13 minutes late, but still lucky (3/12 - 3/13/09 Daily Flash entry)
The spotlight's brilliant beam, reflected almost directly into my eyes by the rearview mirror, almost washed out the blue and red lights chasing each other across the fences on either side of the street. I retrieved the registration and insurance forms from the glove compartment and waited. I hoped I wouldn't have to wait too long, as a quick check of my watch showed I was already thirteen minutes late for work. On Friday the thirteenth. Naturally. I also hoped the patrolman would let me go with a warning. If he decided to cite me, it would be my third one this year, something my insurance company would view with disfavor.
Finally, the officer approached my window. I rolled it down and extended the forms and my license. The officer - Alcon, according to his nameplate - checked everything, then asked the usual question: "Do you know why I pulled you over, sir?"
"No, I don't, actually," I replied. "I'm pretty sure I wasn't speeding, and I know I came to a full stop at that last stop sign."
"I pulled you over," he said, "because the registration decal is missing from your rear license plate. Come see." He stepped back from the door, and I got out and accompanied him to the rear. Sure enough, the luminescent green square of this year's validation sticker was gone.
As I started to protest, his radio squawked something about a pursuit. Moments later, a sports car flew past, a patrol car right behind. As Officer Alcon hustled back to his car, he called out, "Get that sticker replaced, sir!" A screech of rubber on asphalt, and he was gone.
I stayed below the limit all the way to work; no point being as late as that other guy was going to be.