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How Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Ahimsa Saved Me from a Speeding Ticket

Ahimsa means do no harm.

This morning, like every morning, I hit up the Wu-Tang Name Generator to see what kind of day was in store. I got ‘Violent Killah.’ That’s not very ahimsa-matic. Added my middle name. Came up with ‘Vizual Bandit.’ Better. Flipped it to my maiden name. Result: ‘Vulgar Wizard.’ F yeah. Try it out yourself. Enter the Wu-Tang. You’ll be glad you did.

It’s nearly midnight. My eleven year old son and husband are downstairs playing Grand Theft Auto. They’ll battle ’til bartime. Lil’ man goes back to school in a week. What is happening to this family?

Earlier today I taught sunset yoga on a downtown rooftop overlooking Lake Mendota. It was a free class open to the public set up by F.H. King Students for Sustainable Agriculture. Their mission: “To establish the relationship between land, food, and the UW-Madison campus community as well as the surrounding Madison community through our garden workshops and shared learning experiences.” They grow produce and hand it out on campus for free.

View from UW Pyle center roof. 8/21/12, 6pm
Top of practice. I must have been the oldest chick on that roof.
Setting sun for savasana

Class was a breeze but sh!t got real on the way home. I found my car, clothes clinging to me with the moisture of a hot yoga double. I looked around the empty parking ramp. Made the executive decision to drive home sans pants. I had on black boyshorts so no big whoop. Threw my yoga pants in the trunk and got behind the wheel. I set the shuffle on Wu-Tang for good measure. ‘Cause you know. Like Ice Cube says. It was a good day. Except I’m a mild-mannered white yoga teacher.

Five minutes later I noticed one of Madison’s finest on my tail. “Really? I’m getting pulled over in my underwear? Hay-seuss I’m f!#ked.” I said to myself.  My plan was to own it and play it cool. At this point C.R.E.A.M. was bumpin’ my speakers. I was too afraid to reach over and cut the music. What if they thought I was texting and driving? I froze. Pantsless. A large African American police officer walked up to my window. He leaned in, asked for my license and suggested I cut the music. I complied. 

“Know why I stopped you today?” he said. “No sir.” I said. “There’s a pair of polka dot pants obscuring your driver side brake light.” he said. Face burning, I looked down at my bare knees. I hate you idiot bare knees. Mr. Officer said, “Sit tight miss I’ll be right back.” As if I could go anywhere in my People of Walmart ensemble. Would he force me to come outside? My heart thumped. The pants were trapped outside. Me, inside. Terror. Hundreds of students walked by glancing to see who got pulled over. Ok, maybe four students.

He let me off with a warning and didn’t drag me out to free the pants. Guess he figured I wasn’t hurting anyone. He is now in possession of six free yoga class passes (sorry boss). I waved at him as he drove away, my popo in shining armor. I turned the key in the ignition and the music came on loud to N.W.A.’s F tha Police. I turned it off and drove home listening to NPR. I know my place.

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About

Hally Marlino is a blue collar yoga teacher and writer from Madison, WI. She's a spirituality skeptic with a BA in Theatre Performance from UW-La Crosse. Years ago, she held a low rank in the U.S. Army. When she’s not teaching freestyle vinyasa around the isthmus, you’ll find her bike-riding and beer-appreciating with her family. Hally is exactly half ballerina, half professional wrestler. Connect with her on Facebook at YogaBeast or Tigress Press.

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