flu--or food poisoning. What had I eaten? I couldn't match up the before and the after. I was just glad to be rid of it.
This morning the irony finally hit me. Feeling better, I was determined to go back to the office, so I got up and got ready and hit the road. I was using my turnpike pass for the very first time. I was on the highway, had just passed by the toll booth where I usually had to stop and throw coins at the machine but now could whiz on by, and was excited to have such freedom when I suddenly was confronted by flashing lights. A highway patrol car had approached me from the other side, had turned through the median, and was now coming up behind me! I checked my speed: 77 in a 70 zone, usually not enough to raise eyebrows.
I am not a criminal, I thought. I produced my new driver license and my proof of insurance. I explained that I had just gotten my driver license the previous day, had gotten my car tag and my turnpike box also the previous day, that I was new here, that I really had not intended to speed (I usually put the car on cruise and don't worry about it), and I was able to negotiate a "warning."
Besides, twenty cars pass me in any given trip to one car that I pass. So many other drivers come up behind me (I'm in the right lane, the "slow" lane) and tailgate or flash their headlights to express their derision that I am going "only" seven miles over the speed limit. Then they will swing out into the left lane, and charge angrily ahead, then bluntly back into the right lane--once in a while accompanied with a select finger of salute. I, on the other hand, am a good driver and have not had a real ticket in more than ten years. But the irony still remains.
And I just spilled some grape juice down the front of my new white shirt!