I played poker on Saturday night (rather poorly). So when we went to my parents on Sunday, DearWife drove. DW doesn't drive that much when we're both in the car. I am a much better driver than passenger.
We got to Huntley, IL. A small but growing town about half way between our house and my parents. We noticed at an intersection that there were detour signs, and something about construction. But the road wasn't blocked off, and we only had a few seconds at the light before making a decision. So before we could really think about it, we went straight through it.
Everything seemed cool. Then we saw the blockade. "Only local business traffic past this point." Ok, cool, we'll turn around. Moments later, the car we were following turned in, and before DW could react, we were past the last local business. The only way to go was on the left side of the street. I looked up and saw a "Do not enter" sign. Crap.
What do we see next? Police Car. My first reaction? "Shit. Ticket. Let's get in and out of this as soon as we can." DW's? "Thank goodness there is a police officer to help me get out of this confusing mess."
DW: "Officer, can you help me get out of here?"
Officer: "Pull over to the curb."
DW: "Uh, I'm lost can you tell me how to get back to 47 south?"
Officer: "You can pull over to the curb NOW."
DW: "I made a mistake..." (cut off)
Officer: "An expensive one."
Score one for me. The guy was one of those people who compensates for a small dick by throwing around their power over people in as obvious a way as possible. DW was so upset by the time the guy came over she said, her chin quivering "Officer, this is the first time my children have been pulled over, can you please not scare them?"
He didn't take too well to that comment. He basically called us idiots; "how could you possibly not see the signs? How could you possibly go the wrong way." Where we live, there are construction signs up 24x7.356. And generally, if there is a detour, you have to drive around something, and make a conscious choice WHEN YOU NEED TO DETOUR.
And this guy is being a condescending dick, scaring my children and wife? There was nothing I could do.
I turned around to comfort my crying 3.5 year old as he was asking if we were "the bad guys". I noticed seven more cars lining up behind us having made the exact same mistake that we did. DW got out and started taking pictures. She was beyond upset and on to mad.
Officer Friendly walked back with the ticket. "Ma'am get in the car."
DW: "I hope that you will be giving every one of these people a ticket."
Officer Friendly: "Ma'am. FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY, GET IN THE CAR."
He was treating her like Tom Powers, not a mom who made a wrong turn. DW was getting upset as she realized that she was probably the only one getting a ticket. That's when the Sgt. showed up. At one point he bluntly threatened us with more tickets if we didn't leave.
He was much less condescending, although not as helpful. He asked us "I'm asking seriously, what could we have done differently?"
He listened (largely dismissively) and had some points. But in the end, he was too busy dismissing and dealing with the seven other cars to have much of a discussion.
I took over driving, and it took about 15 minutes for BigBrother to stop crying and being scared witless.
So that was fun. When we were at my parents, BB played cars the whole time. There are always accidents when he plays. This time, there was a cop. He wanted to "yell at" the police officer because he was so scary. He kept bringing up the police officer. All. Day. Long.
On the way home, BB asked "Did Mommy get arrested?" Later we saw someone pulled over, BB asked "Mommy, what did you do?"
She's considering whether or not to fight the ticket. At the time, I would have been in favor of letting this go. But, uh, no. After considering how much of an ass the original cop was, how confusing it was, the 7 cars behind us, the fact that none got a ticket...I think she should fight the power.