The Worst Feeling

It was an absolutely beautiful day and I was coming back from hanging out at Opryland USA and turned onto Two Rivers Parkway near McGavock high school to head home.
On the right, the wave pool and it was packed.
June of 1985 and I remember the day like it was happening right now because I was heading into my senior year of high school and had absolutely zero worries.
Until I came around the bend and there he was.
Just sitting there.  His motorcycle off the side of the road.  He had something in his hand.
Before I realized what and who it was, I was toast.
A motorcycle cop running radar.
It is the worst feeling.  He waved me over and I waved back, pretending I didn’t see him.  I just kept on driving, hoping he was just out to wave at people and wish them a good day.
I kept on driving, got to the corner of McGavock and Two Rivers, took that right and was a nervous wreck but feeling good because he was not behind me.
Then there he was, motioning me to pull over.
He was not happy.
I wish I was wearing Depends. Scared to death.
10 minutes later, I had my first speeding ticket.  I put it in my glove box and kept on going.
I literally pretended it didn’t happen.  I was 16 and knew everything and knew if I put it in the glove box then it would all be forgotten and nothing to worry about.
Fast forward two months.
“Joe, come here please.”
“Yes Mom, what?”
“What is this?”
“Looks like a letter.”
“You got a speeding ticket and didn’t pay it, nor tell me?”
“Oh……oh…..I thought the cop was kidding.”
Cue the second worst feeling ever.
Funny, every time since that day when I am driving down Two Rivers, I NEVER go over the speed limit and I always imagine that cop standing there, just waiting on me 30 years later.
It was the first of many tickets I would get over the years and you still get that sinking feeling, but the only one I remember, is that first one.
It will forever be the worst feeling.

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