“Marlene Got Caught by a Cop”
If ever you are driving along just minding your own business and a police officer decides he wants to tell you how fast you are going – I highly advise your younger brother, who has Down syndrome, is in the car with you.
Back in January of 2019, Steven had an afternoon dentist appointment. I drove to the neighboring county to pick him up at his work. It was a sunny winter day. The roads were clear. The skies were blue. I was in a good mood. Steven was in a good mood.
He hopped in my car and began telling me about his day. He said something comical about his cousin Collene being wound up last night. She had dropped something on the floor, and I was trying to figure out what he was telling me. All I knew was it was a funny story.
Then this white car with lights on top of it goes by. I was heading west out of town. He was heading east into town. I felt like I was already in the country, and it didn’t feel at all like I was going too fast.
But suddenly it felt like I was going too fast when I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw red and blue lights had been turned on. A local police car was turning around, apparently wanting to talk to me. My first thought was to thank God Steven was with me. I knew Steven would be the handiest passenger I could have come up with.
When I pulled the car over to the side of the road, I told Steven that I was probably going too fast. He was able to watch in his mirror as the car with flashing lights pulled up behind my car.
Steven is a bit of a rule follower when it comes to something like the law, and I could tell he was seeing this as a serious matter. It occurred to me that I may receive a ticket, or I may not receive a ticket. Either way, Steven was going to have a story to tell. And he would tell everyone.
As we waited for the officer to walk to the side of my car, Steven told me that Patrick is going to be mad at me. I wanted to make sure the officer noticed my brother, so I told him that Steven just advised me that my husband is going to be mad at me.
The policeman smiled a little smile at Steven, then asked me for my license, registration, and proof of insurance. The two of us waited quietly in the car for the officer to complete his work. When he returned, he smiled again as he handed the papers back to me. He told me to slow down and have a good day. It seemed to me at that moment he was a very nice young man.
As we were driving away, I told Steven that it’s okay. I didn’t get a ticket. I knew he understood that not receiving a ticket was a good thing. We could relax and talk about it. Maybe even laugh.
We weren’t too far down the road when I told him he doesn’t have to tell anyone. I told him the whole thing is a secret. He knew from my tone that I was joking, and he told me he was going to tell everyone.
The more I joked with him and told him it’s a secret, the funnier the conversation became. I knew he would get a lot of mileage out of what just happened, and he was proving I was going to be right. He was doing his best to tease me. He told me I give him a headache.
We were late for Steven’s dental appointment. But never fear, Steven let everyone in the waiting room know why we were late.
That evening, he went to his Special Olympics basketball game. He told his circle of friends that his sister Marlene is okay. Marlene is all right. Marlene got caught by a cop. But she is going to be okay.
I was told that Steven’s side of the story was a good one.
The next week, Steven had an appointment with his chiropractor. As we were driving out of town, he told me not to go too fast. He asked me if I remembered what happened last week. Then he said, “Ticket. No. No more.”
I did a charades-like impersonation of a speeder leaning over the steering wheel, and he really laughed. He told me to stop it and be serious. He reminded me that I do not want to get a ticket.
Steven is a fan of The Dukes of Hazzard television show and likes to watch reruns. He sees the craziness in the show as a good thing, and his laughter makes those around him appreciate the humor.
My daughters told me they had never heard of The Dukes of Hazzard, so we looked it up online. It is described as an American action-comedy series which aired a total of 147 episodes from 1979 to 1985. Steven was ten years old when the series started.
Then there is The Three Stooges comedy routine. Steven laughs out loud at their antics. It can make you wonder why it takes the laughter of another person to appreciate the talent it takes to make a show such as that. And make you laugh too.
Who said life is serious? You don’t have to take life so seriously. You knucklehead.
Speeding Ticket Disclaimer: If you are going to drive and not think, you will likely be issued a speeding ticket when you are told you are going faster than you thought. You do not have Steven in the car with you, so please remember that.
If you drive in Hazzard County or any county you are not familiar with, please be mindful of how far out of town you must be before you are allowed to put your foot on the gas and drive faster.
There are these things called speed limit signs that tell you when you may increase your speed.
Police officers are very nice nearly everywhere you go, but they have a job to do. They are human too, and someone with Down syndrome tends to melt the hearts of all around them. Steven has gotten two of his sisters out of speeding tickets.
Please remember there are people who get away with high fiving the cops around them, but that is not likely you. So please obey the parking laws and all. You are not going to get out of anything just because you are not taking things so seriously. You knucklehead.