Yesterday I picked up the boys from school and as we inched our way home through traffic a police car went screaming by in the other direction, lights flashing.

“AN AMBULANCE!” Dylan cried joyously, and Riley withered him with a glance.

“No, DYLAN, it’s a—”


After we got Dylan squared away on his grasp of siren-producing vehicles, we all proceeded to have a nice long conversation about police. The entire way way home, I answered question after question as Riley hammered me, 5-year-old-Geraldo-style.

“The police are for bad guys, right?”

“Well, they catch bad guys, yes. But they also help good guys.”

“What do they to do you if you’re bad?”

“Um, well, sometimes they take you to jail. Or sometimes they just pull you over, like if you’re going too fast.”

“What they do then?”

“They write you a ticket.”

“And then you have to give them all your money, right?”

“Well, not all your money. You have to pay a fine.”

“What’s the fine for?”

“Okay, you know how when you get in trouble sometimes Mommy or Daddy sends you to your room? And you don’t like that?”


“A fine is like being sent to your room. They do it so hopefully you think about what you did wrong and you don’t do it again.”

“So then you don’t drive fast any more?”

“Right. Well, in theory, anyway.”

We chatted about jail and bad guys and traffic fines the entire way home, and just as I had turned onto 16th street and was 30 seconds from my house I saw an odd sight in the road in front of me. A guy was stepping out into the road and . . . pointing something at me? And he had a helmet on? And—

It was a cop. With a radar gun.

So we got to wrap up our nice lesson about police and traffic safety with Mommy getting a goddamned cocksucking speeding ticket.

While I sat there on the side of the road mumbling and slapping my forehead and thinking about fines and insurance premiums, the kids were going bugshit in the backseat. “A COPPICEMAN!” Dylan howled with pure glee. “AN’ HE HAS A MOTORCYCLE!”

Riley leaned forward and said, “Now you’re going to have to give him all your money, Mom! Shouldn’t have been driving too fast, right? Riiiiiight? Are you thinking about what you did wrong?”

Later, the kids ran wild in the living room “arresting” each other with their brand-new police stickers, handed over by Mr. Fucking Radar Gun himself.

Lesson learned: next time, spend drive home discussing, with great detail, how the lottery works.



68 Responses to “Interactive education”

  1. Junni on July 30th, 2010 11:35 am

    This is so beautiful.

    I’m sorry you got a speeding ticket, but my god that story just made my day so much funnier.

  2. wm on July 30th, 2010 11:36 am

    Too funny!

  3. Erin on July 30th, 2010 11:36 am

    Well, shit. If it wasn’t so funny it would just be sad.

  4. js on July 30th, 2010 11:36 am

    Oh God, I’m DYING! I realize it’s a shitty thing that happened, but I can’t stop laughing!

  5. Vicki on July 30th, 2010 11:44 am

    OK, so I never comment, but this made me laugh out loud. Sorry you got a ticket.

  6. Bobbie on July 30th, 2010 11:47 am

    Another hilarious (if expensive) story to share with the girls–Man, they must love to see you coming!

  7. warcrygirl on July 30th, 2010 11:47 am

    I tempted to laugh but I know if I do I’ll be the next one getting a ticket and I have lots of driving to do tomorrow. Next time the kids misbehave write them a “ticket” and see how THEY like it. ;)

  8. Christina on July 30th, 2010 11:48 am

    I would have said ‘Quick kids Mommy’s going to teach you about HOW TO GET OUT OF A TICKET. Start screaming and crying and freaking out. I will be up here all red faced and I am going to start crying too. THIS IS HOW YOU GET OUT OF A TICKET! And go.’ I kid… maybe.

    Dude, sorry bummer about the ticket.

  9. Erin on July 30th, 2010 11:53 am

    I just hooted out loud. I am so sorry, but holy smacks is this funny.

    Can’t wait to see you!!!

  10. Felicia on July 30th, 2010 11:53 am

    I cannot even believe the irony. But you definitely made me smile today, so thanks.

  11. Camels & Chocolate on July 30th, 2010 11:53 am

    WoW. Moral of this story? Irony’s a bitch. So are coppicemen.

  12. Pete on July 30th, 2010 11:57 am

    I’ve been teaching my 15 year old how to drive and giving him pointer. While working on my wife’s condo we were making our 4th trip to Home Depot for the day. As I was pulling out of the parking spot I turned to sharp, to early and ran a pipe through the fibreglass flare over my dually wheels ($900 damage). I turn to my son and said “Remember when I said to always pay attention when you are driving? Well this is what happens when you don’t”

    My favorite Demotivator poster shows a picture of a sunked ship with the Caption…
    “It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.”
    sometimes I feel that is my life with kids.

