September 13, 2004
On Saturday I'd agreed to pick up Kelly, the nieces and their two cats from the airport. This was a responsibility I felt very keenly, since driving around, picking things up, not getting lost and being on time while I do all those things is not a strong point for me. (I can usually manage 2 or 3, but the whole enchilada is a bit unlikely.) I really needed to be on time since the cats would have been stuffed in the carriers for 8 hours. I know that Kelly and the girls can understand not quite getting the pick up thing together, but cats are low on forgiveness.
I had to be there at 7:00. I decided, since the airport is 30 minutes away...to leave at 6:00, in theory reducing all possibility of being late, no matter what befalls me. I had finished the dreadlocks poncho, so I was feeling like the world was on my side and my odds were good.
(better pictures another day)
5:50 -I am figuring that since I am so well organized, I will end up with some spare time when I am early at the airport. I already have the rainbow peerie socks in my backpack, but I haven't found the chart, so I grab more yarn and needles for socks then remember that I was going to sew up the rest of the Cherry Aran. I go get that, then jam all of the knitting into my backpack. I notice that I still have the bottle of wine from the liquor store in there too...but there's no time to sort. I leave to walk to my mother-in-laws to get her pick-up truck.
6:00 - I arrive at my mother-in-laws, get the truck key and see that she has thoughtfully left me a bottle of wine. (I love my mother-in-law.) I jam the wine in my bag and leave quickly, not wanting to spoil my perfect timing system.
6:10 -I am two blocks from my house when I realize that the street festival has my normal route blocked. (As an aside, I would like to thank the organizers of said street festival for placing the stage run by the Toronto Hip Hop Cultural Centre 17 feet from my door all weekend. The first 3 hours of spoken word, Hip hop and Breakdancing were really, really interesting and entertaining.) Despite having my mind numbed by said street festival and many hours of funky urban music I cleverly devise an alternate route.
6:15 -my alternate route is blocked by an accident. I am stuck in traffic, unable to turn around or move (two blocks from my house) for 25 minutes. It is a tribute to my self control and basically peaceful nature that I did not give in to my urge to chew up the steering wheel while simultaneously blowing the horn to a Hip Hop rhythm.
6: 40 -Finally underway, I make it to the main road and heave a sigh of relief that I am finally making good time. I do not curse or yell obscene things when I discover two km later that the entire road is reduced to one lane by construction.
7:05 -The construction ends and I drive merrily along for mere moments. I cannot speed (not that I would...that would be wrong) because there is a police car behind me. I do some relaxing deep breathing to try and calm myself and forget that Kelly and the kids and the cats landed 5 minutes ago.
7:10 -The police car suddenly flashes it's lights and runs the siren for a second. I, understanding that somewhere in the city, some jerk is breaking the law, pull over so that the police can speed past me to intercept the dastardly criminals.
I am completely shocked when the cop pulls over behind me.
7:12 -The cop saunters up to the car and requests my Drivers license and registration. I am pretty shaken. (I've only been stopped by the police once...while driving at least, and I'm not clear on the protocol.) I ask him what I did wrong. "Spot check" he replies. Spot check? I know I have my drivers licence, but I'm in somebody else's car, so I don't know where the registration is. I check the visor above me, nothing. I flip down the passenger visor, also nothing. I rifle the glove box. Nothing. I realize I have a problem. I decide to get myself more time to deal with the lack of registration by getting my licence. After I fork that over I'll look for the registration. I pull up my backpack and start to undo the zipper.
7: 13 -I remember what is in my backpack.
7:14 -I decide that I have to unzip it anyway, since my wallet is at the very bottom of the backpack.
- I take out the Cherry aran and the ball of yarn that I brought to sew it up with.
-I take out a bottle of wine.
-I take out the yarn and needles for the new socks.
-I take out another bottle of wine.
-I take out the rainbow peerie socks and the two balls of yarn that I'm working from. I pile all of this on the seat beside me.
I finally reach the bottom and extract my licence from my wallet. I turn to hand it to the cop and find him staring incredulously at the enormous pile of wine and yarn on the seat. He has an expression on his face that I can only interpret as
"Holy crap lady...what kind of party are you going to?"
I take advantage of the rather stunned look on his face and confess that I don't have the registration. The cop drags his gaze from the pile of wine and yarn and gives me a new look. This look clearly indicates his belief that I am not just a crazy lady in a pick-up truck full of wine and yarn (Hell of a tail-gate party there) but conveys his new belief that I am a crazy lady in a stolen pick-up truck full of wine and yarn.
