Wednesday, September 23, 2009
A Ticket to Nowhere
I was driving east off of I-15 concerned that I not be late for the funeral of my friend, Robert Matthews. He was a very kindly, beloved, long-lived man, so of course he had lots of friends and I wanted to visit with his widow, Shirley, for a minute, and to see him one last time.
In the rear-view, I see the officer, blue and red lights ablaze, urgently gesturing for me to pull over. I comply. I think for certain I've run a stop sign because there was nothing else it could possibly be. Ha!
"Do you know the speed limit along here?" he asks.
"I don't know. About forty maybe?" I say.
"It's twenty-five and you were going fifty." The sounding clunk was my heart sinking. The squishy sound was my eyes bulging. I am incredulous.
The street is right off I-15 and is a real boulevard. Five lanes maybe or at least three really wide ones. A main drag. I sit in silence doing all things right yet still get a ticket for "only" ten over the speed limit. Ninety dollars for the ticket and sixty for the online driving class. No wonder Lindon City can afford the big-deal office building.
I had to drive to Lindon to pay the ticket and get the driving class going so it doesn't show up and clobber my insurance rates. While driving down there, I build a full head of steam about what I'm going to tell them about their little money-making speed trap and how I hope their city dies on the vine from people avoiding driving through it at all costs.
When I get down there, however, everyone is so darn nice. Even when I complain that it was a speed trap, the woman merely says nicely "I'm sorry."
I pursued it. "That's a main road to State Street from the Interstate. Twenty-five is ridiculous."
"Well," she says, still sweetly and without a note of sarcasm, "there are schools and rest homes all alone there."
"They should teach their children to stay out of the road," I respond lamely, making a stupid attempt at a joke. She laughed.
The thing that really made me mad on top of everything else was my parting shot: "The officer was really nice when he gave me the ticket, though, and gave great directions to the funeral address."
"Thanks for saying so," she said graciously.
I hate nice people. They ruin all my fun.