Thursday, January 27, 2011

So, last night I was driving home from a lesson and I got stopped by the police. Not THE police, just one guy who happened to be standing in the middle of the road I happened to be driving on who happened to notice that my lights weren't on. Lucky for me, I DID see the man in the middle of the road, despite my lack of light.

I must interject here that I know this cop. Well, I don't KNOW him but I've seen him around a lot. He closes off the road in front of the elementary school at pick up time at the close of the school day. One day I was there to collect a little friend of mine and I saw him at work. A young woman on a vespa had the gall to drive right through the blockade for the school pick up, ignoring all warnings that the road was closed to motor traffic. This diligent arm of the law went running after her screaming "THIS (the blockade)! THIS! THIS IS NOT AN OPINION!!!!!" Dude really does his job and takes the rules seriously. You gotta respect that.

"Turn your lights on", the Policeman shouted at me.

I politely responded to this man who takes the law (like driving in the dark with lights) seriously, "They are on.".

"No they aren't," he shouted back. "Pull over!".

The policeman had me check the lights, and damn if he wasn't right. No lights.

Funny thing is that the lights icon on my dashboard told me that my brights were on (I love Fiats). A funnier thing is that I believed the dashboard and not the reality of my total lack of vision in front of my car.

Luckily I was about a half of a block from my mechanic's shop.

"I'll go directly to my mechanic now."

"Not in the car you won't."

"But it's just around the corner."

"Nope. Too dangerous."

So I walked the half of a block, after parking my car illegally and saying a little prayer of hope to the car-god that my mechanic would still be in his shop at 6.30.

Let's all say a prayer of thanks to the god-of-long-lunches who gives mechanics working hours in the evenings.

"Ciao Domenico!"

"Where's your car? What's happened?" I guess people don't usually WALK to the mechanic shop.

"The police stopped me because my lights don't work."

"Where's your car?"

"Parked illegally in front of the Post Office."

"The post office? The one that is a half of a block away? Why didn't you just bring it straight here?"

"yeah. The cop wouldn't let me."

"oh, ^$&*^%^&*! Let's go."

Walking to my car Domenico the mechanic said, "so, where've you been? Did you go to America?"

"yeah. I did. 3 weeks!"

"&&%^%^! No! I was just kidding!"

In two seconds we were at the car, where we then stood outside of the car for about 15 minutes while I heard about Domenico's visit to the States several years ago...which I've heard about just about every time I've been to his shop in the past 4 years (which has been often. I love Fiats). Domenico drove from coast to coast. In case you were wondering, his favorite place was Las Vegas and he lost 10 pounds during that trip.

We drove to the shop, with the flashers on, and on the way we saw the cop -- who we promptly saluted with hand gestures hidden in the car that said "$^&%%&". Once at the shop, Domenico promptly changed both bulbs and then discovered that I'm actually American and not English. Which, by the way, he's known since my first visit to see him.

"*%%&*&&%! I thought you were English!"

Playing along, I said, "$&*&^*! I'm not ENGLISH! I'm american!"

This might explain his surprise that I had actually been in the States when he jokingly asked me.

So I gave him a few euro and went on my merry way to pick up some pastaccini and David for the dinner we had been invited to at Augusto and Lina's.

I told them my story.

"Was it the police with the light hair and the red face?", they asked me.


"Ah. Well..."

Apparently that explained everything.

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