We've all gotten them, haven't we? Come on now, admit it! Well, except for Steven, who doesn't even have a driver's license, much less drive.
What was your very first ticket? Mine was for speeding - in a school zone, no less. The background for this story is that I was late going over to my daughter's school to pick her up for her driving test. Is that incredibly funny, or what?!?
Anyhoo, I was so intent on getting over there that I didn't even notice the school zone warning signs until I was pulled over. Talk about embarrassing. The policeman laughed all the while he was writing this jui$y little ticket. My daughter laughed. Everyone laughed but me. I didn't see the humor until many years later. Now, of course, I think it's hilarious!
Earlier today, I drove out to Hobby Airport to pick up two of my long-timey regular customers. All the while we were driving towards our destination, she pointed out a policeman whenever she saw one. Why? Normally - I say normally - I don't speed, but SHE does! She couldn't tell me the actual number of speeding tickets she's received over the years, but her husband groaned when I asked.
Once I got a ticket in the mail. I had been detected speeding on an interstate by an "eye in the sky" ... that's CB language for a helicopter with radar. It had gone undetected by us CB-ers on the road that day.
Another ticket that I received in the mail was for running a red light. I NEVER run red lights. Never, never, never! When I received it, I was furious, and went charging out to my daughter's house to see if she could pull up the incident on her computer.
She could and did, and there my car and I were, breezily and uncaringly making our merry way through the intersection well after the light had turned red. Was I speeding? No. I was just cruising along in the middle lane. Was I polishing my nails? No. I never polish my nails. Was I paying attention? What a stupid question. I paid the ticket. Guilty as charged. Ye Gods!
In a post Steve published a few months back, he talks about his list of top ten terrible drivers. Among those are red light runners. Well, I didn't run, but I sure did walk! :(
The city of Houston began installing red light cameras all over the area a few years back, and I'm ashamed to admit that I did the dirty deed. And blithely so, I might add!
One time, while driving a taxicab, I was cruising up 59 towards town when I noticed this white car right on my bumper. (That one made Steve's list, too.) I mean, he was right ON my bumper! I switched lanes with no signal* and no room for him to get behind me - or so I thought, but somehow he did. I switched again, as quickly as I could, and there he was again!
I thought to myself, "This has got to be some young fool trying to play games with a taxi driver," and veered at the last second into the far right lane to exit the freeway. I intended to make a U-turn and stop at the gas station I knew was there and let this maniac cruise on up the road and bother someone else.
Well, this white car was right behind me ... on my tail the whole way, only now his lights were flashing. Boy, did that get my dander up! I pulled over, grabbed a piece of paper and a pen, and was ready to take down his name and badge number for driving so recklessly on the freeway.
He got out of his unmarked cruiser, ticket materials in hand and was all ready - with a smirk on his face - to give this cab driver a ticket. I charged over there and said, "Sir, I want that ticket, whatever you think you're going to write it for, and then I want to stand next to you in the courtroom while I tell the judge how you endangered my life on the freeway."
I was probably danged near apoplectic, I was so mad. He asked, "Didn't you see my license?" "How the devil could I see your license? You were right on my bumper!"
He said, "Well, you changed lanes several times without signaling." I said, "Sir, I was trying to get rid of that maniac behind me who kept riding my bumper."
We had a few more exchanges like that and he left. No ticket. Too bad. I was really looking forward to giving him the old 'what for' in the courtroom.
*Years ago, before I began driving a taxicab, I was one of the guilty parties who never used turn signals. Nor did I wear my seat belt. Can you imagine such dumb things? Looking back on those years, it's really hard now for me to believe that I acted so, but I know I did. It's a wonder I'm still alive.