Saving Granny From the Speed Police

Surely, this will be the car.
Surely, this will be the car.

I am a graying woman in a gray sedate sedan.

Perhaps this calm gray car will be the vehicle I need
To countermand the tendency to let my lead foot lead.

In this (unlike in other plots) I hope all goes as planned.

I am a graying woman in a gray sedate sedan.


This might just be the first ‘Ohio car’ in which I do not earn a speeding ticket.

My cars have not been what you’d call hot models. They’ve had character, though; they’ve been mostly memorable.

I acquired a 1970 Cutlass, for instance, many years after its inaugural flight. It was a blue car with patches of rust. Someone stole the driver’s side door one night; we found a nice green door at the junkyard. The rust matched, anyway.

Someone also stole the ‘Cutl’ from the metal script on the back of the car, so I was riding around in a rusty blue car with a rusty green door that read ‘ass’ on its rear end. This tickled my father to no end. When I came to visit, he would inquire politely whether I had parked my ass on the street or in the driveway.

Cars like that, and like the cute little Tempo that stalled at every stop sign and traffic light, keep one upwardly mobile and propel one to graduate school.

‘Someday,’ one thinks, ‘I will have a job that pays for a car that doesn’t stall AND has heat and a radio!’

And, see: I have that now, after driving many cars I’ve loved: an aquamarine Escort wagon, a wine-colored Pontiac Vibe; an eggplant purple Scion XB that was a great ride except for the big block to visibility on the driver’s side rearview.

None of my cars were bright red or remotely sports car-ish, but I managed, since moving to Ohio, in each of the four cars I’ve owned before now, to get myself a speeding ticket. It’s just sad, really—I’m a sucker for a sunny day, a window rolled down, and a crankable song (which could be many things, from the Grateful Dead to an Irish ballad. I am not picky about that to which I sing along badly.)

On rides like that, the boundaries seep away and the car sprouts wings and my foot presses down…and oh, the beauty and the rhapsody. I’m flying through a perfect world, singing loudly and off-key…until that ‘Oh, bleep’ moment when the flashing lights crest the hill behind me.

And it’s sad, too, that moment when the peace officer, all bustling indignation, stalks up to my window. Double take: ‘Oh, cripes!’ I can see him thinking, ‘it’s an old lady! It’s a nice old lady!’ (I swear the one young woman officer who nabbed me teared up when she gave me the ticket.)

And they always tell me they will work with me and give me the reduced novice speeder’s rate, and I promise,– and I really do mean it,– that I will slow down, stop singing so gawd-awful badly, and pay attention. And I pay the fine and drive like the timid granny that I am for six months or so, until that one day the sun breaks through the clouds and Jerry Garcia nudges me…

Well. THAT was the sordid past. I am older, slower, wiser now.

I have a sensible car.

I am in control.

No more tickets for THIS granny.

I am a graying woman in a gray sedate sedan.

2 thoughts on “Saving Granny From the Speed Police

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