7 :18 -I am gettting a little nervous. Have I mentioned that I talk a lot when I am nervous? Talk a lot would actually not begin to describe what I do. I babble. I ramble. I can't stop myself. I hear the stupid things coming out of my mouth but I can't control it. The thought that I am about to start babbling and not be able to stop makes me more nervous.
7:19 - Something snaps. I tell the cop about the accident, and the Hip Hop and the street party. I tell him about the construction, and the yarn and how I knit a lot. I tell him that I was trying to be on time, and I left early you know, because of the cats. Cats hate carriers. I explain that I don't usually carry around a lot of alcohol in my backpack, but I do carry that much yarn and that really, this amount of yarn is normal for me, except if I plan better, but I don't. I detail why I have that much yarn and reiterate that the cats are waiting. I finish by telling him that all that wine in the truck isn't that bad...on account of I don't have a corkscrew.
Then I laugh. I do that crazy laugh/cry laugh. I can't stop looking at the clock and rifling the glove box and I can't stop laugh/crying and trying to explain it all to the cop.
7:21 - He lets me go. Honk if you think that he decided one stolen pick-up with a crazy babbling yarn lady in it wasn't worth it.
7: 34-I arrive at the airport. If you have to get to Pearson by way of Scarlett Road, I have drawn this helpful little map of how to get to Terminal 1. First turn left, then follow this diagram:
Tomorrow: Thrums and why you want them.
Posted by Stephanie at September 13, 2004 12:50 PM
I'm doing that crazy cry/laugh, but for totally different reasons. The cop obviously realized you are a woman with her priorities straight, since anyone dealing with irate cats needs plenty of yarn and wine on hand.
Thanks for the laugh at your expense. ;o) I mailed your book out this morning so watch for it in the next day or two. Here's hoping it brightens your day.
Harlot - Another fine mess you've gotten yourself into. You should take a better pic of that dreadlocks poncho - it looks great!
Now, on my way to Pearson, once I go in a circle twice, and make that little squiggle, then where do I go?
Oh gawd you make me laugh. Please don't tell me that when you arrived at the aiport the flight had been delayed for 3 hours.
The last time I picked someone up at Pearson it took me about 3 times around to get to the right terminal. And I've found myself headed west on the 401 when I meant to go east several times. You know, there isn't an exit for quite some time if it takes you a km or two to figure out what you just did.
That wine on the left is yummy. Haven't had the one on the right.... yet.
Poor Harlot! What a terrible ordeal! That would have been great if you had been able to get the officer to pose for a blog picture (but since he was letting you go, I suppose it was best not to push your luck). Love the wine and yarn pic, though. :)
I hope the cats have forgiven you!
I am laughing my butt off-the horn to the hip hop music? Priceless. Poncho looks great-can't wait to find out why I want thrummed mittens.
That is a good example of why I like taking the train to the airport...
Both the dreadlocks poncho and the mittens look great, though!
Oh geesh! Thanks for making me pee in my pants! I'm sorry the airport pickup trip was such an ordeal...but what happened??? Did you finally find everyone? How were the cats? Feels like an episode of Batman...tune in tomorrow to hear if our hero(ine) survives!
*honk!* I'm trying to keep from laughing, especially since I'm at work and they're already starting to give me strange looks. As the wife of a police officer, I know that you can get away with things if the officer comes out of the experience with a good story to tell his buddies.
Example: A friend who drives a Camaro was heading home one evening and came to a straight stretch of road just before his destination. He decides to see how fast he can go in his high performance vehicle through rural Georgia. After the officer pulls him over (going in excess of 100 mph), the officer says, "I've been waiting for you all day." Our friend replied, "I got here as fast as I could." This got laugh out of the officer & he got to go home with a warning & threats of dire consequences if it ever happened again.
Oh Man! I have been there too! Only, my psycho-nervous-babble only got the cop confused... so he charged me. But I'm past that now.
Great taste in wine, btw. Weren't you bummed when the promo was over at the LCBO? I was!
Looking forward to the Why-I-want-Thrums post!
