Friday, August 22, 2008

Where have I been? (warning: I'm very parenthetical today)

It's been a week (almost) since my last post. Where on earth has Laurie Ann been? Well, I haven't been to London to visit the Queen, that's for sure. I've been dealing with the remnants of my vehicle registration issues. Not only did I have the countless parking tickets and that whole silly impound adventure, but also received two separate "fix it" tickets (one occurred on the 101--nothing beats getting pulled over on the freeway surrounded by looky-loos). I extended my due dates as much as possible and still managed to miss a date. So, Monday, I had to visit the Metropolitan Courthouse on Hill Street to stand in the never ending line, show my now valid registration, and pay an easy $10 fine.

Wednesday, however, was not so easy. Wednesday I had to appear before the judge because of my "failure to appear." (I guess I'm no longer the white sheep in my family) After parking in the scariest underground parking ever (no, really, location scouts take note--this would be the perfect place to film one of those parking garage murder scenes), I headed up to the 3rd floor to await my time before the judge. I was early. Waaay early. The courts don't appreciate early. I had to wait. I visited the snack bar for some lunch. Did I say snack bar? I meant the room one step above that convenience store at the 76 gas station. Here's my lunch.Confession: I like gas station food. I had corn nuts too.

I went back upstairs to wait and wait, and witnessed some of the most creative line-cutting ever. Then handsome deputy came out, shouted some instructions, took our tickets, and escorted us into the courtroom of Department 61. We were sorted again and some lucky stiffs were sent directly to the cashier. Not me. Once were were all sorted and seated, Deputy Hottie gave us his spiel about what to do and say. "Step up to the podium. The judge will read your charges and you must answer with Guilty, Not Guilty or--is that guy sleeping?" Yeah, some fool fell asleep. The deputy woke him up and sent him out to wait in the hall. After Sleepy left the room, Deputy Hottie said, "He won't see the judge until 4:00. Don't fall asleep." Deputy Hottie also warned us about cell phone use but that didn't stop Ghetto Gal next to me from getting on her celly ("Gurrrl, yeah, I'm at the court. Yeah, my ass hurts on these seats.")

The judge was quick and easy and really very generous with the reduced fines and his "slow down and don't forget traffic school." I stepped up, said "guilty" before he read the charges and was sent away with a $45 fine. A $45 fine that swelled to a whopping $330 after penalties were assessed. I think I paid for the cashier's lunch at The Palm as well. I wouldn't know since I didn't receive an itemized bill. I love these old-timey phone booths. They make me want to shout "Stop the presses!" Also, notice that the Metropolitan Court has the same gold tone tiles as the Criminal Court building. I guess they got a deal.

I made it out of the scary parking garage unscathed and came home to nap. I've been awfully busy ever since. (but not too busy to keep up on everyone else's blogs--Hi Internets!)


woolanthropy said...

traffic court, scary glad you made it to SnB so I could dump all the contents of your purse on the floor. I guess I was the cherry in your day. Please forgive me.

MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

Vicky Vale. Hey, good thing you got a handsome deputy. Whenever I have an interaction with the law, they are usually paunchy old dudes with pockmarked faces who joined the force in order to finally have some sort of POWER over someone. Oy.

jenna! said...

Oh, I know the traffic court scary underground garage. I was called to jury duty there. I got in fine, went up to the Court with the herd of other jurrros. But I ran to work at lunch (this is when I worked downtown) and when I came back, que scary music...

I exited the garage (to go back to the jury room) where it said EXIT and there was a door. Obvious right? Yeah, that door led to a locked gate that said it would sound an alarm if I went through there. FIRE EXIT ONLY. I tried to go back to the scary garage but the door was locked. I tried knocking but no one was there.

I stood in the gated staircase staring at a scary alley weighing my options. I figured I'd be safer above ground and decided to run through the gate and take my chances with the fines the sign was threatening.

Yeah, no alarm but to this day one of the most stressful experiences of my life.