When Truth Trumps Fiction

Leslie Tabarez is a State Court Certified Interpreter in Pennsylvania. In this guest post from 2016, she reminded us that the truth can be hard to swalow.

– By Leslie Tabarez © 2016

The phone rang. I picked it up. They needed me down at the courthouse to interpret at night court. I NEVER turn down work.

I get a little nervous about driving at night because of all of the deer on the roads, but I accepted the assignment. They asked me to get there as soon as possible and not to worry if I wasn’t dressed professionally, given the time of night.

I dashed off.

As I’m driving near my home, I start thinking that maybe I’m getting too old for all of this craziness and night driving and/or maybe it’s foggy, because I’m having trouble seeing the road clearly. I get to a busier road and the police are behind me. I assume they’re going somewhere, so I pull over, but he is stopping me.

The officer asked for my license, registration and insurance. I gave him my license and registration and told him I’d pull up my insurance on my phone while he went back to his car. He came back and saw my insurance info, then asked me where I was going. I explained that I was going to night court and he asked me why. I told him I’m a Spanish interpreter and got called in. He looked at my blonde hair and blue eyes and asked me if I even spoke Spanish. I assured him that I did. The officer then asked me how I could possibly be going to court dressed so casually. I patiently explained that I was called in, asked to get there as quickly as possible and was specifically told not to worry about what I was wearing.Police car at night

My eyes were irritated from removing my makeup, so he asked me if I was sure I wasn’t either drunk, on drugs, or had been awakened. I assured him I had just left home where I had been watching the Yankees get clobbered by the O’s. He asked me for the phone number of the office I was going to, but I didn’t have it.

He gave me my documents back and just gave me a warning. He said he didn’t believe a word of my story, but that it was the most creative one he had ever heard on duty.

They say truth is stranger than fiction. I told him the truth 100%. At least I don’t have to pay a ticket!

They got a good laugh at night court when I told them what had happened, and reminded me to be more careful when driving at night.

Leslie in the officeMeet Leslie:  “I’m a natural blonde, I have blue-eyes, and I’m a Spanish interpreter. Born in NYC, grew up in Oaxaca, Mexico, now living in PA, I’ve worked as an interpreter for a LONG time. Even at the ATA conference I attended a few years ago, people asked for my language combination and expressed surprise that it wasn’t Russian or some other language spoken by blondes. One night I shocked some Mexican janitors who felt they could freely comment about my anatomy in Spanish since I couldn’t possibly understand them. I wasn’t in the mood for that in the middle of the night, so I let them have it in VERY Mexican Spanish. The friend of the idiot who made the comments laughed so hard he almost wet his pants. People do NOT speak with their hair or eyes, so get with it, people!

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