Did you know that getting pulled over by a park ranger can save your marriage? I did not. It was my last 12-mile run before GO!, and I was happily sipping my chocolate almond milk while avoiding the cyclists pedaling at my Jeep. I made it through most of the parking lot only to see the lights a-flashing in my mirror. I began reliving my last few minutes. This is quite a challenge because I was tired, hungry and post-run. My friend calls it “runner’s brain.” Runner’s brain is when your brain is mush. Sure, you can perform the necessary tasks it takes to live, but your analytical skills plummet.
Mr. Park Ranger: “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
“No, sir, I don’t.”
“Are you aware your plates are expired? Really expired.”
Really? Really expired. He continued to interrogate me relentlessly with rapid-fire questions. Where is your sticker? Do you know it’s illegal to drive with expired tags? Do you know I can issue you a citation? At this point, I was shaking from the run, but I’m pretty sure he thought it was his mad interrogational skills. I explained there must be some mistake because the sticker had to be there. Of course, when I searched the Jeep to find my registration papers, like my sticker, they were nowhere to be found. The papers from 2006-2012 were in there, but not the ones I needed. No, that would be too easy. Cue the only reasonable reaction: tears.
As Mr. PR walked back to his patrol car to “run the plates,” (why hadn’t he done that in the first place?) I frantically called my contractual life partner (my husband’s name when he’s in the dog house).
CLPs, when your spouse calls, in tears, don’t ask stupid questions. There is only one job you need to perform: provide the right answer in the appropriate tone, within the proper time allotment. My CLP did not do this. My CLP chose to take a page out of Mr. PR’s book and interrogate me. “Who pulled you over?” “Why?” “How can he issue…” Seriously? I ended the useless call and began crying. Hard.
I tried to keep it together, but my runner’s brain, fatigue and overall frustration with the situation caused me to lose all semblance of composure. When Mr. PR returned, he informed me that my plates were, in fact, current. Gee, thanks. All of this could have been averted if he would have typed in my little plate number, and POOF, I would have been halfway home. At home I could feed my runner’s brain.
By the time I picked up Atticus at his grandparents’ house, I was on empty. I hobbled into the house in search of food and the boy. I grabbed the boy and hobbled back to the Jeep. The hobbling continued until I was flat on the kitchen floor. In walked my knight in shining armor (you know him as CLP) with a doughnut to shove in my hypoglycemic mouth. After his epic failure the night before, and the braindead questions about Mr. PR, he rescued me with the most delicious doughnut known to mankind. All it took to sort things out was getting pulled over by Mr. PR over a really expired sticker.
Welcome to my world.