What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Teacher and the Ticket April 25, 2015

Hello again! This is Christopher Russell posting for Megan today. She’s not feeling well and hasn’t been for a couple of days, so I’m letting her sleep in while I take over once again.

In high school, I spent almost all of my free time with two teachers: my choir director and my theatre director. I was constantly in plays or getting ready to perform some concert either with my regular choir or with the show choir (and I wonder why my mom thought I might be gay). Anyway, some of my best memories stem from those relationships. As do some of the best stories I have. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to witness this event first hand, but I think you’ll enjoy it all the same.

My choir director, who we’ll call Mrs. E, and her daughter were driving back from a rodeo. (I grew up in Tennessee, and her family was really into everything to do with horses.) They were singing along with the radio, which was cranked up about as high as it could go, and eating ice cream. When Mrs. E came to a stop sign, she did a bit of a rolling stop, not quite coming completely to rest before pressing on the gas again.

She and her daughter continued on this way for a while until Mrs. E looked up into her rear view mirror and noticed flashing lights. She had no idea even how long she had been followed by the officer but pulled over obligingly.

The officer waddled out of his car and over to her window. She rolled it down, all the while giving her most winning smile.

“Ma’am, do you know why I pulled you over?” The officer asked.

“No, sir,” she politely replied.

“Well, you’re supposed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, ma’am.”

“I’m sorry sir, you’re absolutely correct, and I didn’t realize that I hadn’t.”

After this, the officer wrote something on a little pad of paper and then handed to Mrs. E. She took it, and all appearances of politeness washing away said, “Two-hundred dollars?! Is that your quota for the day? Can you go have your donut now?!”

I have since been pulled over five times while driving, usually for things like licence plate lights being out, but I’ve never been ticketed. Thanks for the lesson in how not to talk to a police officer, Mrs. E!


The Squabble in the Seats December 30, 2014

I’m a fairly easy going person. Okay, maybe not, but I’m usually good at ignoring people who piss me off. But we all have our limits.

Christmas Day, my husband and I went to see an evening showing of Into the Woods. I was so excited. It was a little strange when we got to the theatre and there were more than fifteen police cars parked out front. Naturally, I assumed either I was at one of the theatres that was showing The Interview, or the cops were having a nice Christmas party inside.

There was an insane line to buy tickets, filled with teenagers all arguing about what movie they wanted to see. And you had to get in a line to get to the line, but since it is a huge theatre, I figured that was normal for a holiday. My husband went in to get snacks while I waited for tickets. Some friends gave me money to buy their tickets so they wouldn’t take up more space between the clogged ropes. It was all fine… until I bought the tickets and tried to walk to my friends to give them their stubs.

Fifty kids broke through the barrier and ran for the theatre without tickets. They were charging at me, and I had no way out! I don’t do well in swarms, and I panicked. I couldn’t step to the side. There was no way out! Until my friend’s brother, who is very large and scary looking, shouted at the kids and pulled me out of the mob!

Fine. That was fine. We survived, and when we got to our theatre, it was only half full… of rude, talking teenagers. Some of the other folks of the grownup persuasion intermittently shouted at the teens to be quiet. The teens cursed back. And then a police officer in full uniform came in and stood at the front of the theatre, glaring at the children. They quieted down for a minute, and I thought that would be the end of it.

Then the cop left, and the stupid kids got worse than ever. (more…)


Grandmom’s Cooking November 22, 2014

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I never liked my step-grandmother. And she never liked me, so at least we had a healthy understanding of our mutual dislike. She was never maternal to anyone in my family. There was never a warm sweater, good meal, or any idea that she would ever be the matriarch once my great-grandmother passed away. I feel like my entire relationship with her can be summed up with the story of one fateful Thanksgiving. (more…)