Monday, December 10, 2007

Headlights and Hankies, part I

Going to and coming home from work today was full of surprises.

My Mazda is actually a pretty cool car, but I have always had a bit of an issue with my headlights. Like most vehicles, mine is equipped with "dims" and "brights". But unlike most vehicles, when I have my "dims" on, it is a near equivalent of driving with two flashlights strapped to my hood.
Dim indeed.

My brights have been out of balance for several months. We have often laughed that we were able to see night life in the trees because of the upward direction of the bright beams. Seriously. They point almost straight up.

The other day, we noticed that I have a headlight out.
One of my dims.
Down to one flashlight.

This morning (very dark still) I had an errand to do and when I re-entered my car to take off, I did not notice that I now had NO headlights on! I did not notice, that is, until the police pulled me over. The nice policeman seemed truly frantic as he ran up to my car and blurted out "DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU DON'T HAVE ANY HEADLIGHTS? NO HEADLIGHTS! NO TAIL-LIGHTS! NO NOTHING!"
Of course, I then yelled back "WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? WELL NO! OF COURSE I DIDN'T KNOW THAT!" and then I flicked them on and off to prove to him that they did work.

This is how the rest of the conversation went:
him: "Mrs. Russell, did you know that when you turn them on (his emphasis) one of your headlights is out?"

me: "Yes I did officer. In fact, that's probably why I did not notice that I had NO lights on. I'm accustomed to driving in the dark."

him: "Mrs. Russell. It's very dangerous to drive with only one headlight."

me: "Yes officer, I know. That's why I try to drive with my lights on bright. I can see better."

him: "Mrs. Russell, you can not go around driving in town with your lights on bright."

me: "Well, nobody usually cares, because they point straight up."

In retrospect, I'm surprised he did not pull me out and give me a breathalyzer test right there!

The kind officer called my license into his dispatcher, but discovered that I have always been a very good girl and have had no tickets in years and years.

He let me go on to work with only a warning.

Merry Christmas to me.

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