Maxine’s Still Got It!

It was in Arkansas, just past the crest of a hill. I saw him before he flipped on his lights, but not in time to brake much. I checked the speedometer. Eighty-five. That could mean anything. 85 is as far as the numbers go. I pulled over, feeling a little rattled. I’d really been moving back there and I knew it. God knows how much the ticket was going to be. He stood at my window, looking me over. “Afternoon ma’am. I need your license, registration, proof of insurance.” I handed him my license. “How old IS this car anyway?” he ventured. A ’93, I muttered in a small voice. The only registration I could find was from last year. My insurance card was from the last time I had re-upped it, not the time 2 weeks ago. I was becoming completely flustered. He came back from running my license, ticket book in hand, and said, “Do you know why I stopped you?” he asked. “Yeah,” I replied, “Maxine kinda got away from me.” Oh for the love of ____, I thought. I really try not to call my car by name in front of people who don’t know me. It makes then think you’re a bit nuts. Especially cops.
The hand that was about to open the ticket book paused. “What did you say?” he wanted to know. I stammered out some stuff about Maxine being what I called the car for short and how I’d had her a long time. My face was bright red and I was staring unwaveringly at my lap. The more I talked the crazier I sounded. Out of the corner of my eye I saw his lip start to twitch. “Maxine is the car’s name?” yes, I said. “But not her whole name?” A nod from me as I turned a darker shade of red. “Tell me her whole name.” Mad Maxine the Road Warrior Queen, I replied, turning a color rarely seen in nature. He put the ticket book in his pocket and said, “Just what are you and Maxine doing out here today? I can see you’re not from here.” So I did. I told him about my daughter’s surgery, and my grandkids and how hot it had been in Oklahoma that day and how good Maxine was to have come all that way. I told him about the rain I’d come through and the rain I could see across the valley there that I still had to drive through before I could stop in Little Rock and have dinner with a friend. I told him about the 5 more hour I would have to drive in the after dinner dark, through mostly vacant country.
Finally he said he’d heard enough. He told me that his radar was on the blink and he didn’t know how fast we were going but if he were forced to guess he would say at least 100. I must have looked impressed, because he then told me that my car didn’t look like it should be allowed on the road, let alone go anything like that fast. His final words to us were, “Ok Grandma, you and Maxine go on home now. SLOWER!” He was grinning when we pulled away.


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