Greek-American Stories: Ticketed

September 29, 2019
Phyllis “Kiki” Sembos

You, probably, won’t believe it, but I don’t care. In my pocketbook, I had a pair of tickets to the concert in Westwood, a town next to Emerson that was featuring country music, my favorite. I had been looking forward to going. It was for about 7:00 that evening. But, I got a phone call, earlier, from my friend, Dottie, who was supposed to come with me, telling me she couldn’t go to the concert because she wasn’t feeling very well.

It was about 11:00 in the afternoon and I was just leaving the library and heading to the super market when I saw flashing lights behind me. Cops! Gee! Couldn’t be for me, could it?  I’m a very careful driver. But, the cop car came up to the driver’s side and called out at my open window, “You wanna pull over, lady?”  I recognized him from the town meetings and smiled. I said, “No, thank you. But, thanks for asking.” He smiled back and told me to get to the curb which I did, very curious as to why. He said, “Did you know you just passed a stop sign?” “Me?” said I, surprised. Then, I looked back and realized he was right. The stop sign was situated to my right, at the corner of the street where the library is located, a quiet street with very little traffic that, in my opinion, shouldn’t have one. “Gee, officer, you’re right! I forgot it was there!” He smiled again and said, “You could have caused an accident passing it on other days.” Quickly using my sidewalk psychology, I agreed. That’s the best way to avoid confrontation and give him the satisfaction of appearing wiser than me. “I always stop there but today I didn’t. That’s what happens when listening to my c.d. of Merle Haggard. But, you’re absolutely correct,” said I, looking as repentant as all old ladies should look but aren’t really. He looked up. “Merle Haggard? You like country?” My brain went into fast forward. “I love him! He’s the greatest, after George Jones.” That’s when I remembered the pair of tickets in my purse. “Hey, listen! Do you like country music, too?” He looked up. “Sure! The best music there is,” he said, smiling again. “Look! Can you do me a favor and take the pair of tickets I happen to have? You see, I was supposed to go tonight, but my friend can’t make it and now I made other plans. So, I’m stuck with two tickets for the Westwood concert tonight that will go to waste.” His eyes lit up! “You sure?”

I nodded, shrugging. “Sure, I’m sure. A shame to have them go to waste. A group of westerners will be playing. No drums, like natural country music is. But, I can’t use them.” Other plans! Yeah! Like going to the super market, cooking for tonight’s dinner, putting another wash in the washing machine, sweeping the front steps, checking for mail, feeding Sissy, etc.

He looked down at the pair of tickets I held out to him, and taking them, he said, “Yeah! A real shame.” Then, he said, “They were all sold out, y’ know. I’ll take them from you, if you’re sure you can’t use them.” I smiled back. “I’m sure. Hey! Consider it a gift from me, ok? Great to know they’re going to a fan of country music and won’t be wasted.” He told me to, “have a nice day” and drove off giving me a warning to be more observant to the stop sign in the future. I promised very sincerely that I would. You can bet a diamond ring I won’t forget. Driving away, I was thinking and I had to laugh. I’ll bet I am the only person in the world that ever ticketed a cop. Two of them, in fact. Do I hear applause? Thanks! Oh, Kiki, you’re so original!


It’s a hot July day in Greece, 2024, another heat wave rivaling the one in 2023 that could have melted steel.

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