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What Happens if You Pull Up to the Turnpike Toll Booth with No Money?

William Thomas Cain, Getty Images

Well, this was a first for me today. I was heading to my live broadcast at Camelot Homes in Auburn this morning and decided to hop on the turnpike in Augusta instead of taking Rt. 202. I was running just a bit behind, so I didn’t want to take a chance of being late. My problem? Once I was on the turnpike I realized I had no cash.

I almost never carry cash…for two reasons. One, I use the debit card for everything. Two, I have no extra money to spend anyway!

I saw some change in the middle compartment of the ‘Moose Caboose’ and figured there was enough there. I was wrong. I needed $1.75 and had just over a buck. After a quick panic, I pulled safely over and started to tear through my briefcase, the glove compartment and anywhere else I could think that there might be some loose change. No luck.

I didn’t have a choice. It’s not like you can pull a U-ee on the turnpike (at least not legally.) By the way, is that how you spell U-ee? Anyway, I was driving a company vehicle, so there was no way to try and turn around.

What else could I do. I just pulled up to the toll taker and said, “Sorry, but I have no money.” He just looked at me and said those three words you never want to hear. “License and registration!” This time, the words weren’t spoken because I was pulled over. They were said to me because I’m an idiot.

The toll taker was a great guy. I apologized again, and he said, “Don’t worry about it, it happens all the time.” I need to apologize to the vehicles behind me. As you can imagine, it took a few minutes to transfer my information and go through the explanation and the process.

So if you’re in a similar situation, don’t panic! By the way, I thought about pulling out the old celebrity card and pretend I’m somebody else and say, “Do you know who I am? I’m Jon James, the King of central Maine.” Heck, it’s gotten me free dinner before!

NEXT: Sold on the EZ Pass

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