I most certainly didn’t speed on March 5th, but a cop got me just half a mile down from home and slapped me with a 21 mile over the limit speeding ticket.
Maybe I pushed the pedal down harder on the loaner car.
Maybe my mind was occupied with an intense conversation I had with a friend on the phone.
Maybe I was hurrying back to my daughter who never falls sick to get her medicines on time
Maybe I was speeding.
But I wasn’t. I was sure. Yet, there was the yellow sheet of paper that I clutched in my hand as I hurried across from the parking garage to the court building in Fairfax. This was my 4th trip. I had a ticket way back 14 years ago. Then over the next couple of years it was for my son’s license and permit hearings. Then now.
They spelt my middle name wrong, I mused. It didn’t end with a Z. It ended with an A. Heh, we covered the whole alphabet lineup didn’t we, I tell myself as I calm my nerves. I wasn’t hugely anxious, just apprehensive and I knew what I was going to say. Exactly. I was going to tell the judge the truth.
- 20 miles over speed limit seemed high on a road with so much traffic and lane merges with a 35 mph limit.
- I had a loaner car and I was a distraught mom.
I like courts. I decided that as soon as I sat down past a visibly and uncomfortable pregnant lady. I wondered why she was there. My head was splitting with a combination of low glucose (no breakfast as always) and then the allergies. It’s become a norm now, so much that I don’t let it bother me anymore. Not enough to whine or tweet anyway.
I liked the uniformed officers that arranged themselves slowly one by one as they sauntered in and took their seats in the front row. The officer in charge made sure we all listened to the preliminary instructions. I listened, though I knew most of it. Nothing was a surprise. Nothing seemed alarming. It was business as usual for them. There was a moment when I wondered on drama.
How fun would it be if one of them went cuckoo and pulled a gun on someone here. Would I duck? Would I take it in my head? Would I scream? What would happen? Would I die? How soon would my family know? Most importantly who would let all my Facebook friends know?!
I turned to my side and saw the pudgy sweating face of the pregnant lady and I came down with a thud.
On cue the Judge walked in and we all rose and sat as instructed.
Cases got read. Sentences were handed out. Names. Numbers.
Judge G was a lovely gentleman in his 50s perhaps with a shock of thick white hair. Yes, not gray, but white. Like Santa Claus himself. Maybe he moonlighted during the holiday season. Hey, everyone could use some extra cash or maybe just spread some extra cheer. Must be a hard life sitting a few feet above us all handing out judgements. Maybe playing santa would be his good karma gathering. To annul any disgruntled truant and I bet there must be at least one such element that he encounters on a daily.
What I immediately loved about him was the constant smile on his lean simple face. He even said “you have something to tell me, please do, I cannot read minds!”
..and I thought to myself, a man after my own heart! We are no magicians people. Neither are we psychics! Speech is a fabulous communicator. Use it already.
In any case, I was called. He even called the middle name and it took all my effort to not giggle. I got up and slipped as simply as my hefty girth could manage past the other rotund lady and while I walked those 4 steps down to the podium (what’s it called anyway? the docket, yes!) the Judge was already asking my arresting officer on my points.
that’s an excellent record you have there young lady! What happened?
I was going home from CVS with medicines to my daughter who was quite sick.
He nodded his head and smiled.
Ah! Happens, but..
I interject him, coz I had to tell him that I am a model citizen and the blame was all on that tiny ridiculous Ford excuse of a car!
I was in a loaner car too, I usually drive a Honda Odyssey, and am careful – i have 3 kids, been driving awhile now.
He nodded and grinned at me.
Loaner car? was it tiny?
Yeah, see, these small cars, they are like bullets. One little push and zoom! But if you had to get a ticket for speeding, why didn’t you just borrow a Cadillac and swoosh around?
I wish! (I grin and nod my head, though in my head I think: Cadillace? Seriously? what am I, a senior citizen? I would love me a Jaguar no less, I amused myself, completely enjoying myself and this conversation I was having with this very happy Judge)
So officer, how was she at the time of the arrest?
I wince. Arrest. Gawd!
She was very polite Your honor.
I smile. An indulgent, see am an awesome noble model citizen and I am the face of all responsible moms who wear their secret superman costumes under those fleece pants and sweat shirts.
Excellent! so I tell you what, since you are such a lovely young lady, i am going to reduce the charges from speeding at that speed to failure to disobey highway sign and that will reduce tour fine by half as well. Yes?
I turn and walk away feeling mighty thrilled, not just coz it was such a pleasant experience but I even got the ticket reduced! Every penny counts these days and that was like a beam of kindness that shone from the heavens or just a few feet above us from this nice Santa Claus Judge G.
Good Karma pays. Not entirely the way you want it nor the shape or time you want it to pay, but it does.