Monday, January 17, 2011

Long Arm of the Law

Ok, I confess. I got a traffic ticket: in November, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

My husband & I were driving back to Palm Springs after going to theatre at the Mark Taper and after our book club meeting. One was a matinee and the other a dinner. It was a wonderful day. I rained. At 9:30 PM, we said our good byes and headed back for Palm Springs. The night wasn’t so nice.

It was raining cats and dogs. I drove. My husband is snoring softly as I’m driving East on the I-10 through Alhambra. I’m in the car pool lane because I can be. Traffic is moving just as easily in the other lanes. But I was in the car pool lane. The rain is coming down. No one is doing more than 60. Yeah, right.

This is LA. Everyone speeds! I’m doing 60 in the car pool lane. Cars are passing me in the “other” lanes. In the car pool lane ahead of me is a HUGE tour bus. He’s tooling along at 45 mph… Why is HE in the car pool lane? Probably because he can be: weird logic.

I check the lane to my right. Empty. Without thinking,I pull out of my lane to get out from behind that slow bus. Cool. I’m back up to speed with the rest of traffic.

I see the flashing red lights behind me. Who’s the California Highway Patrol car after? Damn! Me! He’s up my butt on his LOUD speaker telling me to pull over!

“What did I do?” is going through my mind. My husband is yelling at me, “Didn’t you see that yellow line? What were you thinking? Our insurance premiums are going to go up!”

I calmly reply – at the top of my lungs, “You got a speeding ticket a month ago and I didn’t say a word! Shut the I calmly reply – at the top of my lungs, “You got a speeding ticket a month ago and I didn’t say a word! Shut the $&#! up!”amp;#! up!” It was NOT pretty. Red lights flashing, CHP yelling from behind; my husband yelling to my right. I’m just trying to get off the I-10 in the pouring rain without getting us killed. What a fun evening!

Officer CHP is nice. He asked if I was lost. Lost? Me? I wasn’t until I pulled off the freeway. I had no idea where I was. What did that have to do with anything?

“Sir, do you know why I pulled you over?” “I’m sure you’ll tell me,” I snark back. I’m crossing out of a car pool lane where’s there’s no traffic, in the pouring rain. I’m lucky to see that there were lane dividers. OK. I was in the wrong. You don’t argue with a big guy who has a firearm strapped to his waist with a beefy hand resting on said gun. Write the damned ticket & let me be on my way.

It took 30 minutes for him to check my driver license and write up the citation. As he explained the convoluted laws of the State of California, I could only think, “finish up so I can roll up this window! I’m getting soaked!”

He finished with, “Do you have any questions?” “Yeah” I said, “How do I get back on the freeway? I’m lost.”

Six weeks later, I still cannot find a record of my citation in the State of California computerized traffic ticket system. I stopped in at the Alhambra Courthouse last week. THEY don’t have it in their system either! I asked the clerk, “Does that mean I won the CHP lottery?” He grinned at me. “Not if they record the citation before your court date.”

Now I’m hoping to go to court on the appointed date and find there’s no still record of that ticket. What are my chances?

Please take time to visit my website at Take a look at my artwork. Contact me if you want to buy one of my pieces or if you have any questions about a specific piece. My contact information is on my website or you can leave a comment on this blog site for me to contact you (include your contact info!). You can e-mail me at or you can telephone me on my studio phone 760-992-3157. You can call me. I won’t mind; I’m hanging out at the gallery with nothing to do. That’s totally untrue. I’m working in the studio.

Thank you for listening,

Jerry L. Hanson

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