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Several months ago, I accidentally outed my cousin Jo AnnE (with an E!) with her real name. Although using her name made the story funnier, I prefer to use fake names for other people, like I did for Jo AnnE’s partner, Michael. (Also, is it okay to say “boyfriend” when you get past a certain age? Because partner makes it sound like they’re gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) So I think I’ll call Jo AnnE’s daughter …. Kiki. Yeah, that works.

Anyway, Kiki grew up in Hell St. Louis, so I really don’t know her very well, which is a shame because she’s a riot. So you can keep track of my family tree: Jo AnnE  is MoC’s cousin, which makes her my second cousin. So Kiki (not her real name) is my third cousin. When MoC (not her real name) and I visited Jo AnnE (totally her real name) back in May, we had a chance to see Kiki and her kids. I think Kiki’s kids would be my fourth cousins.  The blood relation is so diluted at that point that we probably aren’t actually related. Although the blood relation may be totally diluted at the 3rd cousin level (or is that considered a cousin twice removed?) because, really, Kiki and I are nothing alike. For one thing, she can think fast enough on her feet to get out of almost any situation. Her particular area of expertise is speeding tickets.

Item 1: Kiki was on her way home from their lake house (we have lakes here, we’re land-locked). She and her husband had taken separate cars and he left ahead of her and she followed with the three kids. The youngest one was under a year old. Her lead foot hit the gas and soon she noticed the sirens and lights in her rearview mirror. As she pulled over, she turned and said to her oldest son, “Pinch the baby.” So he did – and right on cue, the baby started wailing as the cop walked up to her window. She said, “Officer, I’m so sorry. We were at the lake house and my husband had to leave early and he stuck me with the kids and all the luggage and the little one hasn’t stopped crying for an hour and I’m just trying to get home without going completely crazy!”

And he let her off with a warning.

Item 2: Kiki was speeding through town and a cop pulled her over. She jumped out of the car, threw her insurance and license at him, yelled, “I know I was speeding but I really have to PEE! I CAN’T WAIT!” Then she jumped back in her car and raced to the nearest gas station where she ran into the bathroom. She waited a decent amount of time, came out and the cop was waiting for her. She apologized profusely, he handed her the insurance and license back … and she went on her way.

But it doesn’t just work for her own speeding or driving mishaps. She can get anyone out of a ticket.

Item 3: Her husband was driving and rolled a stop sign. Of course a cop was there, so she leaned over her husband and said, “Officer, I’m sorry, it’s all my fault. I’ve been bitching at him because he can’t do a damn thing I ask him to do. I told him we had to be at the school by six, but he didn’t listen and now we’re going to be late. I was yelling at him and distracted him.” The officer told her to leave her husband alone – and sent them on their way.

I can’t use the pinch the baby ruse or the bitching at the husband excuse, but the next time I get stopped, I’m going to try the old “I have to pee” line.

I hope they let me blog from jail.