We headed to Spokane early on Saturday morning. It was about 8:00 am and we're cruising about 20 miles west of Moses Lake. Tonja was napping and I was a little bleary eyed as I sipped on coffee and listened to NPR (some story about kosher meats, I kid not). I was quickly snapped out of my zone, by the dreaded and unmistakable image of a Washington State patrol car's flashing lights coming up behind me at a rate of knots.
Through the miracle of technology, here are the series of thoughts that went through my mind over the next 12 seconds as I'm pulling the car to the side of the road.
1. Crap (I look at my speedometer, I'm doing 80)
2. I wish I had cruise control
4. Maybe he's not after me (quickly realize he's 20 feet off my bumper and there's no other car's around)
6. This looks bad. We're driving in a car with California plates that have expired.
8. I look like hell. Good thing I'm not hungover, too.
9. ----what was I doing?...oh yeah...the flashing lights in my mirror...expired plates...pull car over
10. Where are the new Washington plates, that Tonja just bought for her car, but we've yet to install. I really hope they are in the car.
11. Sweet. They are on the backseat
12. What do I do with my hands...
I come to a stop. Between the time we've pulled over and the officer has walked to the car. Tonja has woken up and pulled the license plates out of the backseat, and pulled the registration and insurance out of the glove box. Meanwhile, I inexplicably take off my seat belt and I'm debating whether I should keep both my hands in site on the wheel or not. I'd be useless in an emergency. As you can probably tell, I've never been pulled over before. This would be my first speeding ticket.
So, as it turns out, once the officer sees we're street legal, he is actually pretty nice, at least as nice as one can be as he is issuing me a $144 speeding ticket for doing 82 in a 70. And lets me know that if I don't have any other violations, I can mitigate the ticket and it shouldn't end up on my record, if I don't get another one in the next year. So, that was that. My first speeding ticket. I was wide awake at this point and we continued to Spokane.
Moral of the story. Don't zone out while driving across Washington state, on a quiet freeway, on Saturday morning in a car with expired California plates.