  13. Erica on July 30th, 2010 12:03 pm

    I’m sitting here at my desk with a mouth full of coffee, laughing, making a “hoop hoop” sound to try to not spit or drool it on my keyboard. So utterly funny. I’m sorry to laugh at your misfortune! :D

  14. Katie on July 30th, 2010 12:09 pm

    Oh, crap. I’ve been had by the radar-gun-in-the-road trick too. It took me forever to realize what was happening. Makes for a good story though!

  15. Victoria on July 30th, 2010 12:16 pm

    Sorry about the ticket, but cutest story EVER!

  16. MRW on July 30th, 2010 12:21 pm

    Well crap, I’ve talked to my kids about how the lottery works a number of times and yet still no winnings. Sucks.

  17. Donna on July 30th, 2010 12:21 pm

    “Are you thinking about what you did wrong?”


    Kids, you gotta love em.

  18. Renee on July 30th, 2010 12:22 pm

    omg that is toooooo funny. Sorry about the ticket!!

  19. C @ Kid Things on July 30th, 2010 12:27 pm

    That’s awesome. Well, I’m sure the ticket sucks. But the timing, that’s awesome.

  20. Tony on July 30th, 2010 12:31 pm

    Unrelated question. How much did you charge JB for the Vioguard ad? :)

  21. Maria on July 30th, 2010 12:33 pm

    Dude. That’s just a heaping vat o’ suckage right there. Funny suckage, but suckage none the less.

  22. Allison on July 30th, 2010 12:34 pm

    Oh, this has me laughing! Sorry about the ticket, but at least you have a good story, right?

  23. Gina on July 30th, 2010 12:35 pm

    I’m sorry you got a ticket and all, but that shit is FUNNY.

  24. Megs on July 30th, 2010 12:36 pm

    Ughhhh, that SUCKS! Irony at its finest.

  25. Jen on July 30th, 2010 12:49 pm

    Man, that stinks. I work in Bellevue, and I’ve noticed cops everywhere with their radar guns a-blazing — on Bellevue Way, on-ramps to 520. It’s so weird to see them standing outside their vehicles, too, just pointing at people to pull over. What a power trip that must be. “YOU! Get over here.”

  26. Amy on July 30th, 2010 12:59 pm

    I just had to comment because I was driving with my almost 5 year old daughter yesterday and she was literally asking almost the same exact questions about the police, bad guys etc. She was especially intrigued about what things are against the law and what type of punishments people get when they break it. In the midst of this discussion, I went the wrong way and had to an illegal turn around and made a comment about how mommy was breaking the law which of course then spurred even more questions! Luckily for me though, I didn’t officially get busted! Sorry for your luck, but thank you for making me laugh!

  27. karion on July 30th, 2010 1:07 pm

    For what it is worth – I haven’t received a ticket in like 10 years, but have received TWO in the past six months.

    Something is going on in Washington – it seems that traffic cops are everywhere. Both tickets were on the freeway, going about 10 miles over the speed limit. Yes, I realize I am speeding if I am going 10 over the speed limit, but for 20 some odd years of driving, that was NEVER a problem.

  28. kelby on July 30th, 2010 1:09 pm

    when i was 15, my father was lecturing me about speeding in a 25 mph zone and promptly got a ticket. he just looked at me and said, “don’t say anything and don’t tell your mother.” we still laugh about it. someday you will too…

  29. Trina on July 30th, 2010 1:22 pm

    The Bellevue Police don’t mess around when it comes to traffic violations. My husband works in Bellevue and has been pulled over for having a tail light out, having a broken tail light, not having a front plate on his car (they actually were going to write him a ticket for it and he said I will have my wife bring the plate out and I will put it on my car today. They gave me 3 hours to get out there with the plate and they came back to his work and checked to make sure it was on.) Now, even worse is my friends parents live in Hunts Point and the husband went to pick up the kid from the grandparents house and he got pulled over for not having a nice enough car to be driving in that neighborhood at that time of night.

  30. Cara on July 30th, 2010 1:30 pm

    I know it wasn’t funny to you, but Lord I’m laughing so loud I startled the baby.

  31. Chloe on July 30th, 2010 1:32 pm

    At least he was nice enough to give your kids sticker!

    I am a goddamn cocksucking optimist, yo.

