"You didn't know you only had one headlight?" the state trooper said incredulously when I expressed genuine wonder at his judgment call. Like he thought I was someone who pantsed a bus driver, then fleeced him for his super secret pre-route check list. Brake lights. Check. Blinkers. Check. Head lights. Oh. Snap.
No, I didn't know my headlight was out. I don't spend a ton of time on or near the front of my car. I'm not, like, Tawny Kitaine.
Cop: Where are you going?
Cop (Holding my drivers license): Where do you live?
Me: [Address]. It says right ... there. (Points to ID)
Cop: Is this your car?
Cop: Where are you coming from?
Cop: Where do you work?
Me: Uh ...
Cop: I'm just curious.
Me: [Says place of employment. Add job description]
Cop: [Makes very strange joke about my job, and this vehicle heist]
Me: [Fake laughs uproariously]
Then I showed him a crumpled piece of paper with the name of my insurance company on it, he ran my ID and let me go with a warning.
I did not have time to go headlight shopping during the day, and found myself in a situation where I would be driving home in the dark. I solicited a little help from my former landlord.
Me: Do you know if there is an auto parts store downtown?
Former Landlord: There's one by your house.
[He misses the subtext here, which is "Hey. Why don't you go find me a headlight and insert it into my vehicle. Your hands are already dirty.]
Me: But I can't drive home with one headlight. Better if I can just change it before I drive anywhere.
FL: Hmm. Just drive with your brights on. That should work. It's not a permanent fix, but it'll do in a pinch.
Me: Huh. Thank you, Duct Tape Face.
[The subtext here is: "Thank goodness for a friend who uses a tin can and a garden hose to manipulate the windows of his car."
So I got a new headlight. And when I asked the salesman about the difficulty level of changing it, he offered to do it for me. This made me pissy because I wanted to know how to change my own headlight. The whole give a man a fish versus teach a man to fish scene from Karate Kid or the bible or whatever.
But he seemed to want to change a headlight pretty bad, so I let him. Then, as he struggled with it, I started to get pissed off that I had to stand out in the cold offering gratitude and encouragement. And that is how, for 30 seconds today, I was a super huge bitch deep down.