I thought Sundays were supposed to be quiet!
Okay, ours was a very nice, quiet day until about 8:00 pm. I had taken Inigo on a drive over to my friend's house on the scooter, and on our way back we noticed a little crowd around the tree where we found the baby owls. (I finally found the tree last night! We were excited to find three baby owls in the tree. They are getting their feathers, but still have lots of soft downy feathers, so they aren't flying yet.)
Inigo hadn't seen the babies yet, so I pulled the scooter over so he could watch them for a minute. I was in the process of parking it when a car with out-of-state plates drove by, rolled down the window and said to me, "You're not driving that thing, are you?" I have tendencies to be a smidge sarcastic, so I said, "No. I'm parking it!" I smiled, was friendly and pointed out the owls to them. They, in turn, parked their own vehicle and the driver -- an elderly gentleman in a sports coat -- walked up to me and said, "Seriously, you're not driving that thing without a helmet, are you? Because it's illegal and you will be arrested."
I still can't believe that this man is talking to me like this -- and is serious. I don't know him, have never met him in my life, he's not local and why is he telling me I will be arrested? He has to be joking... right?
So I make some casual remark (I don't remember exactly what I said) and he said to me as he walked toward the owl tree..."If I see you driving that scooter without a helmet I will arrest you!"
I finally realized he was in earnest, and I was stunned -- to say the least. I'm pretty sure it wasn't me, Valerie, that made the next comment because it's completely out of character for me, but I said, "And what authority do you have to arrest me?"
His reply was that it is illegal in our town to ride motorcycles without a helmet and again he reiterated that he will arrest me.
And I asked him again if he had the correct authority to do that.
He didn't answer and went off toward the tree to look at the owls and I stood there, seething. Okay, that's pretty mild. I was more than seething, but in order to keep this rated-G, I won't put down exactly how I was feeling. For my father's sake, I'll say I was "extremely irritated."
The man wouldn't leave me alone. A minute later he walked toward me again and said, "I don't mean to offend you. Have I?" And I looked him square in the eye and said, "Yes, as a matter of fact, you have." Again, that is quite out of character for me. I would normally say something like, "Oh, no. That's okay." But I have watched my daughter get bullied at school and I wasn't going to stand there and be bullied as well. If I want her to stand up for herself, by gum I have to set the example and stand up for myself!!!!
He went off about how he knows he's from out of state but... blah.... blah....blah....about people he knows that have crashed on their bikes and were injured.
Okay. Here's the deal. I know that it's dangerous to ride a motorized scooter without a helmet. I am working on getting one. I am aware of the fact that every time I get on it and drive it, I put myself at risk. I AM AWARE!!!! Okay? I am also reading the motorcycle handbook so I can get my endorsement for my license and I'm pretty sure I haven't read anywhere in that book that it says our state has a helmet license. And I'm pretty sure the state where he's from doesn't have one either... Heck! It's even legal to drive in his state with an open can of beer in the car!! WHO IS HE TO WALK UP TO ME, A STRANGER, AND THREATEN ME IN FRONT OF MY CHILD?!?! (It turns out he's my neighbor's father.)
Lucky for me, there just happened to be a sherriff looking at the owls too. The man went and conversed with him for a minute and then came back, apologized (kind of) and gave me permission (a-hem) to drive without a helmet. That it is actually not illegal in our town to drive without them.
"Gee thanks, Mister! You're swell!"
Editor's Note: Please good reader, do not use this post as a means to chastize me for not wearing a helmet. I have already stated that I am working on finding a helmet that will work for me. :-)