For many years now I've been planning an event that one day WILL happen.
It's a Bucket List thing for me and the older I get the more determined to accomplish it I become.
I realize that most people who have a Bucket List have listed things that are creative or inspirational, things that will challenge them and add a sense of accomplishment to their lives.
I have things like that on my list too but I also have this...
On my 80th birthday I am going to drive to the top of the Mid Bay Bridge and stop.
From the top I'll have a clear view of the bridge all the way to the Toll Plaza.
Once there are no cars between me and the toll booth I'm going to accelerate until the car won't go any faster.
And as I get to the Toll Plaza I'm going to crash through the gate yelling
"I just ain't gonna pay no toll!"
It gets better.
I've always wanted a shiny new Cadillac. I LOVE Caddies. But I have more of a Pinto budget and 3 kids so I'm stuck in a mini van.
But on toll booth crashing day I'm going to the Cadillac dealer to test drive a brand new model.
I'll drive it to the bridge and from there it will be a three minute, exhilarating, Bucket List fulfilling, rocket ship ride across the bridge and through the toll plaza.
I've told the kids all about my plan and we laugh about it every time we cross the bridge.
The first time I told them about it I said "I'm telling you this now so that when you get the call to come and get me out of jail you won't be surprised."
And then I learned a lot about my children.
The Island Girl said "I'm not going to bail you out. I'm going to tell them that you've been planning this for years and that you're crazy as a loon."
The Oldest Island Boy said "How much money do you think that will cost me? I'm going to have a nice car to pay for and if your bail is too much I won't be able to help you."
I was shocked.
Neither of them will bail their 80 year old mother out of jail?
Okay. That's fine. And if I ever get a call from them in jail I will remember this conversation.
I turned to the Youngest Island Boy and told him that I knew he'd bail me out. Right?
He smiled and said "I won't be able to bail you out because I'm going to be in the car with you - I wouldn't miss that for anything!"
I can see that.
I'm glad the children have made their stand on the whole thing because now I know that I'll need to hire a lawyer the day before, telling him to expect a call from me the next day.
I'm excited about the whole thing and have already started a savings account to pay for the damage to the Cadillac, the damage to the toll booth gate and the ginormous fee the lawyer will charge to keep my little old lady self out of jail.
I'm going to plead insanity and by then there will be barrels of evidence to support my claim so I don't think I'll have to do any jail time.
So now you know about my plan.
Which means you'll understand why what happened the other night was so ironic.
The Island King took Island Girl to a friend's house to spend the night and when he got home he said
"You'll never guess what I did. I ran the toll on the bridge."
Under any other circumstances I would have been upset to learn of a law breaking event, especially with our daughter in the car, but this is different.
All I could think of was
He ran the toll without me? That's my dream - not his. I can't believe he'd do that without me!
"Why?" was all I could say.
He says he came off the bridge and wasn't paying much attention (isn't that great to know?) and ended up in the Sunpass lane instead of the toll booth lane and by the time he realized it there were cars behind him and he had no choice but to drive on through.
With no Sunpass.
"Was it fun? When you realized there was no turning back did you accelerate and fly through there?"
He looked at me like I'd lost my mind and said "No it wasn't fun and no I didn't speed up. All I could think about was the $180 ticket that's going to show up in our mailbox next week and I panicked."
So he turned into the toll plaza office and went inside. He told the man in the office what had happened and the man told him that as soon as he went through the booth a picture was taken of his tag and sent off into the computer somewhere.
But this kind of thing happens often so he gave him a card to fill out and send in with the $2.50 toll payment. Apparently this will cancel out the ticket that's sure to come.
He said the Island Girl's reaction to the whole thing was hysterical. She kept saying "Don't do it!" as he was driving through the booth and that when he pulled in to the service office she breathed a big sigh of relief and told him that she was glad it was him and not me because she didn't want to end up like Bonnie and Clyde.
She told him that "Mom would have hit White Point Rd doing 80 and yelling Woo-Hoo I Did It!!!"
And he said that once again she had to add that she is NOT going to bail me out when I do it.
I still can't believe he ran the toll and all he could think about was the ticket.
Since he obviously didn't enjoy it this time I won't be bringing him with me on my 80th birthday.