Blue Sirens and Me!
A police officer patient of mine, Peter Moore, once told me he never gave speeding tickets to two groups of people: doctors and ministers. He explained: “If I’m in the emergency room, writhing in pain from a kidney stone, I sure don’t want the doctor glaring at me and saying, 'Wait! Weren’t you that cop that slapped me with a speeding ticket on I-24 last week?’ He’d probably refuse to give me anything stronger than aspirin for my pain."
I chuckled. “Worse yet, what if a surgeon was about to buzz-saw into your chest to by-pass a clogged artery when he suddenly recognized you as the officer who cited him with a “reckless driving” ticket after he’d accidentally gone the wrong way on a one-way street.”
“Exactly!” Pete agreed.
Okay, giving doctors a break, I could understand. But ministers?
Pete explained: “When I get upstairs and have to face St. Peter at them pearly gates, I sure don’t want to find out Pastor Wilson told him I’d slapped him with a speeding ticket when he was rushing to comfort a grieving parishioner who’d just lost her son in Afghanistan.”
“You don’t want to risk being out of St. Peter’s graces, huh?”
“You got that right!” He grinned. “I’ve got enough on my ‘bad boy’ rap sheet without every minister in Nashville ratting on me.”
I laughed. “Hey, it goes both ways, you know. I wouldn’t want every dead cop who has ever given me a speeding ticket ratting to the Great ‘I Am’ about me, either! That’s why I’m relying on the blood of Christ to get me through the door!”
He eyed me up and down. “You don’t look like the type to drive with a lead foot. How many tickets have you gotten?”
I averted my eyes. “Oh, a few over the years," I said evasively. Remembering one decidedly unfair ticket, I crossed my arms and snapped, “And not all of them were fair!”
He rolled his eyes. “Right! Every driver I pull over says that.”
“I’m serious! One night, I was paged about a hospital patient who had gone into cardiac arrest. The house staff had initiated CPR, but they needed me to rush in and talk to the family, and take over the case, since he was my patient.”
“What happened?” Peter inquired.
“As I was speeding toward the hospital, a cop pulled me over. I tried to tell him I was rushing to a cardiac arrest and therefore had a legitimate excuse for speeding.”
“Did he buy it?”
I scowled. "I wish! Instead, he snapped, ‘Right, lady! And I’m heading to a house fire.’ He dripped with so much sarcasm, I could have put out a house fire.”
“Truth be told, you don’t look like your stereotypical doctor,” Peter commented.
“And that’s a legitimate reason to fiddle around with my license and registration for twice as long as normal?” I shook my head in disgust. “My poor patient was practically in rigor mortis by the time Mr. Jerk Cop finished issuing that ticket.”
Peter's lips thinned. “He’s the kind that gives all of us cops a bad name.”
I grinned. “Hey! Trust me, I got my revenge. After he handed me the speeding ticket, I told him if he ever went into cardiac arrest, I’d be sure to drive nice and slow, and I'd be sure and stay well below the speed limit at all times."
Peter wagged a scolding finger in my face. “That wasn’t nice.”
I snickered. “You should have seen his eyes bulge when I said that! Until then, I don’t think he even believed I was a doctor.”
“Cops aren’t all jerks, you know,” he said, arms crossed defensively.
“That sure hasn’t been my experience." I then politely added, “Other than you, of course!”
“Of course!" His eyes narrowed. "What other bad experiences have you had?”
“I was driving to the hospital at six in the morning to round on a guy with an ischemic leg. He was set up for re-vascularization surgery later that morning.”
“As I was zipping toward the hospital, I was greeted with a loud blue siren. I pulled over and told the cop, ‘Officer, I’m speeding because I’ve got a patient in the hospital with a cold and pulseless foot.”
“What’d he say?”
I rolled my eyes. “He said, ‘Lady, if you don’t slow down, you’re going to be cold and pulseless, too.'”
Peter roared with laughter. "That was a good come back!"
I glared at him. “That ticket cost me a hundred bucks.”
His eyes narrowed. “So tell me, since the patient was already scheduled for surgery anyway, would the five or ten minutes you gained by speeding honestly made any difference?”
I smirked. “Not a bit! But it sounded like a good excuse to me!”
He hung his head in his hands and ran his fingers through his hair. “The excuses I’ve heard over the years…I could write a book!”
“So tell me, Pete, what’s an excuse that never fails?”
He scratched his chin then offered, “A woman nine months pregnant panting and grabbing her belly and insisting she is in labor.”
Hmm… Maybe from now on, I should drive with a pillow stuffed at my belly and a maternity top to cover it up! This could save me a bundle. And I don't mean a baby bundle!