Let me just say that having all the facts before acting is usually the best way to go. I pride myself on being pretty levelheaded and just this week I had to be the voice of reason and caller of emergency response vehicles in several situations. On Friday however, I sort of allowed a non-issue to become a full-scale production, quite unnecessarily. I shall elucidate:
So I was luxuriating in the curiously slow day at work- nothing will top the Coachella-inspired mass exodus of the two previous weekends but it was still nice- and I was thinking okay, I’m going to take my lunch break, go to this free improv show and then go home and watch far too many episodes of Gilmore Girls. These are the things I was thinking as I walked towards my car, until my thought abruptly became where the hell is my front license plate?! It wasn’t on my car, friends. So obviously the logical conclusion was that it had been stolen and that someone was probably at that very moment committing a crime while driving with my plate and that I would be dramatically arrested, dragged out of work and just shy of finishing my toothbrush shank before the truth of my innocence and mistaken identity came to light. Because that totally happens all the time, right?
So my next completely rational action was to attempt to file a police report, which apparently is much easier said than done. I tried the LAPD non-emergency number but after getting a recording I was told that they were too busy and I had to call back. Awesome. So I called them again because that makes sense, right? Nothing. So I thought, hey I’m really close to the Weho Sheriff Dept., I’ll just try them. Well I did and they told me that even though I was literally two blocks away, I was out of their jurisdiction and was directed instead to the Hollywood station. Of course there's a charge for filing a report on the phone and it takes two weeks to process, so I had to physically go into the station to get a copy of the report to take to the DMV.
My next logical decision then, was to leave work early because who knows what kind of name-sullying things criminals were doing with my license? This obviously had to be taken care of immediately. So at the station, OF COURSE the only officer there was brand new, extremely flustered by the phone, yet still managed to be unsubtly condescending at every turn, and OF COURSE there was someone being wheeled out on a stretcher, causing a ruckus, yelling obscenities and generally unnerving me like in every “yuppie in a precinct scene” in every movie.
So back to Baby Cop: after trying to convince me that the theft didn’t take place in his jurisdiction, he finally acquiesced and started to process my paperwork but he needed help, so Helpful Detective came to assist. So as they tag-team the forms, Helpful Detective tells me that I have to take off my rear plates too because once it’s filed, anyone seen driving with either plate will get pulled over at gunpoint. He seemed to really be relishing this so I very calmly and with no irony suggested that that may be slightly dangerous for me because try as I might to pass, I’m actually black, so any situation involving myself and police with guns would probably end up with me dead. And then, he looks me in the eye and says, wait for it… “Wellllll… you should just take the plates off.” Helpful Detective made absolutely no attempt to suggest that maybe that would not in fact be the case. Did that just happen?!
So fearing police brutality or worse- a fix-it ticket, with no plates on my car, dreading the coming days of schlepping to the DMV, the dealership and possibly auto repair shops, I got home, and there on the patio sat my mother effing front plate! So as it turns out, that mischievous little piece of metal, which by the way, I knew was a little loose, had simply broken off, still attached to the mounting bracket. I’d just failed to notice it that morning. Go ahead and laugh because I have an overactive imagination… and also I am dumb. I have no qualms admitting that right now. So how was your weekend?