Wednesday, July 13, 2005

No No!

It's September 1969. Mama and I have taken the four kids shopping. We're finished with our shopping and we pack ourselves into our little VW bug. VW Bugs were smaller then than the new Bugs that are out now. So pack-in is the way we had to do it. It's hot and smoggy and the traffic in Southern California is heavy; I'm waiting patiently to pull out of the store parking lot onto the busy street.

I see the double yellow line in the center of the street, but I know that it's legal to pull out and turn left over a double yellow line, if you are exiting a business establishment. I've just read that somewhere.

Finally, I see my chance. I pull out and cross the double yellow line, and immediately hear a siren behind me. It cannot be aimed at me. I'm not doing anything wrong.

Wrong is right. A State Trooper makes it clear that, yes indeed, he means ME.

He strolls up to my rolled-down window, oh soooo slowly. You can't be too careful approaching a fast machine like a '67 bug. Maybe the kids are actually terrorist midgets. But wait, we didn't have terrorists yet. Maybe the kids were just armed midgets. Come to think of it, Mama was a midget too. Anyway.

He tells me that I have committed a traffic violation by crossing the double yellow line. I tell him that it's my understanding that when exiting a business, you are allowed to cross a double yellow line. "Ah," he says, "but you crossed a double double yellow line."

So, have you got that? I crossed a DOUBLE double yellow line. He points out that I have just driven my car across four yellow lines. Four yellow lines, side-by-side.

"In California, a double double yellow line is a cheap concrete divider," he explains.
Not so cheap for me, however.

He walks slowly back to his cruiser, radios in to make inquires as to whether or not the car is stolen, whether or not I am a wanted felon. Like that. Tell me, did people steal those old VW Bugs? Not high on the list of most wanted cars I imagine.

I do have to admit that I probably did look like an escaped con, what with my mother and four kids in the car. So I can't fault him there.

The kids are hot, tired, and getting a touch whiney. I'm hot, tired and getting very whiney. He takes forever and finally comes back to the car and hands me a ticket. This is a crushing blow on two levels.

The first level is that I got a ticket! Me! I'm young and cute. I always get warnings, not tickets. I always figured that I would know that I was old or had lost my looks if I ever actually received a ticket. Hrumph. Apparently, four little kids and my mother canceled my cuteness right out as far as this cop was concerned. Some people.

The second, and worst level was the money and telling my husband about it. I was a stay-at-home mom. Niks was a front-line, in-the-trenches, very-under-paid Social Worker in those days. We didn't have two nickels to rub together. The ticket is for about $150. A lot of money to us then.

So I tell the kids, dddragon, age ten, ActonBell, age six, Nivek, age four, and Aral, age 11 months, don't tell Daddy about this. I'll tell him. Okay? Nobody tell Daddy. I'll take care of that. When the time is right. Just don't be tellin'. All right? That's settled. Everyone nods yes, even the one not old enough to tell on me. They understand. They are NOT going to tell Daddy.

So, I figure that I will wait until the kids are in bed, everything is nice and quiet, talk sweet to Niks, love him up a little -- you don't need details.

I then work up the nerve to tell him about the expense, explaining how it is definitely not my fault that California has such cheap road dividers, and that who would know about such a stupid law as not being able to cross a double double yellow line. Like that.

A light comes on in his head. "OOOoooh! So that's it! ActonBell told me that you got a ticket for a double no-no today! I didn't know what she could be talking about."
She ratted me out! That kid.

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Libby said...

Ahhh, kids that tell the truth...they quit doing that at the age of 13, don't they?
BoUnCeS!! LibbY!

Fred said...

You were able to fit six people in a VW Bug? No wonder everyone was a bit cranky. My first car was a 1966 Bug - it was a pretty good starter car back in 1976.

I wonder if ActonBell ratted you out any other time? Maybe she was getting a litle extra allowance mnoey to give up a few details.

This video reminds me of Mama. Whenever you blog about her; this is the picture in my mind.

Six people?

Doug said...

