Monday, November 22, 2010

Felonious Punk

What’s more fun than a Monday morning? Why, a Monday morning standing in a courtroom before a judge, dontcha know. I started off this holiday week with a trip to the Splendaville Courthouse, clutching a small pink piece of paper which I hoped would reinstate me as a law-abiding citizen.

A couple of weeks ago, I was actually not speeding, and therefore quite surprised to be pulled over by a Splendaville deputy. Officer Krupke had noticed my vehicle inspection sticker was expired (boy was it), and handed me a court summons so I could explain myself to the judge. I agreed wholeheartedly, delighted that he hadn’t noticed the (unopened) bottle of alcohol on the floor of the front passenger seat, which I was on my way to give to my friend in thanks for feeding us dinner. Meanwhile Phartacus and Slappy were full of eager questions in the backseat, asking if I was a bad person and if I was going to jail.

The next morning was cold and rainy as I hustled over to the garage which does our vehicle inspections.  I couldn’t believe I had managed to drive around for so long without noticing the expired date on the windshield. I blame The Mister entirely; how could he miss what was right before my eyes for months?  Apparently I had projected last year’s inspection onto this year, and between the license plate renewal and the oil changes and the tire pressure whatnot, I thought I was all over the vehicle maintenance thing like a duck on a junebug. Anyway, my karmic penance was to discover that the inspection place’s waiting area was an open air shed with a leaky roof. I had not noticed this feature during my annual summertime inspections, but I was pretty aware of it now. $16 and 10 blue fingers later, I had my proof of vehicular responsibility.

So this morning I turn up at the courthouse, wondering if Splendaville is progressive enough to have naked scanners that will record a souvenir of this fine moment and if it will notice the rubber band pant-waistband-extender contraption I have rigged up under my shirt. Thankfully it’s still backwards around here and there is only a walk-through metal detector and some grandfatherly deputies standing around. (I did have to take my cell phone back to the car for some reason. In case I felt like recording the fun?) The deputies have me write my name and the name of the officer who had nabbed me, and the guys all agree that this is “Officer Krupke’s Day”. I go down the hall and there it is, a real live courtroom with wood paneling and the state seal and the whole enchilada. I sit down on an empty bench and wait.  I don’t get a good look at any of my fellow scofflaws, as we are all hanging our heads in shame, but I do notice that the other perps all have companions. Not sure if they’re co-conspirators or just moral support, but The Mister -- who I’m still blaming for this whole scenario on account of he has a Y chromosome and should notice these things -– had to take Slappy to preschool for me.

After a while, the judge comes in and a deputy says “All Rise” just like they do on TV. (Sweet!) We sit down, and the judge says we’ll start with the rows on his left and make a line up the aisle. This is not like they do on TV as far as I recall, but I can’t say I’m disappointed to forego a solo gig up front in this instance. So my inspection slip and I are third in line. First up are two shifty little potheads whose neighbor narc’d them out to Krupke. There’s some back and forth while Otis and Cletus admit that they did have marijuana but something something (couldn’t hear that bit, dammit) and decide whether they want their drivers licenses revoked entirely for six months, or get a provisional license so they can drive to work but be on probation for a year and take classes and do community service. Without hesitation they opt for six months cold turkey, and they’re sent to get some paperwork that will allow them to drive home. And presumably, stay there and get stoned for six months.

The next guy ran a stop sign, and he wants to point out that he thought it was a yield scenario and couldn’t see the stop sign due to some other signs. Then he wants to know if he can go to traffic school but the judge says “nope”, just like that, because he went to traffic school LAST year and doesn’t he know that it’s supposed to improve his driving skills? So he gets a fine and a couple of points off his record… or on his record. Pretty sure it's whichever one you don’t want.

So now it’s my turn, and I’ve been running over what I might say in my head, reminding myself that less is more. I step forward, the deputy takes my pink inspection receipt and hands it to the judge, who states that I got the car inspected the very next day (I was hoping he’d notice that part) and that he’s sure I was polite and cooperative with Officer Krupke, so I’m dismissed. Dismissed! I didn’t even get to approach the bench or object to anything. And you don’t think I object to that, do you? Hell no. I couldn’t wait to be clear of that room full of yardbirds. So long, suckers!


  1. Once again, I feel as if I was there watching this scenario unfold. Wish I could've been instead of where I was. Glad you got off w/o even a slap on the wrist. Well done, Patsy!

  2. I've always suspected Sears is worse than the joint.