The bus is heavy and slow. When Pat pulls over to let cars pass we make a game of counting the line of cars that have been held up behind us, our record is 33. After 8 months of driving, we got pulled over for speeding right before the north entrance to Yellowstone in the little town called Gardener. We heard the sirens and questioned “No! Is that for us?!” and Pat pulled over to the gas station.
I think, “Oh man, this could be awhile, I’m gonna go pee in the gas station.” Mum bladder. Sarah, my sister, comes too.
While I’m squatting over the toilet not letting my legs touch the bowl, the cop is freaking out at Pat for me and Sarah leaving the bus. We could be going to get our guns to shoot him. So as we come out Pat is mouthing at us to “Go away” and jerking his arms and straining his face.
Meanwhile the only situation I see as murderous is my level of undercaffeination. Pat’s taking awhile, we go back to the bus and the kids say he’s paying the fine online. I scrounge for some change, because in the states you can get coffee for 29cents, and we head back to the gas station for coffee. Molly my youngest, comes with.
The cop starts screaming at Pat.
“Everyone! Remain! In the vehicle! You’re putting my life in danger!”
But Sarah and I are already inside getting coffee and bemoaning the carcinogenic creamer options.
The cop thinks I am deadly. He thinks I could have a handgun concealed in my yoga tights (they do have pretty badass wolves on them). These hips are dangerous! So anyway, this cop thinks that, between me holding my 4 year old and drinking my coffee I’m going to, you know, gun him down for giving us a $20 ticket.
We get back in the bus, and Pat is strung out from dealing with this cop and two blasé kiwi girls.
“God babe, you are NOT in New Zealand any more!”
“Yeah, yeah. Coffee anyone?”
We’ve kept Shelby’s one and only speeding ticket. Its proof that she can go 35 miles an hour. Also, I understand US cops get shot while giving speeding tickets and the cop was really only following the protocol put in place to keep him safe. (Goddammit Pat made me add that.)
Sarah and I were so casual in this situation because we are from a country where people don’t carry guns and cops don’t carry guns. A country where strangers generally aren’t afraid of each other. Where you don’t need to win people over, they simply trust you. Officer, I may pin you into a corner talking about homeschooling, but I’m not dangerous. So calm your farm.