  32. serror on July 30th, 2010 1:34 pm

    The Bellevue PD are only surpassed in traffic traffic stop ridiculousness by the Mercer Island PD who once pulled me over for going 27 in a 25 zone. I kid you not.

    But awesome story! Sorry about your ticket, but it seemed to make the kids night!

  33. penne on July 30th, 2010 1:38 pm

    Raised insurance premiums and a fine, but hey! Free Stickers!!!

  34. kristylynne on July 30th, 2010 1:49 pm

    OMG, that may be the funniest post you’ve ever written! Our kid got a huge kick out of it when Daddy got a ticket one time, too. I didn’t. :-)

  35. Judy on July 30th, 2010 2:11 pm

    I laughed my butt off at your tweet about this yesterday (and replied, telling you what awesome parenting it is to educate your children about our fine men in whatever color AND arrange for a demonstration. Today I’m laughing even harder. I know it’s not funny, but my god, you tell it that way.

  36. ElizabethZ on July 30th, 2010 2:19 pm

    What a great story – Riley’s comment asking if you were “thinking about what you had done” is priceless. LMAO.

    Sorry about the ticket tho’ – that sucks.

  37. Pam on July 30th, 2010 2:58 pm

    ROFL!! I may have peed my pants a little, sorry…

    My 4yo daughter unbuckled her car seat to stick her head out the window to ask the officer who stopped me if “Mommy was going to jail”. I think she was secretly hoping I would.

  38. Amy on July 30th, 2010 3:04 pm

    That is seriously the best story I’ve heard in a long time. At least shitty life events make for great blog fodder.

  39. Kristy on July 30th, 2010 3:47 pm

    Sorry about your ticket. That COPPICEMAN sucks! Now go serve your time out. :-)

  40. telegirl on July 30th, 2010 3:54 pm

    I know I shouldn’t be laughing but. That. Was. Hilarious!

  41. Dana on July 30th, 2010 4:10 pm

    Didn’t see that part of the story coming — and haven’t laughed that hard in a long, long time!

  42. Laura on July 30th, 2010 4:10 pm

    Awesomeness! I imagine that with your boys going crazy with happiness in the car, you made that cop’s day. Maybe he needed a good day, you never know.

  43. Dawna on July 30th, 2010 4:46 pm

    The cops on The Westside (yo) are really ballsy. The first time I ever had one step out and aim one of those things at me I was so confused… they just wait on the side of the road over here!

  44. Valria on July 30th, 2010 5:07 pm

    P R I C E L E S S

  45. Meggish on July 30th, 2010 5:15 pm

    “Are you thinking about what you did wrong?”

    Oh ha hee hee, I’m so sorry. I almost peed myself laughing. That sucks! (hee hee)

  46. Amanda on July 30th, 2010 6:02 pm

    Dude. My fiance is a police officer, and I’m a police/emergency medical/911 dispatcher for the same agency, and can I just tell you that EVERYONE IN THE WORLD FUCKING HATES US? Like, even most children. They point. AND FLIP OFF. So for real, thank you for explaining to your boys what police officers do, without adding “run from them if you can” and “They’re cocksuckers”… You’d be amazed how many parents do. (Even if yeah, we’re cocksuckers and YES, most of us ran from the police when we were younger and less… badgey.)

    You’re awesome and the irony killed me dead.

  47. Melinda on July 30th, 2010 6:34 pm

    The whole “are you thinking about what you did wrong?” from Riley is just killing me dead. So sorry about your ticket. My sister and nephew had a similar experience when he was Riley’s age in which she did something and suffered some type of natural consequences from her actions and my nephew parroted back the phrase she’d with him used before “See what happens?” which has now become family folklore.

  48. Gnometree on July 30th, 2010 6:54 pm

    I’m sorry, but I can’t help but laugh at that. That is just to precious. I love that your cops hand out stickers – like you get punished but the kids get a reward!
    I can hear it now: “Mum Mum MUUUUUUUM! Drive faster. I want another sticker”

  49. Mary on July 30th, 2010 7:04 pm

    Hahahahaha! Last speeding ticket I got, I had two boys the same age in the back seat. We were over in Eastern WA, and I asked them please not to say anything to dad right away, I wanted to tell him at a good moment. So of course, seven hours later they tumble out of the car screaming, “Daddy! Guess what! Mommy got a TICKET! From a POLICEMAN!!!” Sigh.

    The good news is that they’re old enough to drive themselves now, and they still remember that day. And the only time either of them has been stopped by a cop was once to tell him he was driving too slow for conditions.

