Since coming back I have gone from DC to Richmond on more than a few occasions. Some very good friends of mine live there, and I enjoy their company, enough for me to undergo the odious, odious fucking drive down there.
Well, one faithful day before I left DC to go visit them, I checked out google Maps to see what my trip was going to be like. Lo, I-95 was backed up for damn near 50% of the voyage. This was the opportunity I finally needed to try one of those other routes that always seemed just a little bit too long to take normally.
So I did.
The drive was pretty pleasant. Largely it was empty, back country with nothing around. Large, inviting, open, straight roads, and most of them of them largely empty and only occasioanlly punctuated with a traffic lights.
You bet your sweet ass I sped! Right up until the point where I got pulled over by an officer.
My father has a tendency to mouth-off to cops. I keep my head down, try to look apologetic, terminate every sentence with sir, and generally be as prostrating and apologetic as possible. This required a tremendous act of will because, I kid you not, this particular cop really did look like a pig. This isn’t a slight on all cops, just this one in particulari.
But there was no having it my way. I was doing 90 in 70 and they hit me with a reckless driving. And this having gone down in Virginia meant that I now had a court date.
The day after my birthday…
Silver linings: this gave me an excuse to get away from some family and spend my birthday, or a part of it, with some friends.
So the day of the court date turns up and I am there pretty punctually, ready to be a pretty good citizen. The court is packed, and I learn that they didn’t give me the time to be there as when it would be my time to face the judge, but when the judge would be entering the room. Now I had to sit through a couple hours of listening to other people’s boring ass problems.
It was hell. I would say 95% of the people there were there for traffic citations of some kind, and this little speed trap of a town had developed a cottage industry of breaking people’s balls over it. We were organized by citing officer, from order of least to most tickets, and of course little Mr Piglet was the over achiever in the group. But he was so by a pretty massive amount, and I think he easily had thrice the amount of all the other officers combined.
Finally, my turn came, and just like the judge had done with pretty much everyone else, he unthinkingly reduced my reckless driving to speeding when I pleaded guilty. And that was it. I pretty much sat back down and listened to the same thing over and over till the line to pay the fines whittled down.
They charged me 200$. I did some back of the envelope math, and by my guess these guys made about $16000 that day. What I cant figure out is why they insisted I go there. I could have easily mailed them a fucking check. My best guess is that they were hoping I wouldn’t have come, thus allowing them to find my guilty of whatever in absentia, and hit me with a much bigger fine that way.
Glad I dodged that.
iYears ago I was stopped at an intersection when a police car drove by, lights blaring and traveling at break-neck speed. Despite the speed, there was a split second where I could pretty clearly see the officer driving by. He didn’t look like a pig, but he was stuffing his face with a doughnut as he drove by me.
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Oh, I got that experience too. A day in a US courtroom is a must. Lots of driving while intoxicating that day, a few pretty high even right there. That provided some amusement.