Disastrous Trip - 9/27/04
Leaving for tutoring on Friday, I noticed a cop hiding at the end of our block, watching to see if anyone ran the stop sign there. Proud of myself for spotting him, I came to a complete stop at the crosswalk, looked both ways a few times, then proceeded slowly and safely through the intersection. Unfortunately, I wasn't wearing my seatbelt (I usually put it on a block or two into my trip, at the first stoplight). Unfortunately, he saw me. That's when the trouble started.

After the catastrophic selling of the Buick LeSabre, I vowed I would never register the Spacemobile in California. Instead I would continue living the story that it's my parents' car (which is true) that I'm temporarily borrowing and might return to Minnesota at any time (which is false). As long as I remember to keep renewing the tabs there, I'll be fine. As long as I remember.

I didn't remember. The tabs say "'04," so I hadn't really worried about it. But in the small print, they say "March '04". So suddenly I not only had a seatbelt infraction, I was also driving an expired, non-California-registered automobile. The good cop told me the bad cop wanted to impound the Spacemobile, but that he'd "talked him out of it." He did, however, sign me up for nearly $500 dollars worth of tickets. Ironically, my tendency to roll through stop signs was not the problem. The cops weren't too horrible about it, I guess, except that they both kept calling me "Boss." God, I hate people who call other people "Boss."

I left the scene and a minute later nearly hit by a pickup truck who pulled out into traffic at a stupid time and slammed on his brakes across two lanes. I let him have it with the horn and he responded by rolling down his window and challenging me to fisticuffs. I politely responded that he was blocking traffic and would probably improve his driving if he removed his head from his nether-regions, though I'd be more than happy to shove it in further for him. He pulled onto a side-street to search for a sparring location and I drove away, leaving him with the "old number one" gesture with one of my fingers. I don't recall which one.

I was headed to tutoring in Hermosa Beach, 1 mile from my house. It typically takes about 5 minutes; this disastrous trip cost me 30 minutes, $500, a near auto-wreck and almost getting my car impounded. That calculates to about 35 cents per yard of driving. Yup, it was right up there with the time I got two speeding tickets within 20 minutes.

This is why I usually bike.



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