Be Happy, Feel Beautiful
Ever find yourself in a tricky situation where you have, I repeat, have to find a way out? Well, for me, that was recently. I was on my way home from my friends house and I had to take the Viva (bus in Ontario) to make my way to the terminal. I was on the bus, listening to music and trying to sleep when we made a sudden stop. I opened my eyes to see a Viva cop on the bus, checking tickets. Uh, oh, I thought. I hadn’t had time to buy my ticket because the bus came suddenly. So, here I was, freaking out as he came closer and closer. I shut my eyes, in an attempt to pretend I was sleep, when suddenly from my right side, I heard, “ticket, please.” I “woke up” and gave a little smile, “uh, I don’t have one.” Not even my flirty little smile could save me from this one.
In times of trouble, when you’re in the mist of getting a ticket or fine, I’ve found some things that helped me, and some that definitely did nothing but dig me a bigger grave and force me to lie in it, too.
Be co-operative: Right from the start, I was polite to both the officers. Some people’s first instinct might be to run and get out of the situation, but what happens if you get caught? Instead, if you get pulled over for speeding or fraud of a bus ticket, stay calm and be polite. The two of them even told me that they weren’t going to arrest me because I was being cooperative. It blew my mind to imagine telling my family that I got arrested for not buying a bus ticket. Oh the horror. But by giving the police an attitude, or not admitting that you’re wrong, it’s only going to make the situation worse. If you were doing something wrong, like speeding for example, don’t try to make up lame excuses, just admit you’re wrong and try to mend the situation with the right attitude.
Flirt a little: It can never hurt to try to flirt your way out of a ticket. I’ve always envisioned the day when a cute officer would stop me for speeding to which I would shamelessly flirt my way out of it. And then once the ticket was ripped up and I had a hot, new cop boyfriend, I would say “thank you officer,” in the sexiest tone, before speeding off with his number in hand. Ah, dreams. Unfortunately, it didn’t go like that. But my officer was cute, and I found out that he lived in the same city as me. To this, I said in my cutest voice, “since, we’re like neighbours shouldn’t you not give me a ticket?” His reply? “Honestly, if I could, I’d give you a $20 dollar fine, but it’s my job so I have to give you the ticket. But I strongly recommend that you go and get your fine reduced or taken away completely.” So clearly, flirting doesn’t always work, especially if you make it obvious, but it helped me be able to have a good conversation with him (which included some witty banter!). And I was able to talk to both the officers like they were real people, which helped me to feel a little bit better about the whole, lousy situation.
Don’t lie: As soon as the officer mentioned that he was going to give me a ticket, I began to blurt out whatever I could in an attempt to save myself. I rambled out things like “I was trying to make it home fast to see my brother who’s on leave for the army,” or “I can’t pay for this ticket if I get it, I’m a poor university student,” blah blah blah. He didn’t seem to take all that much mercy on me. All of my excuses were true, but the fact that I tried to make myself appear poor and pathetic, led him to look at me, with my fancy outfit and think that I was nothing but a liar. Instead of trying to lie or make up excuses (that are true!) just try to really talk to the officer like he’s a person and explain to him your situation. He’s either going to take mercy on you, or simply pretend to care. Either way, you did something wrong so just suck it up and try to find ways to fix it, whatever way possible. And if that includes paying for the fine, even with some of your dignity gone, just do it.
Accept that you did a wrong thing, but always try to find ways to fix it: Do. Not. Beg. When the officer was checking out my ID and started writing things down on his notepad, I asked “am I getting a ticket?” As soon as he said yes, I started begging. “Please, please, please don’t give me a ticket.” And as much as I hate to admit it, behind my sunglasses, I began to tear up. All that did was make me look more pathetic for not being able to pay a mere $3.25 for a bus ride. But by talking to the officers about my options, they liked the fact that I was willing to fix the wrong that I did. And in the end, they even gave me some really good tips on how to reduce the fine.
So overall, the whole situation was a good learning opportunity for me. It had been my first ticket, but it also helped me realize that it was going to be my last. The biggest thing I learnt from that experience—always pay your ticket! And if you’re driving, drive within the speed limit! No matter what, it’s always better to be on the good side of the law.