  50. Ann on July 30th, 2010 7:24 pm

    I got a speeding ticket with our three little kids in tow. The police officer gave each of them a “sports card” of the police canine he had in his car. So.. me, trying to keep my infraction on the down-low, and the three kids? SOooo happy to share their experience and canine card with their father.

  51. Mary @ Tips&Treasures on July 30th, 2010 7:29 pm

    Omg that was too friggin funny. Obviously, it may not be quite that funny to you. But thanks, I needed to end my day with a good laugh :)

  52. Jen on July 30th, 2010 8:42 pm

    The biggest pain-in-the-a$$ experiences sometimes reap the best stories. “Are you thinking about what you did wrong?” Ha ha ha ha!!!

  53. Trish on July 30th, 2010 10:49 pm

    When I was student-teaching, I got two tickets on the same day. On the same street. I guess I didn’t think about what I did wrong quite enough.

  54. Jennie on July 31st, 2010 12:28 am

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! I totally didn’t expect you to say that next, I realize it’s probably not very funny for you right now, but oh man. Too adorable/hilarious. Wow, I’m really sorry you got a speeding ticket…it’s just…this sort of thing happens to me all the time. Try to teach a kid something and then it goes ahead and takes that opportunity to bite you squarely in the ass. ;) I’m going to have to try those lottery talks myself.

  55. Penny on July 31st, 2010 2:11 am

    Recently my parents came here for my daughters high school graduation. My dad insisted on driving because my mom is a crazy speed demon, so she lets him drive. On the way, he passes a slow car in front of him, accelerating right into a radar gun. Needless to say he got a speeding ticket and will NEVER live it down because of how much he complained about Mom going to fast so he would do the driving. I couldn’t help but laugh ….everyone but him has thus far seen the irony and humor in it!

  56. Jeamette on July 31st, 2010 5:56 am

    Let me know if that lottery thing works….

  57. shygirl on July 31st, 2010 6:39 am

    Wow. Clearly you have this whole “visualize and it will manifest” thing down better than we realized! Now just do the same thing with regard to your house, and you’ll be moving before you know it ;)

  58. Lesley on July 31st, 2010 9:36 am


    I hope they both remember this when they get their first speeding ticket. Boys. Speed. Duh!

  59. Stacy on July 31st, 2010 12:16 pm

    Hilarious. Not the ticket, that sucks, but man, I laughed and laughed at your account of your boys from start to finish. The whole “Are you thinking about what you did wrong?” was pee-your-pants-funny icing on a hysterical-post cake.

  60. The Moral Liberal on July 31st, 2010 8:21 pm

    The Holy Bible’s Influence on Herman Melville and Others …

    The Moral Liberal Lookin’ at ya…

  61. Midwest Potato on August 1st, 2010 5:24 am

    My daughter enjoys playing a game called “Help, help, I’m in jail!” We were at a spray park on the wrong side of town the other day, with daughter pretending she was in jail and I had to rescue her…I looked around and thought, a good number of these kids’ daddies are in jail right now — let’s play a different game, huh?

  62. susan on August 1st, 2010 2:35 pm

    Not related to this post but saw your twitter update re: minocycline. YES, this can cause headaches. I’ve had problems with the related doxycline causing really bad, persistent headaches.

  63. The Moral Liberal on August 1st, 2010 7:03 pm

    The American Scholar—The Education…

    The Moral Liberal Lookin’ at ya…

  64. The Moral Liberal on August 1st, 2010 7:37 pm

    Obama’s Title IX Ruling a ‘Step Backwards’ for Athletic Programs…

    The Moral Liberal Lookin’ at ya…

  65. The Moral Liberal on August 1st, 2010 9:04 pm

    Study Finds Freshman Summer Reading Lightweight and Leftist…

    The Moral Liberal Lookin’ at ya…

  66. Brooke on August 2nd, 2010 9:38 am

    Oh, Jesus, I’m really sorry, but I haven’t laughed that hard in weeks.

  67. Shannon Dawson on August 28th, 2010 8:30 pm

    I would say it was a great story,but it wasn’t because all your curse words took over. Seriously the story would have been one of those great old stories that you would have been able to actually share with your kids and grandkids, but Lord knows you will not be able to after using such fowl mouthed language. I was really enjoying your blog until I came upon this one. I will definitely not be reading your blog in the future. I will however be keeping you & your family in my prayers. God Bless you and your family.

  68. Jen on November 12th, 2010 11:00 pm

    Wow, am I the only one stunned by the above poster? There’s…4…”foul mouthed” words in this entry?? I guess, good riddance, eh, Sundry?

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