Another early morning and I was doing a pretty good job tailing the important folk in the front car. So well that when they abruptly skidded left and crossed the dusty highway median, I followed suit and made the illegal turn.
Two New York State trooper cars creeped out of their hiding spot to come after us. I had been pulled over once before, and the officer took pity on me when he saw I was ready to piss my pants with fear.
This was different, and since I was new to a life of crime, I didn’t know standard protocol when getting pulled over. I did what I thought was correct, which included keeping the engine running and digging through my purse for my ID.
Both of which are entirely wrong.
My behavior raised a red flag for the cops, and they surrounded us yelling to turn off the car and put my hands on the steering wheel. I was too scared to cry.
They went to The Congressman’s car first, assuming correctly that they were the masterminds behind this traffic infraction.
One of the cops moseyed up to the Menstrual-Mobile while I kept my hands super glued on the wheel. He motioned that I needed to roll down the window, which sent me into a tailspin.
I had electric windows! I had to turn the car back on to put them down! What to do!?
I don’t know what I should have done, but I turned the key just enough so the radio and windows worked, and greeted the officer with a big shaky grin.
“License and registration.”
“Yes, Officer!” I offered up a little too cheerfully.
The officer walked away with both without asking anything else. Sweet relief was short-lived as nausea swept over me.
Ghost-faced I turned to Peter, “It’s chalked.”
“What?” sleepily asked the seasoned traffic offender who wasn’t fazed by being pulled over.
“My license! It’s chalked!”
Many states take precautions against underage drinking by manipulating licenses. Across the border, New Jersey made anyone under twenty-one face sideways in their license picture instead of facing forward.
Luckily for me, New York was no such state. The license wasn’t laminated and had a pasty, grainy veneer. I was born in 1978. All that was needed to turn that “8” into a “0” was a tiny mark of white chalk.
If the officer noticed I had altered my license, I would be in real trouble and probably be reprimanded by The Congressman as well.
Oh, and Archie. I could just imagine Archie ranting and raving, “You know what it looks like to have an intern with The Congressman with a fake license! You put his entire campaign in jeopardy! His livelihood! The District! Now you have to die!”
Peter tried to talk me down off the ledge, but when my mind starts on its roller coaster, it’s too late to put on the breaks.
“My Dad is going to kill me! I bet he’ll leave me in jail to prove a point! I bring shame to my house!”
Two minutes or maybe two hours later the police handed everything back to me without questioning the validity of my DOB. I got lucky.
We were off, and my driving record, unlike my license, was left without a blemish.