So I'm just sitting there in the dark--minding my own business and not bothering anybody--when I see this Dodge Charger blow through the stop sign just ahead of my cruiser.
I stop the car and observe that it's occupied four times...by young black females who are all shoe-horned into in their club attire, most of which appears to be two to three sizes too small. I pretty much know that I'm going to get a bunch of baby mama drama out of this one, it's just a question of how much and why.
The car has a cardboard 30-day dealer tag on the back, but this one doesn't come back to the car and resgistered owner like they're supposed to. When I ask the driver for her license and registration, she decideds that she doesn't want to give me anything until we argue about her violation for a bit. I cut her off, tell her that it's not up for discussion, and ask her again for her license, registration and proof of insurance. She digs a big envelope out of her glove box and shows me the paperwork that indicates that she purchased the car in January. Then she hands me a Xerox copy of a registration. I note that it's expired by almost a month and the tag number is different from the one on the car. For proof of insurance, she hands me a bill from an insurance company which says that a two-month policy will take effect when she writes them a check for five hundred and thirty four dollars. The date is, of course, two months ago.
I wasn't born yesterday; I know the score. She bought the car and got just enough insurance to get her drive-away dealer tag, and she drove on that tag until it expired. She doesn't have insurance and can't get her hard tags so she just bought a new and probably blank temp tag illegally from someone who works at or stole it from a dealership and now she's trying to play it off as if it's all valid and clear when I already know it isn't. She keeps flipping through her paperwork and claiming that she gave me everything I asked for. Other than her driver's license, she's given me nothing that I wanted and I let her know. She starts getting louder and more upset, and two of her girls try to chime in to back her up. I tell them that they need to sit quiet because I'm talking to the driver. Surprisingly, they actually do shut up--usually the whole crow chorus jumps in to support the star in this impromptu bit of Shaniqua Theater. (Credit to Beat and Release for this wonderful descriptor of the behavioral characteristics of this particular demographic.) But the star is far from done. She shakes, she yells, she starts to cry, then says it's my fault for getting her so upset. She wails that she's a single mother (as if I care) and she bawls that she has a "federal job" and that I'm going to make her lose it with "all of this BS."
I tell her to calm down and remind her that the whole problem is stemming from the fact that I asked for two pieces of paper that every car owner is supposed to have and that she's apparently unable to come up with either of them. She demands that I "show some common sense" and realize that she must have insurance otherwise she could not have bought the car, and she claims that the registration--the expired one with a different tag number--is somehow adequate.
Finally I ask her where she wants the car towed to. I'm tired of her and she and her car need to go, only she's not going to be driving it. I offer her the choice of a tow to her home at her expense or to the impound yard for free, however she'll have to pay to get it out of there and the fees willl add up quick. She petulantly tells me to do whatever I want and tow it wherever. She claims to have no money, and when I ask her who she can call for a ride, she insists that she doesn't know anybody at all. The others all ape onto this crap too, claiming to know no one with a car, apparently figuring that if I can't get them rides away from here, I won't impound the car. But I'm not playing that game either. First of all, I don't care if they are all genuinely broke. That's their problem, not mine. Of course considering that they're all sitting in a newly-purchased two year old car, each with fresh new hairdos and stylish club outfits complete with plenty of jewelry, I'm not buying the "poverty" pleas. If they could afford all that crap and a night out at the club, they can afford a cab. So I flag down a passing cab and suggest that the passengers either get into it and work out payment for the driver or else they'll be walking. Suddenly they find money and off they all go, leaving me with my new friend. Fortunately the tow truck shows up before the cab's even out of sight. Meanwhile, my overly-dramatic new girlfriend now sobs that she won't be able to get to work AT THE FEDERAL BUILDING in the morning and when she loses her job, it'll be all my fault. She refused to hand over the car key until I told her that if I had to ask one more time, she'd be going to jail. Then she shouted "Just give me my tickets if you're going to ticket me!" Of course I'd already written them out, so it was no trouble to hand her three--one for unregistered vehicle, one for uninsured vehicle, and one for the stop sign. She bawled and ranted and carried on like a fool until she finally figured out that I really didn't care, and then she switched it off and just stood there all casual. It was all an act, and undoubetly learned behavior; at some time in her life she realized that she could get her way by throwing her dignity away and acting like an angry child. But it didn't get her anything tonight--if anything, if made me less inclined to cut her even the slightest break. I don't care for it when people try to play me.
The grand ticket total was $275, and the tow bill and impound fees are going to be on her, too. She doesn't get the car back now until she presents a valid registration and proof of insurance at the impound yard and storage fees accrue by the day. Of course she let me know that she'll be fighting this all in court. Yeah, good luck--your car was either registered and insured on this date or else it wasn't. And the fake tag and lack of any paperwork pretty much indicates which is the deal. Court should be fun--and short. But I get paid to show up so it's all good. Bring your lies and bring your girlfriends if you want...just file for a court date and bring on the court overtime.
Oh--and bring a better tantrum and more convincing fake outrage when you get to court. The judge wasn't born yesterday either.
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