In June I was clocked doing an astounding 13 miles over the speed limit. I was doing 53 mph in a 40 mph zone. So yeah. OK. I was speeding. BUT I was merely trying to pass the A-hole in front of me who was driving SO SLOW he was going to make me late for my bus. (I've often wondered why it is that certain people choose to drive 20 miles BELOW the speed limit. In my opinion, if you want to go that slow why the hell don't you just walk?)
So I pass Mr. Tortoise and OF COURSE get popped by a motorcycle cop. F*****K!!! The city I live in (which shall remain nameless) has a cop LITERALLY on every corner of every major street in the city. It is a known fact that if you are going to drive through this city you'd better OBEY ALL TRAFFIC LAWS or you WILL get a ticket. These cops have their regular spots and you see the same deputies over and over. There they sit on their motorcycles radar guns in hand facing all the oncoming traffic while they hide behind a tree/car/sign/truck/dumpster, etc., et al. They are so predictable that Dan will often text me ..."FYI Deputy Dog is on Gallatin Road."
So I get my letter in the mail from the court with instructions of where to report etc., et al. I originally asked for an extension because I had too much crap going on and no extra money. For those of you who are lucky enough NOT to live in California a speeding ticket is anywhere from $300 to $500 not to mention another fee of approximately $40 to attend traffic school if you don’t want your insurance to go up. And California says it has no money (eyes rolling) A speeding ticket in California can really set you back.
My court date arrived and I planned to take the day off because I knew that if I tried to leave the office with enough time to get to the courthouse SOMETHING would happen and I would get tied up and be late. Also, another piece of helpful advice .... Wherever you go in this city you must leave at least ONE HOUR prior to the time you are supposed to be at your destination. It does not matter if your destination is five miles away or 50 miles away. IT WILL TAKE YOU ONE HOUR TO GET THERE. Period.
With that in mind, I did not leave with enough time. Also, after diligently entering my destination into my phone GPS to make sure I got where I needed to be without any hiccups I dashed off to my car and promptly lost said phone. I began digging through my purse, search the floor of the car, everywhere. I COULD NOT LOCATE MY PHONE. It was in my hand two seconds ago. Now it has disappeared. Like magic. I go back into the condo to look. NOWHERE. I HAD IT IN MY HAND!! See? Shit that goes wrong. (fyi … when I got home I found it lying face down between the sofa and the coffee table … which is NOWHERE near where I had it.)
I gotta go! I knew how to get to Imperial Hwy where the courthouse is but I didn’t know whether I’d need to make a left or a right onto Imperial. I’ll figure it out. Off I go. I was going to jump on the freeway but remember that I live in California and I forgot to pack a lunch. So I jumped onto Paramount Blvd. which usually has less traffic. I speed down Paramount and reach Imperial where upon I had to make a decision. Do I turn left, or do I turn right. I turned left … which naturally, was the wrong direction. I could tell this because all the numbers are too high. I must now make a U-turn. This could take anywhere from three minutes to fifteen. I get in the left hand turn lane and wait while twelve thousand cars come speeding in my direction. After a substantial wait, it is clear for me to proceed and not risk life and limb by getting creamed in a car accident. I turn and SPEED down the street. Find the courthouse, turn into the parking lot where I soon realize that there is NO PARKING. ANY WHERE. (Again … the unforeseen). Oh look! A parking spot! Eureka! I pull in and park and then I see a sign with big red letters that says NO PARKING HERE YOU FUCKIN’ LOSER. Fuck. I now have to venture further and further away from my destination. But the good news is, that even though I was a mile from the courthouse, I got my exercise in for the day
I was ON TIME. However, in my rush to get into the courthouse, I forgot to get my proof of insurance from the glove box. I go into courthouse where there are several security guards basically standing around doing nothing. One of them directs me to put my purse and sunglasses into the plastic bin and pass through the bomb detector. I then head to the clerk’s office to pay my ticket and am informed that I am due to appear in Department 1. What? I just want to pay my ticket. Clerk: Sorry. You have to see the judge.
So, I go to Department 1 and am instructed by the bailiff (who is looking down at her paperwork) to take a seat.
On the right of the room is a block of seats, all of which are taken except for the first two rows, which are empty. In the center of the room is a block of seats which are entirely empty. What would you do? RIGHT. I head towards the empty block of seats when the bailiff yells out, SIT ANYWHERE EXCEPT THE CENTER BLOCK OF SEATS OR THE FIRST TWO EMPTY ROWS ON THE RIGHT.
So here’s what I’m thinking. WHY ... for fucks sake do you say to take a seat anywhere and then, when my ass is just about to reach the chair you yell out NOT THERE! But then I remember where I am. A court of law. And any moron would realize that in a court of law an empty section of seats absolutely screams DO NOT SIT HERE. As for the two empty rows up front on the right I wanted to ask "WHY CAN'T I JUST SIT THERE? But thought better of it.
So a young kid full of tattoos moves over so I can take his seat. Thanks hon. “So” I say “what’d you do?” I tell him to always, ALWAYS follow the law because then you won’t have to deal with crap like this and be treated like a moron. He chuckles to himself. I am the oldest person in the room.
Bayliff calls my name. I go up and she asks me for my proof of insurance WHICH I DON’T HAVE. So now I have to go get it from my car which is two miles away and come back. Kill me.
I get back, give her my proof of registration and sit back down to wait while everyone one goes before the judge (I am the last person to speak) … half these guys didn’t come to their first court appearance because they were “incarcerated” at the time. It was amazing the excuses I had to listen to. But, all in all, I got away for a mere $261.00. The nice judge lowered my bail. Thank you your Honor. Thank you very much. And THAT is my story about going to court.