Monday, January 04, 2010

Guess we can scratch ¨Be a law abiding citizen¨ right off that list of new year´s resolutions.

Not that I made any resolutions, much less a list of them.

So, I´ve known all year that vehicle taxes and registration are paid in December. You can even pay it online, and pick the sticker and registration up at your local branch of the bank.

Only thing is, once I got off work on the 23rd, I went into vacation and moving mode, and just completely forgot. Never crossed my mind, not even once.

I didn´t even remember when I was pulled over on my way to work this morning. There are always cops at that particular intersection, pulling random people over, and today they waved me over.

I gave the cop my license and it wasn´t until he looked at it to get my name, then asked me by name if I´d paid my registration fee, that I realized I hadn´t.

I told him no, that I´d totally forgotten, but could do it as soon as I got to work a mile down the road. He sighed and looked sorrowful, and said he was so sorry, but he had to confiscate my license plates. I asked him what I was supposed to do, and he kept turning around asking me, ¨what CAN we do?¨

Now, I was more than willing to slip him something if that would help, but I have to say I´m really not that well versed in the whole cop-bribing protocol, so I wasn´t sure how to go about it. I did toss in a, ¨what can we do?¨ of my own, and asked him, wide eyed, what options I might have.

He went off for a few minutes, I guess to let me stew about it and get real desperate, and then came back again and asked me what he should do. I asked if there was anything I COULD do and, again, what options I had and I guess he finally realized he was going to have to walk me through it, because he asked if I would give him a little something (the phrase he used is essentially, ¨would you buy me a drink,¨ but without mentioning drinks), so I asked how much was normal and of course he wasn´t going to set a limit on it.

I checked my wallet, hoping I had a ø5000 bill, because less would surely be insufficient and I didn´t really want to offer ø10,000 right off the bat. Fortunately, I did have one, and I asked him if five would do, and he said yes. So I pulled it out and he actually had to point out to me that I should slip it into his hand on the door frame, rather than passing it out the window to him.

Apparently this is truly not one of my skills.

So, that was that and I went to work and logged into my bank account and paid the silly thing, and after work went to the bank to pick up the sticker and Oh My Goodness.

You really don´t want to go to the bank on the first business day of the year.

I waited 15 minutes (in the very hot sun) to even get in the door, and another five minutes in the vestibule, waiting for my turn to go through the security door thing.

Once inside, though, I told the guard I was there to pick up my registration, and instead of sending me to the standing-up line (for the regular tellers) or the sitting-down line (for specialized services), he actually directed me to a desk at the back where there was no line at all.

So that was nice, and now I´m legal. Well, legalER.

I´m just glad that cop was working so hard at teaching me how to bribe him that he didn´t notice the license he´d been holding that whole time expired in 2007.


Saoirse in Spokane January 04, 2010 8:23 PM  

Yep, just like Tennessee. Sorry that happened.

Anonymous January 04, 2010 9:17 PM  

Ahaha! This story made me laugh. Loudly. Hope you get your license renewed, stat!

The Cunning Runt January 05, 2010 7:31 AM  

It's amazing to think that there are many places where this is just how it's done. Most times in The States, even suggesting such a thing to a cop will land one in The Big House!

Good on you for keeping your cool, and your plates. ;)

juliloquy January 07, 2010 9:10 PM  

Great story! Very suave, you.

We once bribed a Philly landfill guy (let us in after hours because the privately owned dump closed 15 minutes earlier than posted). He had a broom and said, "just go ahead and drop it, and I'll sweep it up!"

lisa January 10, 2010 1:07 AM  

You should get a Costa Rican guidebook. We were all prepared for what to do if stopped, and how to bribe the Mexican police. We knew to politely listen to the lecture, not to argue with or insult the officer (duh), to compliment the beautiful country/sites, and then at the end to mention that we were in a bit of a hurry, and would he possibly be willing to pay the fine for us, if we would just give him the money. And we knew how much was a reasonable offer. But fortunately, we were never stopped. Totally get a guide book.

p.s. You're so not a Tucker or a Moore on this one. I would be so stressed having things out of date or lapsed, or waiting to the last minute to do official paperworky kinds of things. Yet things always seem to work out for you. Must be some DNA from the milkman.

Dad January 22, 2010 8:35 AM  


WHAT milkman????

Jennifer January 22, 2010 9:08 AM  

Shhh, Lisa. You mean the secret milkman.

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