First, let me say, I am not making this up. This really happened. Hand to God.
After leaving Second Job I Do for Sanity Purposes, I was not exactly a Happy Camper. My feet were tired, I was schlepping some big grocery bags, and I had a mile-ish walk ahead of me. As I was resigning myself to another twenty minutes of misery before I made it back to Chez Apartment, I saw a cab. Clearly it was a sign from God that I was supposed to Get My Lazy On, so I hailed it.
The cabbie had me about a tenth of the way home when some blue flashing lights started reflecting from the mirrors. He glanced in his rear view, peeked at me, and said, “What this mean?” I replied, “It means pull over. The police want to talk to you.” The driver replied, “I am not from this country.” His voice held no evidence of panic or confusion or anything. Totally monotone. I wasn’t sure if he was trying to tell me he didn’t grasp basics of The Police Pull Over and I should explain, or if he was lacking important documents, like say, a Green Card, or what. So I decided to play it safe and just sat there. He kept driving for another half block until he once again looked over his shoulder at me and then eyed the mirror. At this point, I realized his face was not reflecting Good Things. Just as I was about to whip out Lawyer Voice and tell him to pull the damn cab over, he hit the gas.
A block later: cue the siren.
Yep, my cabbie was trying to engage in a high speed chase down Wilson Boulevard in Arlington. Ain’t that precious?
I sat there for a moment, totally stunned and not believing this was my life. I kept wondering why there were no seatbelts, if this made me a hostage, and if so, was Little Sister prepared to identify my body after the brutal police shoot out that was sure to ensue? Plus, I was really upset that I was about to die wearing Crocs. I mean, if I was going to go out in Hot Pink Gnome Shoes, that totally would throw the concept of Universal Justice out the window. Oh, and then I started to bargain with God.
When we reached the point on Wilson where it sort of snakes to the left directly before Il Radicchio, one of my grocery bags slid across the back seat, spilled, and I realized I really did not want to die in plastic footwear. The thought was enough to bring out my alter-ego, Panicked Girl. I started screaming at the driver that he had to pull over because Angry Police are not the same as Fun Police. Hadn’t he seen COPS? It’s Iconic Television. And from the depths of memory, I started spouting the definition of kidnapping. My Torts Professor would have been proud. As the driver continued pushing 65 (which is Major High Speed on Wilson), I was desperate. So I pulled out the big guns. I told him that if he didn’t stop immediately, I wasn’t going to tip him. Apparently, “tip” is the magic word.
He pulled over.
Very Angry Policeman approached the car, gun drawn. Yeah, gun. I sat there, hands up, about to pee my law-abiding pants. No way I wanted to get shot. The Officer yelled for us to step out of the car, which I was happy to do. Except my door was locked. I yelled back that I would happily step out of the car but there was a small hitch, that I was stuck thanks to safety locks and I was just the innocent passenger. I further explained that I was totally in favor of pulling over and obeying important things like The Law and I thought the cab driver was Nutso. From that point on, things go blurry in my memory. I am told this was due to Shock.
I remember the cabbie being pulled out of the car and patted down. I remember two more cruisers arriving and a Nice Police Person letting me out of the car. At some point, somebody gathered my groceries (except my eggs and grapes, which never made it back into my bag) and gave them to me. There was the part where I told them what happened and gave them my phone number. And then I walked home. Which, I now realize, I should have done in the first place.
Oh, and my bargain with God? No more Crocs.