Every month, the good folks in the neighborhood where I live receive an exciting newsletter filled with all the juicy tidbits such as what's going on at the community clubhouse, what was discussed at the last neighborhood counsel meeting, and which of the strict policies about landscaping upkeep and trash bin concealment have suffered continual, deliberate disregard by lazy, complacent homeowners.
When the newsletter arrives on our doorstep every month, I ask my parents to avoid reading it until we can all be seated together at the dinner table, where my Mom will read it out loud to us. This way, we can ensure that all issues covered are properly dissected, made fun of and belittled, guaranteeing at least 15 minutes of good, solid entertainment. Big cheers for cheap thrills! (What do you guys do for fun at your dinner table?)
Three things that are sure, SURE to be mentioned in every single newsletter are....drumrolll....1) Recent home break-ins and how to prevent them (*hint* if a young man comes to your doorstep and offers to vacuum your carpet for college credit, chances are something is amiss. And yes, someone tried that mind-blowing, case-the-joint approach at this very house!) 2) Dog poop and the blatant and repeated non-scooping violations (this actually IS a hot-button issue for my Dad, fyi. At my parents' last house in Colorado, he was known to loom tall and menacing on their back porch balcony--which overlooked the neighborhood park--just daring, daring the dog walkers to leave a turd behind.) 3) The Speedy McSpeedsters that riproar through the neighborhood (whose main street is one part of the connecting ways between the 580, inland areas and the nearby CSU East Bay). Every single month, the newsletter mentions that cops are on the beat, ready and willing to issue tickets to any criminal who thinks he is above the law and can just *pause* at one of the 8 stop signs that line the neighborhood's main street instead of coming to a complete stop! Or, ahem, she.
Today's New Activity: (Hardly)-Moving Violation
I should never have mentioned a few weeks back about how lucky I was to have had so little contact with police. I feel like I issued a silent taunt to the area law enforcement officials, a challenge to see who would be the first to bust me well and truly.
I just wish my first-ever ticket (in 16 1/2 years of driving! I'm not braggin' but hot damn that's a good streak!) could have been for something sexier and more dangerous than a mf'n California Rolling Stop. Something like "Clinging to Vehicle" or "Speed Contest" would have been nice, for instance.
When the officer stopped me and informed me that I hadn't made a complete stop at the sign ("what? really?"), I mentioned that I was running late for work, but that I knew it was no excuse. I wish I could play it cool but I've got too guilty a conscience for that. The lame thing was that I wasn't actually running late for work. I was running late for Starbucks...I was running late for work if I wanted to get coffee on my way there. And there is one surefire way to guarantee you won't have time to stop for coffee when you just *might* have otherwise squeezed it in. And that, of course, is to fail to show the proper respect to a stop sign, right in front of a man whose JOB it is to cite and fine you in just such an event.
This afternoon, when I told my Mom about the ticket, she mentioned there'd been e-mails a flying in recent days on the neighborhood listserv about how wonderful it was to hear the sound of that officer's siren in the morning and what a hero he is. I am going to get myself on that listserv and send my own e-mail, imploring those people to get a LIFE!!!
Still, it was a good warning to me to better heed ALL traffic laws, now that I have a record and all.