*HONK*HONK* I ditto what Lisa said. Totally would have been pushing your luck if you asked him to pose with the stash in the front seat, even though the cop sounds like he had a pretty good sense of humour, or guaranteed you would have had a ticket for the booze, at the very minimum. Too bad it didn't occur to you during all the rambling and explaining to ask for police escort! LAUGH OUT LOUD!!!! (my family thinks I totally flipped my lid) Having grown up in Ontario and travelled through, from or to Pearson on many more occasions than I care to remember, I totally get your little map! So, I must know how much of a hissy fit the cats threw when they were finally released.... I mean, you were ONLY half hour late. That's actually pretty impressive considering your adventures. But 'fess up: NO curse words at all??? Really?
I love the colour way of that poncho. LOVE IT!! On the other hand, the thrums? I just don't know... Not at the rate that my kids lose those darn mittens. I lost count how many sets I made last year, so the effort of making thrums might not be worth someone else's kid getting to enjoy them.
I just have one question: Was your hair really big that day and/or was there cleavage? Either one could explain "the look." Heeeheee. I know the perfect antidote to this that is coming up soon. It is a straight shot to Rhinebeck, is it not? (no pun intended.)
You know, as soon as I got to the 'universe on my side' bit I was filled with a grim foreboding (as Amelia Peabody, one of my favorite fictional heroines, would say). And I was not disappointed, although normally I wouldn't expect a grim foreboding to be borne out AND cause gales of laughter, but there you have it.
Congratulations on surviving the ordeal, getting to your destination, and confusing the cop!
Not a dry monitor in the blogosphere.
The best part of all is that I can actually visualize all this nuttiness. To add to Norma's comments, you weren't wearing the mango top, were you (to illicit that look)? The burning question though, is: was the plane actually on time? No way.
Is that a map or some unravelled yarn? I plan to NEVER drive to that airport. Of course I lived for 25 years where the only traffic light for 250 km. was on a one way bridge, and operated off a trip switch.
I sympathize with your nervousness on being pulled over. I've only been "checked" once. I was 22 (at the tail end of the druggy 60's) driving my Pop's 1952 pickup truck. They made me shut off the engine. Then start it up. As my Pop was a mechanic, this involved a. hook up alligator clips to the battery b. flick the light switch on the dashboard c. turn the key d. push the floor starter d. running out and unhooking the alligator clips again e. pulling all the burning wires out from under the dash and tossing them out the window the cop was not standing at f. jumping out of the truck and stomping out the fire in the grass the wires had started and finally g. driving the truck home and never never letting the cop see me on the road with it again. Pop wrecked the truck the next week when the steering arm broke off as he was rounding a corner. I wish I'd have had your pile of yarn and wine, it would be the perfect story!
Hope you drank the wine when you got everyone home, you deserved it.
So Ms. Harlot, I’m cleaning toilets and trying to keep the toddler from helping or hindering when I thought, hey, maybe Harlot’s posted…must stop and see… Thank you thank you for a laugh break! It’s been my experience that a little babbling makes you seem like the officer’s sister/mother/ditsy aunt/etc – i.e., not a criminal. It’s gotten me out of every encounter with the law since high school (not that there’ve been that many). Try the Yellow Tail purple label - it’s a deep, glorious, "I want a sweater that color" red - Cab/Shiraz blend I think (am I a visual thinker or what?) – it’s yummy!
Found your blog just a week or so ago while searching for a poncho pattern. Finished the child’s version and am working on mine with Mission Falls cotton. Will be striped from necessity of using bits from deserted project.
*giggling madly* I too want to know what happened when the cats were let out!
I'm also wondering which would have been worse -- having the cop pull you over at the point he did, or later when you had two yowling cats in the car along with the yarn and wine.
And such beautiful knitwear, too. Too bad the thrummed mitts are making my fingers sweat just looking at them.
oohh, i love the thrums ;o) made 5 pair of them for christmas presents last year.
I almost spit out my coffee when I saw your map to the terminal. Too funy!
This is the funniest post I've seen in your blog, and you've written some funny ones!
I followed your map though, and ended up at Yorkdale?
I am at work, trying to stiffle my extreme laughter and it is definately not working. :) I loved the story though!!!
That same cop (I swear) pulled my husband over about a month ago. DH was driving our aged company truck. His license/insurance/all other I.D., was in his other car.
The officer requested that DH "follow him to the station". I guess since DH is a grey-haired grandpa, he didn't look as if he posed much of a getaway threat. I was trying to imagine the cop requesting a younger person, driving a could-be-stolen Ferrari to follow him to the station. DH was kept all afternoon, while Metro's finest visited with each other. They refused to call our office - where we could have provided I.D. within minutes, and finally let him go, at the end of the day.
