When I was growing up, I had a piece of my ear bitten off by a black, German Shepherd that went by the name “PANTHER”. Now, although that should have been my first clue that perhaps this dog wasn’t all about licks and giggles, in my defense, I was four years old at the time and hadn’t quite mastered the ability to pick up on the “nuance” behind one’s name.
Somehow after years of being literally terrified that my neighbor’s Golden Retriever would one day drop the “nice act” and proceed to chew me to bits, I found myself working as an adoption counselor at a dog and cat rescue
I literally went from freezing in place just watching the D.A. turn into Shaggy to stuffing antibiotics down the throat of a PITBULL. The problem with this gig was that I was also required to find homes for all the cats and kittens we had and as much as I’d become incredibly comfortable around dogs, cats never really
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After 12 years of rolling through stop signs and believing speed limits were for p**ssies driving in Los Angeles, I was finally pulled over. From the get go, I knew things weren’t looking good for me when I asked the officer;
JESSICA: So what did I do wrong?
and he replied:
OFFICER: Where would you like me to begin?
Apparently, I had failed to make a complete stop and I was speeding. Apparently, HE failed to understand that I was late for Physical Therapy, can’t get a second date to save my life and was therefore exempt from having to observe all forms of traffic law.
I had pulled my car over and parked it a few feet from a four way stop. Par for the course, the policeman asked me for my license. Now normally, if you live in Los Angeles and think you would look and feel better without a bullet hole in your head, it is highly recommended that you stay in your car and wait until the nice policeman says you can leave. In that moment, however, I forgot this particular rule of the road and although I am very much aware that once a cop puts a pen to his ticketpad, there ain’t nothing you can say to stop him, I felt like I had to at least try. I decided to go with the “poor me” route first and so, the next thing I know, I got out of my car, looked over the hood and asked him:
JESSICA: Hey, can I get the single mom discount?
to which the officer shook his head no and to which then lead me to try the Mother Theresa path.
JESSICA: You know I volunteer all my free time at the ER over at blah blah hospital. Do you ever bring anyone over there cause you look so familiar?
to which the officer again shook his head.
At this point, he proceeded to wave me over. It was pretty clear the guy didn’t feel remotely threatened by me and why would he? I’m a woman, he’s a man. I drive with a car seat in the back, cheese stick wrappers everywhere and a long overdue library book called, “Donny, the Library Mouse” lying in the footwell next to a target bag filled with items such as tampons and princess stickers. He has a gun.
As I approached the officer, he was looking at my license and writing down the information. As soon as I got near enough he said to me:
OFFICER: Wow, you don’t look your age at all.
I responded, feeling good about myself for the first time in a DECADE.
OFFICER: No. You look older.
At this point I was standing right next to him and reflexively proceeded to punch him in the arm. Yep, that’s right I punched a cop, while at the same time telling him:
JESSICA: (slightly giggling) Shut up. Oh my God, you’re such a jerk.
Right at that moment, I could see the other drivers slooowly passing us by so they could watch him push me face first into the pavement and cuff me but mercifully, he let me live and in fact started to laugh. We then went on to talk about our plans for the holidays, his recent visit to Montreal and the fact that my parents grew up there. You know, just your normal, everyday chit chat between a traffic cop and his “prisoner”. At one point, because I’m an idiot and to take his mind off the fact that I just assaulted a police officer, I asked him what “district” he was with. He then proceeded to point to the GIANT “Beverly Hills Police” patch on his arm which lay in plain site and just to drive the point home continued by pointing to the front of his motorcycle where there laid a giant insignia which also read “Beverly Hills Police Dept.”
JESSICA: You’re not going to write me up for being a moron are you?
to which he responded:
OFFICER: What do you think this one is for?
Finally, he was done and handed me the ticket. Now, I know that at this point most people are inclined to take it and drive off without saying a word but I, of course, above all else, want everyone to like me and thus proceeded to shake the officer’s hand and tell him:
JESSICA: Thank you so much. It really was a such a pleasure to meet you.
As I drove away, thinking about what I’d just said, I was actually proud that at least I didn’t finish it off with a “call me”.
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