No YOU Shut Up And Drive
Janis Hirsch illustration

From Bad Girl To VroomGirl

Don’t judge me by my cover. I may look like a suburban mom. I can even glam it up and look kinda Hollywood, if I want. But underneath it all, I’m a cop’s worst nightmare. Well, at least in my mind.

By Janis Hirsch

And Another Thing To Discuss With My Shrink

Here are the three things that terrify me: zombies, trying on jeans in a three-way mirror and the police. Not Sting’s old band The Police. Them, I liked.

Zombies just always seemed plausible so that’s where that comes from, and the jeans thing? No matter how good I feel walking into the dressing room, seeing multiple angles of my soft white underbelly with the red marks from the jeans I just took off spilling over the waistband of the potential new jeans that chills me to my core.

I have no good reason to be afraid of cops. I’ve never been pulled over for a moving violation, I don’t run drugs — as long as Gas-X doesn’t count — and unless I’m in a state where they wear those Smokey the Bear sombreros, I think most police uniforms are snappy. On men. Would it kill Elie Tahari to design something in a nice lady-cop slack?

I don’t know where my fear comes from and I’m already up to here with things to discuss with my shrink. But there I am, driving in slow lane, singing along with “Book of Mormon” (I have only lately come to accept that I am, alas, a baritone) when I see a police car. I immediately move my hands from 9 and 3 to 10 and 2. I do a major posture correction because… why? Slouching is a ticketable offense? Overcome with nerves, I begin to sweat like my Aunt Estelle when she insisted on wearing her fur coat to an August Bat Mitzvah “in case there’s a breeze.” I look both ways twice, even three times. I have been known to wave a hearty “hi” to the cop car.

I feel like an idiot.

Oh Yeah, And I Can Be A Bad Girl

Why am I so terrified of being pulled over? I’m fine with confrontation. Just yesterday, I shushed a guy at Trader Joe’s who was shouting into his cell phone in a language that relied heavily on his ability to over-produce saliva.

I’m not even a little afraid of getting into trouble: I was so disruptive that during my entire junior year of high school English, my desk was out in the hall such that I had to lean around the corner just to raise my hand. And when people leave their shopping carts as they double back for bread, I’ve been known to slip a jar of pickled pigs feet in with their quinoa, a pack of Depends under their bottle of Patron Silver and their box of (who are we kidding?) Trojan Magnum condoms.

Not morally corrupt enough for you? How’s this? If I had the time and the money was good, I could actually see myself shoving baby monkeys down my pants and smuggling them into Newark from Malaysia. I’m a badass, I tell you.

Not Kidding, I’m Your Worst Nightmare!

Wait a second. What if that’s where it’s coming from? I fill up my reusable water bottles, sort through my Costco coupons, get into my Toyota Prius and drive slowly through the ‘burbs, but once I slip into Drive, I shape shift.

I’m no longer that middle-aged woman wearing her son’s old sweatshirt, I’m Christie Brinkley, the Girl in the Ferrari, tantalizing Chevy Chase in “Vacation.”

I’m Suzanne Somers a/k/a The Blonde In The T-Bird in “American Graffiti.”

I’m Thelma AND Louise, running from the law and laughing the whole away over that cliff.

Hell, I’m even Megan Fox in looking under the hood of her boyfriend’s Camaro/Transformer.

Being alone behind the wheel, I’ve morphed into something – someone – way cooler than I ever was and ever could be, and I love every minute of it. Is this a personality disorder? I’ll never know because I’m only up to the death of my first dog Doodles when I was 18 with the shrink.

And even if I could discuss it, I wouldn’t. Every time I pass a police car, I feel like I’m getting away with something and if that’s what passes for badass these days, I’ll take it.

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2 Responses to “From Bad Girl To VroomGirl”

  1. D.G. Fulford says:

    That ass has always been bad, Janis. Bad, I’m telling’ ya. baaaaaaaaad.

  2. kimphipps says:

    Janis, as I was reading this, I kept hearing the theme from “Cops” going thru my head. (Bad Girl Bad Girl, what cha gonna do? What cha gonna do when they come for you…)

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