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Lice To Meet You, Officer!

, , , , | Legal | December 20, 2018

(I am driving my sister home from a city approximately forty miles away. Due to bad traffic on the freeway, I’m driving us back using surface streets. I have had quite a bit of irrational anxiety about head lice recently, so I compulsively check my scalp with my fingers as I’m driving. As we are moving down a frontage road, a police car pulls up behind us, and the cop turns on his lights. My sister and I exchange glances.)

Me: “What did I do? Am I going over the speed limit?”

Sister: “No, it’s forty-five here. I’m not sure what’s up.”

(I pull my car over to the side and roll down my window for the police officer. I hand him my license and registration.)

Me: “What seems to be the problem, officer?”

Cop: “I’ll tell you the problem: You were talking on your phone.”

Me: “I don’t understand. Do you mean I was on my iPod?”

(I show him my iPod nano, which I did indeed mess with in order to get the song I wanted.)

Cop: “No, it was a cellphone. You were talking on your phone.”

Sister: “Oh, no! She wasn’t on her phone at all! We swear!”

Me: “I wasn’t. Maybe you saw my hand close to my scalp, but I wasn’t calling anyone.”

Cop: *condescendingly* “Well, then what were you doing? Picking at your ear?”

Sister: “No. She was scratching her scalp. She’s been worried about head lice.”

Me: *embarrassed* “[Sister]!”

Sister: “It’s true, though! You can even check our phone history. We haven’t called anyone in the past half hour.”

(Despite my humiliation, we hand over our cell phones for the cop to check. After he peruses them…)

Cop: “All right, I’ll let you go with a warning. You have to realize, I’ve had to pull over several people who have been talking on their phones while they’re driving. One driver was even still on the phone when I walked up to her window!”

Me: “I completely understand, officer. Thank you for doing your job!”

(And that’s how a compulsion of mine both nearly got me in trouble and saved my hide! I was initially frustrated at my sister for divulging my anxiety, but in the end, it probably saved me from getting a ticket for something I didn’t do.)

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