Have you ever been in a warped universe and not sure how you managed to get there?  As you know from the previous post, I’m traveling for a friend’s wedding. 

 The flight was uneventful after the woman in my previous post.  I landed—took the shuttle to grab my rental car—carefully spread my dress bag across the back seat so as not to wrinkle my gown—tossed the luggage in the trunk and hit the highway.  I had 9 hours of desolate highway waiting for me in order to reach the scene of the wedding. 

 Since it was already late after going through the rental car’s security detail—it only took 4 hours of driving before I was bobbing my head at the wheel and decided it was time to secure a hotel for the night.

 Living in the city—It was nice waking up in quiet farm country.   After my morning run, back to the highway it was.  Still plenty of pavement to cover.

 The bride was checking in throughout my drive — my ETA was on track for lunchtime.  Everything was going perfect to plan. 

 78 miles from my destination—in a caffeine coma from my third Mountain Dew of  the day— a state trooper passed me—then slowed back down—pulled behind me and lit up like a firecracker.

 Immediately my stomach went into mush—then started to convulse—Was I speeding?  Tail light out? Wait—my cruise is on and it’s day light.  Why was I being pulled over?

 The trooper walked up —asked me to follow him back to his vehicle—in a matter of seconds I was sitting on needles in the back seat.  At that moment it hit me that I hoped he was a “real” officer as we’ve all heard of poser officers kidnapping women—wait—he had the badge—the equipment —he was a cop.

 The trooper climbed in to his front seat and said, “Ma’am you are under arrest for grand theft auto.”

 WAIT A TODDLER MINUTE!  It took my brain a second to register— then like a teenager that just found out the Jonas Brothers had entered the room, I screamed, “What! That car! I can assure you if I was going to steal a vehicle I would be smart enough to steal a much better vehicle!” 

 Apparently, the rental car company had 6 vehicles stolen the night before and had listed my vehicle plate as one of the stolen.  When the trooper came on duty earlier in the day he was briefed on the theft and given a list of stolen plates.  The first three digits of my plate resonated with him from a life experience he’d had—which when driving by my vehicle later in the day caused the plate to get his attention.  It was a perfect storm.

 I began to ask open ended questions to the trooper as my fingers curled into the metal fence between the seats.  If the vehicle was stolen—why would I have a gown draped across the backseat?  Why would I have a rental contract with my name on it?  Why would the name on the contract match all of my identification in my pocketbook?  If I was smart enough to steal a vehicle out of the Fort Knox rental facility at the airport—then wouldn’t I be smart enough to have other plates to change to?

 The trooper sat thinking and rationalizing as the tow truck pulled in front of my rental.  This was getting real now! 

 I begged him to look at the lease—my confirmation of reservation—and all of my identification.  He walked to my rental—retrieved my pocketbook and lease agreement —studied the back seat—then climbed back into the law enforcement vehicle.

 As I directed him verbally through my pocketbook—he retrieved my reservation paperwork and identification.  I sat somewhat relieved as he dialed his cell phone and asked to be transferred to my original rental location.  The trooper was a gem! 

 Within moments he was speaking to a manager, “I need to confirm a vehicle you listed as stolen—there seems to be a mistake.”  He believed me!  Yes! 

 While the trooper sat patiently on the phone—my cell phone sitting in my pocketbook rang—went to voicemail—text sounded—rang again—then another text—rang again—

 The trooper looked at me and said, “Someone must want to find you.”  I responded, “That would be the bride.”  “How do you know without looking?” was his next question.  “I know…”

 The trooper verified the vehicle was listed stolen by mistake.  Dismissed the tow truck and released me from the back seat.  As I began to walk back to my vehicle I heard him say, “You’re not going to leave me hanging are you?  Was it the bride?” 

 I looked at my phone.  Two texts—the first “where are you?”—the second “where in the hell are you?” —and a voicemail that sounded like a frantic banshee that had been caged.  With good cause as I it was now 3:00—I was detained 3 1/2 hours. 

 ”Are you sure you don’t want me to arrest you until after the weekend?” The trooper asked.  “I’m very sure.” I spoke while walking back to my vehicle. 

 My life as a criminal was short lived—Off to the wedding I drove.

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