Sometime in 2007 I solidified my sense of invincibility in the face of the police. After convincing a police officer that I was, in fact, my 12-years-older-than-me sister and previously proving my sister’s ID wasn’t fake [it just wasn’t mine] I was feeling pretty good about my relationship with the law.
The day of this very factual story I was supposed to go see Daniel Tosh with Valerie. I was very excited because (1) he hadn’t blown up yet and Tosh.0 wasn’t a show yet so the jokes were still new to me, and (2) I had pre-purchased tickets online so all we had to do was show my ID and pick them up at will call. The website made a very big deal about having the photo ID of the person who purchased them online.
So I was driving home when I ran into intense rush hour traffic. In Chicago-land, traffic is no joke. I was inching along when all of the sudden I looked away and *SMASHED* right into the guy in front of me.
Unable to open my door (due to a pushed back fender) I climbed out the window and immediately called the police. As soon as an officer arrived he helped us through traffic to a side street where I was overcome with an overwhelming sense of stupidity.
What happened next was NOT a planned or forced response… but I cried. Uncontrollably. The police officer tried to calm me down telling me “this happens all the time” and “you’re not the first person to get in an accident” and “you’re going to be okay. It’s okay!”
So there I was: crying, feeling stupid saying over and over “I can’t stop crying. Why am I even crying!?” while the police officer was writing the report and getting the insurance information from myself and the guy who I hit.
I didn’t yet mention that the guy I hit was driving a company owned Ford economy van that had like, not even one scratch on it. He also tried to calm me down telling me there was no damage and he has no reason to file a claim. Nice guy.
Now a piece of information you’ll need to know about the state of Illinois: when you are given a ticket for ANY moving violation, the police confiscate your license. The reason behind it is actually pretty good except that, as I previous stated, I needed that ID to get the tickets to Daniel Tosh.
To avoid this you can have a AAA membership and show you card or pay $75 on the spot. I do not have AAA and I only had $45. So I did what any self-respecting girl would do in my situation – I began to bargain with the officer (which is entirely illegal, by the way.) After a series of “no” answers to my ideas, I explained that I needed the ID for a comedy show.
Me: I know it’s stupid
Officer: It’s not stupid. I’m sure you could use a night out after a day like this
Me: I really could
Officer: Here…wait a second. Don’t say a word, okay?
[I agreed – obviously]
Officer: [described car accident situation and then continued] Sir, the girl at fault that I have ticketed, she doesn’t have her license.
Captain: So then give her an additional ticket for driving without a licence.
Officer: No no. She is a licensed driver, but it seems she left her wallet in her gym bag this morning, so it’s not on her.
Captain: Well, she can sign a bail bond. Can you trust her to follow you to the precinct?
So I agreed to follow the officer to the precinct and signed a bail bond. A bail bond is basically a piece of paper that says I will – no excuses, not even being on my death bed – appear in court on the date scheduled for a hearing regarding my accident. So I signed my life away and was walked out by the officer.
Officer: Well, off the record [I think the statute of limitations is over now, so it’s okay that I’m writing this] I happen to know that I will be too busy to show in court on the day of your hearing. Just so you know.
Me: Oh. I mean, thank you! Thank you so much!
So I drove home and got ready for Daniel Tosh, waited for Valerie to pick me up (so we didn’t both have to NASCAR in and out,) and went to enjoy the show. After the show we met Daniel Tosh (and ended up hanging out for a while) and I stupidly gave him the quick run down of my day and my accident – ya know, cuz I’m sure he cared a lot. He asked “Oh wow. Um, are you okay??” to which I said “Yes, but my car is not.”
After hanging out and chatting about the show he signed a piece of paper for me (a buckslip sized card stock paper with him and his album artwork on it) “Debbie, Sorry about your car. – Daniel Tosh”
When I got home my mom told me that there was a message on the answering machine for me. The guy who was driving the van I hit had called. He was checking in to see how I was doing, to assure me that he and his company were not going to file any claim with their insurance company, and that he, too, was going to be too busy to come to court for my hearing.
Mom: You have a message on the machine.
Me: Okay. [I listened to it]
Mom: You are ridiculous. YOU hit someone and somehow the person you hit is calling you to make sure YOU ARE OKAY!?!?
When my court date came around I showed up (ya know, since the alternative is having a warrant out for my arrest) but I was the only one. When the judge realized I was the only one there, he gave me a stern talking to and sent me on my way. No repercussions. With the exception of the damage to my car, nothing was going to happen to me or my spotless record.
A year or two later I ended up seeing Daniel Tosh again. Again I met him after the show.
Daniel Tosh: Hi. How are you?
Me: Hi. I’m Debbie. I’ve been here to see you before. I’m doing well though, thank you!
Daniel Tosh: Oh my god. You’re the girl who got in a car accident on your way here and had to sign a bail bond, right?
Me: Yep. That’s me.
Daniel Tosh: How’s your car?
Me: All healed