He returned to the office a trembling wreck.
If he had had your wine in his truck, he would have probably drained the bottle immediately.
That heavens you were released quickly. I hope the folks you were picking up appreciated your valour.
That kind of luck/drama ALWAYS accompanies ME to the airport, but usually I'm driving myself there for a flight I'm about to miss...
Last time I got pulled over was as part of the RIDE program (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere for those of you outside of Ontario). I was on my way home from the Book Club Chrismas 'festivities' and my young officer's voice positively broke when he spotted the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario, again for those outside our happy little province) bag beside me on the front seat. Imagine his great disappointment when nothing fell out save a set of 5 slim dpns and a rather nice sock. LCBO's seasonal bags are handsome enough for transporting most any WIP!
PS My socks are not as well travelled as The Harlot's but they are not above having a good time either.
The very thought of having a babbling crazy lady doused in wine and enrobed in yarn bouncing around the back seat of his cruiser was probably so horrendous to him that he assumed you’d only go on a small-ish killing spree and set you free. Gotta love Inappropriate Laughter Syndrome (funerals, emergencies, your own wedding ceremony). Having done the cat-on-an-airplane thing more times than I care to count, I can tell you that they were pissed off from the second they were stuffed into that box, so it doesn't matter how late you were.
Of course, the cop was immensely jealous he wasn't headed to a party that involves hanks of yarn, sharp objects and booze, along with fiber floozies. I'm just saying, if he had pulled me over while I had the eevvviiilll Doctor Who scarf project in the vehicle and that much wine, he would have been frightened, not amused.
Personally, I think you stole that map from the directions for several Chicago terminals as well as the one in DC, Harlot.
I cannot BELIEVE he let you go! I've only been pulled over twice, ever, and I got a ticket both times. Both times, I was understandably distressed, but THEY didn't care. I raise a glass to Canadian policemen! You're a lucky harlot!
Is this Kelly of the clearing & de-cluttering fame? Hell, I would have driven from NY to pick her up.
Oh, and are you a bigger fan of Nelly or 50-cent?
I remember reading a while ago that cats don't really have a sense of time, so maybe they didn't notice. Mine don't seem to know the difference between a two week vacation and a trip to the store (or realize that I only fed them half an hour ago, not twelve hours ago).
Please tell us that you waited until the officer was gone to take the photo of the yarn and wine.
Thrums are way too warm for Windsor, but my boyfriend really likes the idea. . .when I offered to make him a thrummed balaclava to bike to work in, though, he declined for some odd reason.
Holy crap. I was already laughing when I saw that airport diagram. Now I probably won't stop by bedtime.
I packed my bag with yarn and wine as instructed. I jumped in my car and followed the pretty blue and white map. I started in Tucson Arizona and ended up somewhere in Mexico. Great universal map Stephanie!! Great story too! Hope everyone got home ok.
Wow... just, wow. I'd like to laugh, but all I can picture is the sheer frustration of it all! I'm glad you can post such a hilarious post about it, and good luck never having that happen again.
Your map is the exact reason I won't move to Toronto, despite my proffession making much bigger money there... :P
Well, I have followed that map many times. But it was in Washington DC, and Boston, and San Francisco. Who knew it applied to Toronto too ? Must be a conspiracy by mapmakers. Oh, and the wine and yarn is a delightful combination at the end of the day. So long as it is not opened in your backpack, what is the problem ? Betsy, looking forward to some wine tonight.
I am looking up thrummed mittens right now because I love them and need some of my very own.
Oatmeal is good for the belly and soul, and I suspect those mittens are good for the hands and heart.
Probably the cop let you go because of all the paperwork required for psych admits. I totally broke down once in the face of the law, and I think the cop was more afraid of having to deal with my *obvious* mania than my riding around in an unregistered car.
Oh my! That is the funniest thing I have read in ages! You really should make a book with some of these musings, you have a gift of making people smile and/or laugh. Thanks for the chuckle :) and sorry for your stressful drive.
As a "furriner" who drove to Toronto for a conference last March and agreed to pick up an acquaintance at the airport, I can vouch for the utter truth of the airport diagram! Thanks for reminding me what a dizzying drive that was!
