Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A really long story about a traffic ticket that you probably don't want to spend the time reading but that I need to get out of my system since I haven't talked to an actual adult yet today (other than to plead my case to the magistrate)

Today was one of those marathon days that even halfway through, you look back and realize you deserve some sort-of medal for all you have accomplished.  It is good to look back at it that way because nine times out of ten, the day will end much differently than it started...usually with a detour towards crazy town somewhere around nap time.

But first...some history:

 A few months ago I was leaving Little G's new school and my normal way home (it is less than a mile) was completely jammed up with traffic. So, with a screaming 12 week old in the car, I turned the other direction and planned to go around the other side of the park that is between his school and our house.  I got to the end of the street, and there was a utility truck completely obstructing my lane.  If I turned right, I would end up either back at all the traffic, or really far away from home.  I needed to turn left.  There was no one directing traffic and the light turned green and so I hedged my bets and crossed into the other side of street so that I could go around the utility vehicle and turn left and be on my way.  Halfway past the vehicle, a police man popped his head out from where he had been leaning into the truck and started yelling at me.  The Ladybug was screaming her little head off...I felt badly, but I didn't stop; instead I waved to indicate my mistake and went on my merry way. - which was quite merry what with all of the baby screaming going on.  Then, halfway between the park and our house we passed by a paddy-wagon.  I had no sooner passed it when it turned on its lights and pulled me over.  Apparently I was a criminal on the run.

I was annoyed enough as it was, the thought crossed my mind that the policeman may have wanted me to pull over, but seriously, to do what...have a chat about it while my baby screamed?  No thank you.  Keeping that in mind, you can imagine how much MORE annoyed I was when the policeman driving the paddy-wagon basically berated me the moment I rolled my window down.  I get it, I live in a city where there are actual criminals with bona fide criminal intent, but there was no reason to get all crazy-town huffy over it, especially when I also had my two year old in the car who adores policemen.  I'm just saying, forget the fact that I really didn't think I was in the wrong in the first place (or I wouldn't have endangered my kids) even if I WAS wrong, don't yell at me infront of my kids unless I yell at you first.

Phew...annnnnnnyway, the police officer eventually told me that he would take my information to the other policeman at the utility truck and HE would decide if I would be ticketed or not.  yay.  Low and behold, about a week later, I got a ticket in the mail for $200!!  $50 for driving on the wrong side of the road and $100 for not stopping at a light or sign.  Well, heeeeeeellll no was I going to let THAT stand.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt (and believe me...I'm easy to convince I have left the oven on when I haven't used it all week) that the light turned green because THAT'S WHY I DECIDED TO TURN!!!


Anyway, it costs $25 to get a court hearing (which is bunk if you ask me) but I sent in my check and hoped for the best and annoyingly enough I got a summons to go to court on Wednesday, March 21 at 11:00am to fight my ticket.  Yeah.  Wednesday.  The one. day. a. week. Little G isn't in school - also the day he has swim lessons at 9:30.

The court paper said to bring the paper work with me along with cash if I wanted to appeal whatever decision was made.  After some online research, I discovered that the courthouse had childcare.  I emailed the liaison and never got a response so yesterday I finally called to find out what the deal was.  Turns out the childcare program has been gone since the late '90's (UPDATE YOUR WEBSITE PEOPLE!!).  I asked if it would be alright for my son (who is 2.5) to bring his iPod touch with a Thomas movie loaded onto it and his headphones.  The woman on the phone said, "he can't have a phone".  I said, "it isn't a phone, it's a touch".  To which she responded, "it isn't the phone that's a problem, there can't be a camera in the courthouse."  I cheerily explained that the camera function had been removed from this iPod touch and she put me on hold to talk to the magistrate.  When she came back she explained that they said I could bring the iPod touch, but if my son started to become a distraction, they would ask me to reschedule my appointment.  I agreed that made sense and began the task of preparing my little family unit (sans one helpful husband) to go to the courthouse the next day.

To be continued...

(on the next installment of this really stupidly long explanation of what I did with my day today: RUNNING FOR BUSSES!!  PLEADING WITH SECURITY GUARDS!!  DIRT!!)

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