Sunday, June 7, 2009

Audio Books Should Come With Warning Labels

So I'm driving home at midnight last night in my beat-up, 10-yr-old, reeking of boy-dog Mom-mobile (154k)and listening to Outlander on my iPod.

WARNING: Don't read any futher unless you know the story!

Claire and Geillis are trapped in "the Hole," a pitch black, mud-and-vermin filled pit reserved for "criminals" like themselves: accused witches. Geillie's discussing how she diverted 10,000 pounds from her now-dead husband for the Jacobean cause, how she meticulously planned his slow, painful murder and considered murdering her lover's wife, and how a sixteen-year-old girl (who's in love with Claire's husband Jamie) tricked Claire into coming to the village which is how Claire ended up here (though everyone believes she's a witch anyway)...and Claire's pretty much freaking out at this point, trapped in a filthy, wormy, literally c-r-a-p-p-y pit with a narcissistic psychopath, fully aware of the fact she will, at best, be tortured, or at worst be burned at the stake...

Blue and red lights spin behind me. Headlight flash.



I know, I know. Now normally I'm a very careful driver...say, oh, 96% of the time. Last night I landed in the other 4%.

I rip my earbuds out and ease my car onto the shoulder. I'm I-71 in Cleveland, Ohio, in a notorious speed trap. If nothing else I deserve a ticket for STUPIDITY. And any other night I would've had my cruise control on.

I rip out my license, eyeballing the radar detector dangling from my visor. Unplugged. I almostnever use it because as I said I'm a Very Careful Driver Except For Four Percent Of The Time. Are these things legal in Ohio? I bought it in Ohio. Now it's too late to discreetly ditch it. The cop fast approaches from behind.

Crap, crap, crap.

"How ya doing?" Cute Young Cop asks genially.

I think: Cops like nurses. Every nurse I know gets out of tickets simply by saying they're a nurse. NOT that this ever worked for me 4% of the time.

"Fine, thanks. Except for a really bad shift tonight."

"Where do you work?" I tell him. "Just let me check your license."

I hand it over, thinking: OhpleasepleasepleasedoNOTgivemeaticketIbegofyourpleasepleasepleeeease! I gotta pay for a neutering in two weeks. Maybe I can bribe him with my, no, wait--not in the middle of the Hole scene!

Cute Young Cop disappears, returns, hands my license back. "Slow it down, okay? I clocked you at seventy-four."

No damn way. "Seventy-four???" No damn way.

Yes, damn way. Anyway, he tells me to have a good night and strolls back to his car.

I sit there in shock. I have NEVER gotten out of a ticket before! I could kiss the dude. Or at least pinch his cheek and buy him an ice cream cone.

I plug the earbuds back in and zoom, er, crawl off the shoulder and head for home at a tepid 55 mph.

...aso then Geillie confesses she's knocked up with Dougal Mackenzie's illegitimate child (which is why she's REALLY in the Hole with Claire) and presses Claire's hand to her stomach to prove it, and then they're dragged from the Hole and forced into court where Claire is accused of casting spells and killing a baby and causing sickness, and all she can think of is Jamie, Jamie, Jamie...

Yes, I made it home in one piece.

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