Winter in Chicago (1)
March 12, 2023 | The Hollow Man Series, International Espionage
My VW Bug
Coming of Age | The Hollow Man Series, International Espionage
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Have you ever wanted to just put down the top of your car and drive flat-out at 150 mph on the open road and forget about life until your radar detector picks up the hidden highway patrol car? Well, I have many times in Germany, where there are no police and motorcycles pass cars like they’re standing still. But this story is about my 1961 VW bug.
A squad car pulled me over during my university days. Yeah, they had alerts out on me even in those days, but this time the stop may have been legitimate. My Fifth Amendment rights said otherwise.
“Do you know how fast you were going, young lady?” The officer asked. The 60s were a rough neighborhood back then for long-haired know-it-alls.
“72,” I replied.
“You were going 79. Do you know what the speed limit is here?”
“Let me guess. This is an interstate within the city limits, so I’m guessing 55?”
“That’s correct. Here’s your ticket.” The officer dropped the paper in my lap.
“Wait, this can’t be right,” I protested.
“Tell it to the judge, your court date is in three weeks.”
Those weeks passed like an unremarkable dream, owing to a few college classes I failed to skip, some politicking, protesting, and a lot more partying. I sat in court, awaiting my case to be called. The police officer who issued my ticket had also served the gentleman currently addressing the court. The defendant had a small child with him and held another.
As he began to defend his not-guilty plea, the baby he was holding began screaming. The small child at his side also began wailing about the same time. He was trying to shush them so he could speak but the crying got worse. I noticed the man was pinching the children and wondered what he was doing.
The gavel cut through the crying with three loud bangs.
“Case dismissed. Get those kids out of here, now,” demanded the judge.
The man turned to leave. As he walked down the aisle, he smiled and I heard him mumble, “Works every time.”
I was next. The bailiff read the charge against me.
“How do you plead?”
“Not guilty, sir.”
“And what’s your excuse?” The judge asked wearily.
“Sir, according to my owner’s manual here, I have a 1961, 1200 CC rear engine VW bug. It says on page 47 the top cruising speed is 72.” I pointed. “So the car won’t go any faster. Maybe get your radar fixed?”
“Get out of here!” The gavel pounded. “Next case, Bailiff.”