(Note: I actually posted this over the weekend, but due to some various technical thingies it ended up on 1/13/07. Last year. So for any of you who just happened to be reading old, old posts between Sunday and Thursday I clarify that no, this did not happen to me two years in a row! I'm just stupid is all. And now I post this again, but this year, just to be crazy...)
One of my break lights is more dark then light right now. Dad pointed it out (since it’s pretty tough to notice things on your own ass) a while ago and I keep thinking about it in extremely convenient places like in bed at 4:30am or just as I’m lathering up my head in the shower or sitting in a movie theater. But I am aware of it, so that’s something, right?
So then the weekend before Christmas, as I was pulling into a parking space across the street from our big used book store, I happened to notice that these ladies sitting in the car parked behind me were staring, SUPER-staring, at my car’s rump. And with kind of a “we hate that car, hate it SO MUCH!, and specifically the car rump! Hate!” sort of facial expression. So much so, in fact, that I just had to go see what could cause such rancorous facial expressions about a car’s behind.
As I’m coming around the car I remembered the brake light. “That’s probably it” I’m thinking, “It’s probably that my brake light is out and that’s against their holistic 'all cars should be in good working order' spiritual way and so my dark brake light horribly offended their auto sensibilities. That’s probably all it was… or maybe it’s that my license plate tags are expired.”
Oh, and not like “gosh and golly, my tags expired 20 minutes ago”, but more like “Wow, I’ve been driving around just asking for a ticket since the END OF NOVEMBER!” Again I go Gah!
See, here’s the thing: the post office doesn’t like to deliver mail sent from the Dept. of Motor Vehicles to my home address. They don’t flat-out refuse to do it, but they won’t do it every time. They’ve got about a 65% compliance rate. And it’s not that they’ve got a mistake in my address – I’ve checked. They’ve checked. I’ve asked uninterested third parties to check. We all agree that the address they have is totally my address. The post office has confirmed that there is no reason why they wouldn’t deliver mail addressed thusly. And yet some stuff just never arrives at my house, and this is the second time that an undelivered piece of mail is the one to remind me that my danged license plate tags are about to expire!
OK, so I first realized this on the street on Christmas Eve, when I know there’s no chance of my getting to the friendly people at the DMV right then. I know I’m gonna have to keep driving around all fugitively from the law. Which I’d been doing, at that point, for practically a month. But I didn’t KNOW it before. I thought I was all law abidy and such back then, in my innocent days. Now that I knew that I was a law breaker the cops were just EVERYWHERE! I left the book store and make two left turns, and hey, there’s a cop! I make two more right turns and hey, there’s that cop again! I make a right turn, a left turn, a right turn, another left turn, down a long street… and pull up right next to that same dang cop. Same. Dang. Cop.
I know that they aren’t going to notice my expired tags just driving around, but remember that I also have the much more noticeable single break light. Or as I like to call it, the huge sign on the back of my car that says “Hey officer, look at me, I bet I'm doing all sorts of illegal stuff!!” And sure enough, I spent days surrounded by Five-O until the holidays were over and I could go out and get the tail light fixed. (Because fixing the break light is much cheaper then fixing the tags, which I’ll get to right away. Ish.) In the meantime I am the most law-abidiest person you ever did see. No speeding for me! No iffy parking, no under-feeding the meter. I’m Johnny-Legal, that’s me! Wish me luck.