I know what you’re thinking: some cleavage and batted eyes might get a girl out of that ticket. And they might. Experience has shown me another option, though…
I’m a fourth-generation Girl Scout; my great-grandma joined as an adult in the 1930s when she signed up my grandma, hoping to curb Grandma’s tomboyish tendencies. Great-Grandma Florence was a very proper lady with a college education who wore white gloves to the supermarket. Grandma Joan took advantage of the Girl Scout opportunity to camp and ride horses–probably not what her ladylike mother had in mind.
My grandpa owned a taxi-cab company when my mother was a teen, and (determined that his daughter should be able to drive any vehicle) used to have her take out the different cars from the fleet. It was in one of these cabs, when she was dressed in uniform for a troop meeting, that she rear-ended a car in front of her. The other driver bailed out of his car in a fury, primed to berate the cabbie who’d just dinged his bumper… and found himself instead face-to-face with a Girl Scout in pigtails who climbed down from the car and burst into tears. His bluster gave way to fluster, and he never filed a complaint against the cab company.
I also grew up in uniform–my early school pictures mostly featured gap-toothed grins and Brownie beanies. Dressed for a Girl Scout award ceremony one evening in high school, I tried to park my over-long Oldsmobile, and learned too late that I didn’t yet fully understand the physics of the Y-turn in adjusting the vehicle’s approach to a tight parking spot. I somehow managed to get my wheel-well hung up on the bumper of a pickup truck in the spot adjacent to the one I was attempting. After some back-and-forth maneuvering I managed to get myself unstuck and climbed out–in tears!–to see what damage I’d done. To my utter dismay and mortification, I discovered the pickup’s driver sitting in his cab, from which he’d been watching the whole spectacle. For a second time in family history, tears and a badge sash evoked enough sympathy to avoid a ticket.
The last time I was pulled over, it was (ironically) because my A.A. license-plate frame was “obscuring my registration tags.” I’ve thought that maybe I should Be Prepared by keeping my old badge sash in the car for such occasions, but probably I’d do better just to drive well. And I’ll remove that offensive A.A. frame, Officer–Girl Scout’s honor!