This citizen of Pennsylvania, a state with the most bizarre liquor laws of any I've lived in (for example, beer and wine cannot be sold in the same store), is confused by the comments about unopened booze in the car. Excuse what is likely to be a silly question, but how on earth do you get it home after you bought it if you can't have it in the car? Or is this a plot to make everyone take public transportation for their booze runs?
I live 1/2 a block away from one of the main gathering points for people cheering on the runners in the Pittsburgh marathon. Imagine several hours (starting at 8AM) of an amplified woman screeching, "Come on, you can do it!" "Only 4 more miles!" over and over again to the backbeat of disco's greatest hits. Needless to say, I feel your street festival pain!
Thanks for surviving another adventure only to turn it into a wonderful, side-splitting yarn (pun intended) to share with your fans!
Great post, I laughed out loud so much my kids came to see what was going on, then I had to read it out loud for them before they would leave for school.
I too want to know what happened next, have the cats forgiven you yet. We've been home for 10 days and the dog is still sulking from being left, or maybe its because we came back!!!!!
I am PTR ("PéTée de Rire"), a very appropriate french web acronym for "bursted"-"of"-"laugh", literally. Excuse me for the crude language.
Did you also explain to the cop that hundreds of other crazy people with yarn would be reading about him soon?
So how were the cats holding up???
This is the funniest post I've ever read! I thought my story of getting pulled over for following a police car (we were the only two cars on the highway) was funny. This tops that and then some.
I laughed and cried and roared until the poor sleeping dog came over to see what was wrong with me - a seizure, perhaps? And then I read the comments and it happened all over again.
And don't let Riane fool anyone, PTR, sounds a lot more literally like ' I laughed 'til I farted'.
BTW, my daughter's boyfriend is a hiphip dancer (with classic ballet training no less!) and he said said that he saw a woman in the High Park neighbourhood on the weekend who reminded him of me. Apparently, she was was taking pictures of knitting in a garden....
Pbbbbttt! That's the sound I made when I got to your map! Though I'm pretty sure it's actually a map of how they rerouted the trains in NYC this weekend. Someone spent over an hour trying to get to my birthday party (and was nowhere near me)and finally gave up!
Hello Harlot, I found your site through a blog buddy, princess papaya. It was an amazing read. Right now I'm sitting in a tightly packed computer lab with complete strangers giving me strange (and afraid) looks, trying to understand why I am laughing so hard and tearing. The map had my in stitches! I hope the cats weren't too angry...
Look forward to visiting more!
Well, I look at this way. Had you gotten yourself arrested, your post could have been titled "Slammer Smackdown: Crack Ho Takes On Yarn Harlot". That would also have been amusing.
My brother has suggested a 12-step program for my yarn habit. He seems to think I'm not normal. I have forwarded this entry to him so that I can now tell him I have never had to explain my addiction to the police.
And that was your ROAK for today, Miss Harlot...
OMG I am rolling. How horrible though!
P.S. I love Yellow Tail wine, especially the Shiraz.
Love the poncho--and the post. Your pattern, I presume?
Too funny, what a great story, how did it turn out???
Oh what is the dreadlocks poncho?
You made my day. I hope you don't mind if I forward this to a friend of mine! Be prepared for a German regular reader. :)
I too babble when I'm nervous. Thanks for another great laugh Stephanie. You are able to paint the things that happen in everyone's lives so vividly and with such humor!
Too funny! Enjoyed your post this morning ~ found you thru the RAOK group!
I didn't have such luck when I was pulled over last month, late on the way to my kids school ... but then, I WAS speeding, not just being Randomly Checked. ;-) Maybe it was the lack of wine and yarn in my car?
LOVE the poncho ... it's on my list!
I can't remember how I first found your blog about a week or so ago - probably a poncho pattern search. Anyway, I want you to know I hold you responsible for keeping me up late at night and distracting me from both my knitting and home management (read that picking up dirty socks and other kid related debris) as I work my way through all your archived goodies and test out all your links to other cool (but ultimately inferior, in my opinion) blogs and knitting sites. I especially like knitty. I am sucked in big time, down the great black hole of an online knitting community that I did not even know existed just days ago.
So now I am REALLY going to finish painting my son's room and make some salad for lunch with a neighbor...really I am....
Thanks for the laugh.
Police always makes me nervous and I was never lucky enough to get off. Maybe cause I never had two bottles of wine in the stack of yarn.