Things Learned Due to Fatherhood

There’s a big secret about the world that I feel everyone should know.  I realize that it could drastically change the secret in that it no longer works if everyone were to follow it, but, well, it’s a big one.

Cops don’t stop people driving mini-vans.

Now, I’ve never really been one to break the laws of the road.  I very rarely speed, and when I do, it’s almost always 5 mph over the limit.  But, for the longest time, I would get pulled over very frequently.  And the reasons were always idiotic.  Most of the time I would end up with a warning.  I’ve received only 2 traffic tickets in my life, one of which was completely stupid on the cop’s behalf, the other, on mine, but, well, was an honest mistake.

But when driving a mini-van, those things don’t happen.  It could also have to do with the switchover to a non-crap car, as the amount of times I’ve been pulled over in my wife’s Scion is also almost non-existent.  However, mini-vans have one additional benefit.  Whether your mistake is honest or not, the police will give you the benefit of the doubt.

Situation: Driving to the casino with some friends in one of the friend’s mini-van.  He was driving.  And, he was speeding, heavily.  I’d say we were going upwards to 20 miles over the limit.  That’s one of the reasons I like having other people drive me to areas that are not within the city limits, it takes a lot less time than when I do the driving.  However, he did get pulled over.  I guess even the police are wanting to see what’s going on when someone starts going that much over the limit.

However, here’s where things get amazing.  The dude behind the wheel didn’t have any magic words, he didn’t flirt with the police officer, didn’t offer him donuts, didn’t give any excuse about a wife going into labor, he just said he hadn’t noticed how fast he was going.  And he was given a warning.  A freakin’ warning!  Both of my tickets were situations in which I was unaware of my speed and told the officer as much, but that didn’t make a single bit of difference.  This guy, didn’t even have to try and the officer said, well, it’s late, just get home.

Mini-vans are the key.

Here’s what I assume is the reason.  Minivans are traditionally driven by people who are running around with a load of children in the back.  Children tend to scream, whine, cry, yell, and a whole bevy of other things.  When a cop pulls over a crap-wagon, they’re preparing for someone to pull out a gun or something, when a cop pulls over a mini-van,  they’re expecting a driver who’s distracted by unhappy children.  The cop themselves more than likely don’t want to deal with screaming children while they’re telling you what you were doing wrong, so when they make the decision to pull you over, they’re already deciding that they want to get in and out of there as quickly as possible, meaning, they’re treading lightly because, apparently, a screaming child is worse than a firearm.

It makes sense, in my head.  I’ve been training my daughter to cry on command just for the situation that I were to get pulled over, so the officer would feel sympathy for my situation.  However, that training has yet to become useful, because I have not been pulled over once in the last year+ since I’ve had this vehicle.  And I like it.

Anyways, on the writing front, got through another 5000 words yesterday, putting me above the current word count of Buddy Hero at a wonderful 65,000 words.  I have also managed to cover quite a bit more ground in the past 20,000 words, meaning that I now have very little fears that this draft will end up coming out at the 90,000+ word count, which is great.

What’s even greater is that at this exact point in my writing, I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I’m in the home stretch.  There’s a whole lot of things that need to happen between now and the end of this novel, but they’ll be fast paced and crazy, which means, I honestly believe I am 15,000 words away from “THE END”.  That equates to approximately 3 days worth of writing, if keeping at my current 5,000 word pace.  Today’s actually looking up for getting a good bit of writing done, although 5,000 might be a bit of a stretch. However, I firmly believe that I will be done with this first draft by the end of next week, which means, I will be reading this sucker by next weekend, determining how good or bad it truly is.

That’s exciting.  Really exciting.  If I finish next week, as I fully believe I will, that means I will have written this novel in a little less than a month (and February’s the short month too!).  If I had been working solely as an author, it wouldn’t have taken nearly this long to complete.  Now, obviously, the long re-write process is ahead of me.  I hope to be able to get the second draft completed within a couple of weeks, putting me with a relatively polished novel by the end of March.  But, that could be some wishful thinking, as rewrites can be quite the laborious work, and, well, not as easy to plow through.  We’ll see.  By this time next week I hope to be starting the process, and that means I’ll have a fair idea of how much work will really need to go into it.

Anyhoo, should get to work.  Got a busy day ahead of me.

Have a great weekend!

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