We made the trip for cookie ingredients. To be more specific, we wanted to make gingerbread cookies. We were on our way back from Kroger. Mandy was driving safely at the speed limit. What she wasn’t doing was wearing her seat belt. She never does. Every time I go in the car anywhere with her, she tells me I shouldn’t wear mine either. She says seatbelts are useless and that people can be hurt by them. She is silly, but I still like her.
Suddenly, Mandy grabbed at the seatbelt, which was buckled behind her, and pulled it across her chest. She hissed, “We’re gonna be pulled over! I know it, ‘cause that cop just pulled up close behind me and now he’s backing off.” Once again, I was thrown by her logic, but I looked in the rear view mirror and a second later the cop car’s lights brightened and started to spin. Mandy pulled the car to the side of the road and we waited.
“How are you girls doing tonight?” He seemed friendly enough, but I had no idea why he had pulled us over. Mandy’s answer was a nervous mumble. I couldn’t believe she was so nervous – we weren’t doing anything wrong.
“Where are you headed tonight?”
“Home”, Mandy answered. “We just left Kroger’s.”
“And what exactly were you making this trip for?” He still wasn’t going to mention what we did wrong? I was now very confused.
“We’re going to make gingerbread cookies?” Mandy’s answer was more like a question than a statement.
“Do you know that your plate light is out?” Finally, that’s what this was about. It seemed just like something that would happen, because Mandy didn’t pay much attention to her car.
Mandy apologetically assured him that she had no idea. He asked for our licenses. She presented hers, but unfortunately, I had left mine at home. He told me he could run mine if I knew my social security number. So I told it to him and he disappeared for a few moments. During this interval I made fun of Mandy’s nervous behavior. Even now that she knew it was nothing serious, she was a nervous wreck. She told me she can’t help it because she doesn’t like cops. I don’t understand why because she’s never got into any trouble with the law.
Finally, the cop returned. He handed Mandy her license and looked straight at me with a very serious expression on his face.
“Are you aware of any outstanding warrants for your arrest?”
“No?” Hadn’t he just looked up my record? I was pretty confused by the question. My answer seemed to satisfy him, because he let us off with a warning.
We drove away, and I was certainly glad the ordeal was over. I turned to Mandy and expressed my relief. She looked over at me with a funny expression on her face.
“It was just our plate light?” she said. “What a jerk to pull us over for that. I’ve known it didn’t work for nearly a year. Why does it even matter?”
I couldn’t help but laugh. Mandy was mad at the cop because she failed to fix the light for a year? It was just another classic case of Mandy’s quirky flaws. But that’s okay, because it’s the crazy things she does that makes her my best friend.