Getting Pulled Over By A Cop On Foot

When I was 17 years old, I was lucky enough to have my own car, or rather, “The car temporarily assigned to you” (thanks Dad).  While big pimpin’ around my hometown in my ’97 Nissan Altima, I was often tasked with carting around my two younger sisters, which was fine with me as long as I got to feel the wind in my hair and listen to Mandy Moore as loud as I wanted (don’t judge me).  One afternoon, Sara, who was 14 at the time, and I picked up Stacey, who was 4 at the time, from preschool.  Then things got tricky.

While approaching an elementary school that had not yet let out its students for the day, I saw the crossing guard frantically waving his arms at me and motioning for me to pull over.  Not being one to challenge authority, I pulled off to the side of the road in front of the school, because crossing guard = cop = prison, which is what I was thinking at the time.

The guy walks up to my window, and we have this exchange:

“Miss, how fast were you going just now?”
“Um, the speed limit, I guess…”
“Well it looked like you were speeding, and this is a school!”
“I’m sorry sir, I-”
“Who is that sitting in the back seat?”
“My sister.”
“How would you feel if your sister back there was crossing the street after school and some IDIOT like you came speeding along and HIT her?”
“I’m sorry, I-”
“I don’t care if you’re sorry, how would you feel?!”
“I would feel very bad, sir!”
“Oooh, if I had a radar gun, I would write you a ticket so fast-”

Which is when the incredible happened.  Stacey, 4 years old, from the backseat of the car, upon hearing the word “gun”, starts yelling in her little chipmunk voice:


The crossing guard was so flustered after making a 4 year old think that she was about to get shot that he reluctantly waved us back onto the road without another word.

The three of us then made a pact never to tell my mom.  But like the time that I threw a party in the basement while my mom was asleep two floors above us, or the time that I let someone drive my car and they backed into a cement wall, or the time that I hid bottlecaps in my bathroom drawer and claimed they were to make “bottlecap art”, everything comes out eventually.

Where Are My Cajones?

If you had to rank my confrontation skills on a scale of 1-10, 1 being wetting my pants at the thought of being reprimanded, and 10 being a shitfaced cast member of Jersey Shore, I’d probably ring in at about 0.01.  It’s just one of those things that is not in my nature.  Even if I’m having a civilized conversation with someone where we are disagreeing, and I truly feel like I am right, my stomach will quiver and my voice will get shaky and I will question my entire existence on this Earth.  Both of my adult sisters have cajones of steel.  Where are my cajones?!?

Picture the scene: last night at 11:30 p.m., on the not-very-well-lit end of my street, walking Buster alone after a rain storm.  We’re moseying down the way, and I hear loud voice from the dark, un-lit driveway up ahead say, “Please don’t let your dog use the bathroom in my yard!”

For the record, Buster usually pees in our yard at the beginning of our walks.  The I take him down a couple of houses and back, so that he doesn’t think he can stay outside as long as he waits to pee at the end.  If he goes #2 in someone else’s hard, I always, always pick it up with a baggie.  Always.  Because I don’t want to be “that neighbor”.  I have to live with these people, after all.

I was so shocked to be called out so late at night by a person I couldn’t see and have never met, that all I managed to utter was a weak, “Okay…”  Then the man continued:

“It kills the grass!”

I responded with another pathetic, “Okay”, and then turned and walked back home as quickly as possible.  Upon walking back in the door, my first instinct was to cry, which was stupid, because I didn’t actually get yelled at.  But I felt very small.

After some Googling, I found that dog urine CAN kill grass, but usually only if the dog is large, an unspayed female, dehydrated, or if they pee in the same spot every time they go.  None of this applies to Buster.  But what am I supposed to do, take my findings to my neighbor and hand them over and be like, Silly neighbor man, you’re mistaken!  My dog is totes not killing your grass and maybe you should lighten up a little bit?  I get that he is protective of his grass.  I do.  But everyone in our neighborhood has a dog, even this guy.  How are we supposed to keep them from peeing on each others’ grass?  I am so nervous now.  I don’t know about your dog, but mine can be kind of an asshole, and he’s not going to listen to me if I tell him where to pee.

I am so scared.

Was my neighbor targeting me?  Was he waiting around to yell at other neighbors with dogs, too?  Do I need to teach Buster to pee in the toilet?  Do I need to fence in our front AND back yard and never take him on a walk again?  How many of hubs’s fingers should I break for not going on the walk with us, leaving me defenseless in the dark?  Does this happen in your neighborhood?  Am I just being naive?  Do I need to sell my house and buy a farm?  Do we need to switch to pee pads?  Am I going to be rejected from the HOA next year?  Please help calm my fears!  I can’t live like this.