Benched.

Let's talk about my trip to New Jersey last Saturday, shall we?

Kelsey and I drove down to Newark to see Katy Perry. It's about a 3 hour drive, straight down the NY thruway, so it didn't seem too daunting. However, taking the thruway meant having to pay tolls and that meant borrowing my parents' E-ZPass, which meant having to stop next door to get it, which meant I could potentially be stuck there for anywhere between 2 and 37 minutes, talking to my mother.

I decided to go to the grocery store and purchase an E-ZPass instead. Because I'm an adult. Also, because no matter what I talk to my mother about, she always seems to ground the conversation in, "So, are you seeing anyone?" and I like to avoid that question at all costs. This time, the cost being $25 to buy my own E-ZPass.

Since I was driving, I asked Kelsey to go on her phone and set the thing up for me once we hit the road. She got through page 4 out of 700 when there was a service error and she had to start all over. When she finally got the thing registered, the confirmation page informed us that I had money on it, but it could not be used until 7am the next morning.

I asked her to find a 1-800 number, because that's some bullshit. It has taken me almost 28 years, but I've finally reached the age where I will get on the phone, and sass customer service reps, if need be. However, when she located the number, she also found fine print that said they were only open Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm.

"But it's 2014!" - me, a lot lately.

I called anyway, but no one answered, because even though it's 2014, WiFi doesn't just exist for the greater good of society, and the people who work for E-ZPass like to have their weekends off. So, I had to stop at each toll booth and pay with cash, like a peasant. The good news is, I have money on my account for when we go to Ohio in two and a half weeks.

When we finally arrived in Newark (no, there wasn't a sign, you could just smell it), we had to deal with where to leave my car/not get robbed.

We were circling the blocks around the Prudential Center, trying to find parking, because the one parking garage for the place was full, or for VIP, or full of VIP - I don't know. Either way, we weren't getting in there. We found one parking lot, across the street, but there was a sign that said, "$35" and I thought to myself, "I'd rather walk from the moon than pay $35 to park there."

We found another parking lot, and the sign broke down the price by the amount of time you'd be there ("x amount" for "x amount of time"), and quite frankly, numbers scare me. I was about to turn in, but I panicked, and instead cranked a U-Turn on a very busy street. I laughed and said, "I'm glad a cop didn't see me do that!" Little did I know, karma was coming for me...and fast.

We were back on the main drag and I had to turn right to get back to the original, over-priced parking lot. I was stopped a red light, waiting to make the turn. Kelsey had just made a joke about keeping Christ in Christmas (after seeing a nun standing on the sidewalk) and I was half laughing/half crying when I turned down the street and realized there was a cop behind me with his lights on. Not thinking he was out for my blood, I got out of his way, only for him to follow me over.

You know the drill. License, registration, insurance, etc. I asked him what the hell I did (in so many words) but he wouldn't respond until I gave him all of my personal information. Then he said, "Oh, you can't turn down this street," and walked back to his car.

What do you mean I can't take a right turn down a TWO LANE street? It's not like I was driving the wrong way on a one way street. I mean, I was hysterically laughing at Kelsey's joke, but not to the point where I had forgotten basic traffic rules.

A guy pulled up along side me of me and said, "I tried to stop you! Didn't you see the sign?" I wanted to respond with, "No, I obviously fucking didn't, or else I wouldn't be benched on the side of the street, you fucking moron." But I was in Newark. Also, I couldn't tell if the cop was close enough to hear me. So, I kept my f words and attitude to myself.

Kevin (the cop) (I will call him by his first name because I have a deep rooted issue with authority) came back to my window and said, "I didn't give you a ticket for making an illegal turn. Instead, I'm giving you a ticket for delaying traffic, which is a $50 fine that you can pay online." He then asked if I knew where I was going.

What? Excuse your face. Do I know where I'm going? No, Kevin, I don't. If I knew where I was going, do you think I would've turned down a street that, apparently, you can't turn down? Do you think we'd be having this conversation right now? Do you think I would've made a comment along the lines of, "I hope your wife leaves you!" under my breath, as you walked away from my car? NO, I HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE WHERE I'M GOING, KEVIN.

It's actually amazing how much nicer he was after he gave me a ticket. He was all, "Ohhh, lemme tell you where you can park!" And I was all, "Save it for the judge!" and sped away.

No, I didn't do that. But I'm laughing just thinking about it.

He, of course, directed us to the over-priced parking lot. Which, of course, was cash only. So that meant we had to go back out onto the mean streets of Newark and find an ATM, and that took forever. It also took a lot of courage for Kelsey to get out of my car and stand on the street to wait in line. People can be frightening.

We finally parked, and made our way over to a restaurant to get something to eat before the show. Three Blue Moons later and I was feeling better. We waited outside the venue before the doors opened, and I was just buzzed enough to encourage Kelsey to take the following picture:

That's not Kevin, but it felt good to take the picture, anyway.

I'm considering including that picture, along with a note that says, "Please allocate these funds to making bigger 'No Turns' signs. Byeeeeee." when I pay my ticket. What do you think?