I will immediately admit that it was totally my fault. Saying that, let me quote my son: “Let’s take Hwy 19; it’s two lane, 55 mph all the way there.”
I got my first speeding ticket in over 28 years. Dammit. I was so pissed. Of course it was in this dinky ass town called Plummersville and the end of the month and blah, blah, blah. I had never been there before and trust me, will never go there again.
I was cited for going 52 in a 35. Which I know was not true because there was the 45 mph and then BAM! 50 feet later was the sign for 35 mph. (They may be a small town but not stupid in knowing ways to obtain money).
When I went online to look up my fine, it was $180.00. WTF! Surely they jest. Figuring that I could at least reduce the amount of the ticket, I duly put the date for traffic court on my Outlook calendar and planned on presenting my side of the story (not including my son’s stupid advice).
Used GPS to find the courthouse. Drove by the damn thing three times before finally rolling down my window and asking someone. “This is it,” they told me. I was dumbfounded. Never would have even guessed.
Because this “courthouse” was definitely more like a community hall/fire station/employee lounge/after school program room. Not kidding. Because all I could see were metal folding chairs and tables, a microwave and fridge and several cheery religious signs on the wall. When I walked in, I asked someone where I signed in. They just looked at me. “You don’t,” they said. So I just sat down.
I seriously wanted to take a picture but with the many cops and a few other employees, I was definitely afraid of saying or doing anything other than sitting on that damn uncomfortable metal chair. And checking my work email because I certainly had other things I could be doing.
Finally the “judge” (I have to use the term loosely here) got the rollie chairs from the lounge area and set up at the folding table at the front of the room. As the court employee called out names, no one responded. Finally, after several of these, the judge announced that everyone could just line in up in alphabetical order and he would speak with each person.
When my name was called, I went up the front and explained that I was “not going 52 in a 35; but would agree that I was going 52 in a 45.”
The judge’s response was; “Hon, it doesn’t matter how fast you were going, if you plead guilty you will pay the fine.”
“I respectfully request that you do not call me ‘hon’ and to clarify—it wouldn’t matter if I were in a 35 or 45 mph zone, the fine would be the same?”
“No, if you were going 20 mph over the speed limit, you would also have been cited for reckless driving. How do you plead?”
“Guilty and do you take credit cards?”
“Yes, pay the clerk $180.00.” (Wait, this gets better)
So I go to the cop-clerk and hand him my ticket and credit card. He looks at me and then says he isn’t sure he can process the credit card because “the last time I tried to do it, the entire card was ruined.”
“But I was told you could take a credit card.”
“Well, we can but Doris has to do it.”
“And where is Doris?”
“Up there with the judge so you’ll have to wait until she is done.”
Now, mind you my last name is at the beginning of the alpha so I REALLY did not want to hang around for another 30 minutes. And I didn’t bring my Jimmy Dean frozen sausage biscuit to cook in the microwave.
“Now,” the cop-clerk continued. “You could go to the Country Store and use the ATM to get cash. I can take that.”
“You have to be bloody kidding me,” I muttered as I left the room, got in my car and drove to the Country Store and used their ATM.
I returned to the courthouse/after school center/church fellowship hall with my cash and proceeded to the cop-clerk again. By this time “Doris” was free and could have taken my credit card but since I now had cash, this wasn’t an issue. I did feel obligated to tell Doris that cop-clerk needed to obviously have training on taking credit card payments. She didn’t care.
Here is a picture of the outside of the courthouse. If I had waited 10 minutes, I could have included the judge smoking a cigarette next to the vending machine.