On the trip to and from my sister's house, there is an enormous, and I really mean enormous, ravine that the road goes through. Rather than building a bridge across it, the good folks of the city planning department decided to allow us all to experience a roller coaster ride in our car. There is a very, very steep decline, followed immediately by a similarly steep incline.
Every time we go to my sister's house, the kids and I pretend to be on a roller coaster. The kids raise their hands above their heads, and scream, "Weeeeee," the whole way down, and usually at least part of the way up.
The other day, on the way to my sister's house for our family get-together, I decided to try something new. When we went down the hill, I never hit the brakes to slow my acceleration. I wanted to see if the momentum we gained on the trip down would be enough to carry us over the top of the hill on the other side. I didn't think it would be, and it turned out I was right, but we came very close. It was only a few feet to the top of the hill when I had to hit the gas to get us over the lip. We were also almost stopped by then, and my wife was getting embarrassed of my antics (as usual).
I should have been satisfied with the experiment, but I wasn't. So, on the way home, I tried it again. We screamed down the hill, hoping to see how far up the other side we could get without running out of momentum. As I came close to the nadir of the ravine, I saw a white car sitting there. My heart dropped at about the same time as this car's headlights snapped on. On the roof of this white car was a rack of red and blue lights. I knew I was busted.
At the top of the hill, even though the policeman hadn't gotten close enough to indicate that he was after me, I pulled over to the side. I knew who he was coming for.
The police officer grabbed my license and proof of insurance, and headed back to his car.
"What is he doing?" asked the kids. They were confused as to why he'd just walked away.
"He's going back to his car to check and make sure I'm not a criminal," I replied.
Unfortunately, while at his patrol car, he discovered that my wife was a criminal. She had let our registration lapse. Even though she was nearly finished with the process, and was just waiting for us to have enough money in our bank account to pay the registration fee, the law shows no mercy. We got a ticket for speeding and for having expired registration.
As the policeman left, my daughter tried to give me a vote of confidence and support. "Daddy, I know you're not a crinimal." (No, that's not a typo, she transposed the syllables just like that. She obviously hasn't heard that word a lot in our house).
"Thanks," I said. At least my kids still believe in me.