The Sumo chicken? I'm sure Actonbell was only saying what Aral couldn't find the words for.

mireille said...

ahhhh, Actonbell was the covert operative. I would've thought it was dddragon. Aral has too open a face. Which make Actonbell perfect. Nobody would suspect. Oh, and sorry about failure of the cuteness component. Had you been alone in that bug, with your miniskirt hiked up to ... no problem. xoxoxo

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Until the very end I was sure it was going to be Aral. Precocious-wise.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

LOL, Fred. Mama was SMALL, and she never would have left the house with that hair, but I get the idea.

Yep. SIX of us. I was thin, Mama was thin, the rest were kids. No problem actually.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Another hillarious family story. I am completely addicted.

I had to really laugh out loud over the video, Fred. I hadn't seen it before!

Tan Lucy, My grandmother drove that exact volkswagen. We went everywhere in it. As I recall, it had no airconditioning (in Florida!) Did yours?

actonbell said...

I have absolutely no memory of this.

GodlessMom said...

Mothers and children always cancel out the cute factor. What's that all about?

dddragon said...

ROFL - I had COMPLETELY forgotten about that!! We had come out of Fedco or some other membership/club department store, I think.

Now I'm dreading what stories there might be about me ... surely there really can't be anything, right??

The Lazy Iguana said...

Should have tried to slip the cop a $20 spot.

A Little Bar of Soap said...

What were you doing out and about without your husband? And trying to flirt with an officer of the law??? Trying to sweeten things up for your husband with your flesh???? FILTH!

Always_Adventuring said...

Lol, what a kid!

of course, I had some witty comment to post here but that flew RIGHT out of my head when I read the previous commentor. I'm still trying to determined if that was supposed to be a joke or not. If so, it was done in very bad taste and totally killed my mood. If s/he thinks this is filth, better stay away from MY blog then! lol Just goes to show, you never can tell about some people.

Anyway, thanks for the great laugh. Keep em comin'!

Jamie Dawn said...

A double no-no could have had worse connotations especially if she'd said, "And Mommie told us NOT to tell you!"
I'll have to avoid those double-double yellow lines.

AP3 said...

Yeah, the "double no-no" is a classic story. Naturally, I don't remember any of it.

Oh, dddragon... I just thought of a story TLP can tell involving YOU, me ... and a certain yellow dairy product... ew.

Hey, Sister Soap, lighten up!

dddragon said...

Aral PPP: lol, oh, yeah, that's a good one. Don't forget that there were others there, too ...

Tan Lucy Pez said...

It was pretty funny even to me at the time. A double no-no. At least the joke of it canceled out the sting of the fine. ActonBell, I don't know if I believe that you don't remember it. Of course, I guess I didn't fuss at you at the time, since I was in the wrong to tell you guys not to tell. Your Dad and I still laugh about it a lot.

dddragon: Right! It was Fedco. Good memory.

Little Bar of Soap: Oh yeah! I flirted, and I was NEVER above using sex to get the hubby to do my bidding. It's a win-win situation. It is a tad messy, but you take a shower afterwards. Use a bar of SOAP. Like that.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Saurkraut: Nope. No air conditioning. Actually no real heater either.

Always_Adventuring: I'm pretty sure that Soapy is just a total joke. Like The Pope or The Devil. Just someone having fun.

Christine said...

We had a yellow vw bug when I was a kid. All three of us kids smushed in the back with the smoke from the front engine blowing in the windows. Good thing no one required seat belts or baby seats back then!
good times.......

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

I love those old VW bugs.

Is honesty always the best policy even when getting a ticket? Hummm...I am not such a great example, as I have talked my way out of more than 25 tickets over the past 3 years! And my childen now what to know my secret...

Bill said...

I was thinking about restoring one of those old 'Bugs' as I'd had on e when young and had a lot of fine memories of it... Then I remembered... lousy heater and NO A/C... I figured it was one item left a memory here in the south...

Then yesterday, on one of the hottest days so far I see this cherry old bug, and black at that, cruising down the main drag... Hmmmmmmm

Thanks for another great tale!

Savtadotty said...

My mom shocked me when she said "Don't tell Daddy," after a fender-bender while driving me to tap-dance class in 1946! I never told, but it was the only time she seemed really scared of him. She stopped driving after that.

I had a 1962 Beetle. My ex totaled it on a day ski trip while I stayed home, pregnant with elswhere. No one was hurt.

Love your blog and your family.

mlwhitt said...

Wow what a story, thanks for sharing.