I felt like an actress who'd studied her lines for two months and no one showed up. The whole Night Court event was rigged. We don't get a chance to show our humanity. We are only a number. I fretted for two months after Chief Lefebre told me that I shouldn't just pay the ticket. He said he didn't want to give me the ticket, because I had a clean record, but he had to because I was over 15 over the limit (60 instead of 45). If I wanted to keep the insurance from knowing about the point reduction on my license, I should go to court, and tell the judge what I told him about why I was speeding. He seemed truly sympathetic.
So for two months I worked to figure out what of my three "excuses" would have the most impact on a sympathetic judge. Now I did this while hating the idea of not accepting blame for speeding. I know I was speeding. I had let up in the gas before I saw the blue reds flashing behind me. This was only four days before my doctor gave me the nausea medication and I really was afraid I was going to be sick after two hours behind the wheel. This was not a good situation for someone with a stress disorder, who came to believe she had a panic attack which landed her in ER and nothing more. A panic attack because for me, going to Seattle is always stressful, made worse by the higher level of responsibility this year. But once you puke, you do not forget that sensation. I just had to have the rotten luck of getting caught on top of everything else, right?
So finally the day came and I felt horrible the whole day stressing over this. I wondered if I'd make it. When we got there - yeah, Joe came because he'd never been to Night Court before, goodie for him - I had to sign in on a sheet of paper if I wanted to talk to an attorney. Right. My only experience with Night Court was the TV series. I didn't expect to see Harry Anderson, or Bull the Bailiff, and thought Markie Post the attorney was just for show. Here the attorney looked like she patterned her career after the show. I had to talk to the attorney? I asked about that and she (the bailiff) said, yeah, that's what I had to do. Not the judge, the lawyer.
So I was fifth on the form, and she started calling people into the conference room. After the third was called, I saw him. Chief Lefebre. I didn't know him, had barely glanced at him during the traffic stop, but saw his name on his shirt. He was gorgeous. I mean he belonged in Hollywood, not little town of Turtle. Tall, lean and gorgeous. He was wearing his uniform, and I'm not sure why he was there. He seemed to act as guard for the attorney because he took over her role of calling us into conference.
I waited for his sympathetic nature to emerge, but I got not even a nod from him. I don't know how many grannies he's arrested, I was one of two there. But I sat down in front of the attorney and she said I wanted to plea bargain my points away so it doesn't affect my insurance? I said yeah, I was told to mention how I was feeling ready to puke, and that BT is an easy street to feel disoriented on because it's so dark and no businesses or …
"Well if you're disoriented, do you think you should have been speeding?"
"I wanted to get home before I puked. And I did know I was speeding, I let up on the gas before I saw the cop lights. I have a clean record …"
"We can erase your points, make them not count toward your license and insurance, for a total fine of $187."
I think I must have stared at her, blinked once. The ticket was $124. What was this? "Yeah, sure, fine, okay."
She handed me the folder and told me to give it to the judge. The Chief said nothing. I got up.
"And don't speed anymore."
I looked back at her. And restrained myself with stammers. No one mentioned the fact that I drive a hybrid, and we drive slower for better gas mileage. By that point, I thought, what's the use. I don't even get to talk to the judge.
So I brought my folder to him, he asked if I agreed to pay $187 to keep my points, and I said yes. You plead no contest. No sir, I plead guilty, I know I was speeding. But I wanted to explain. Deal is acceptable, see the bailiff before you leave.
Here's where it got interesting for me. As I was filling out the paperwork to pay by my debit card, the next one got up there and I heard the same thing. We'll let you keep your points for $187. I wasn't the only one being offer plea bargains. We all were encouraged to be there, just to get more money out of us. Like pay the fine or go to jail, this is pay a bigger fine or lose your points.
In Summary: That Chief Lefebre was not sympathetic at all. He knew if I came in I would be offered this plea deal and nothing I said about why I was speeding made any difference at all. I rehearsed and stressed for two months for nothing. It was a set-up, a scam. And now I feel so very much less human for it.
A HALLOWEEN TAROT READING
I'm going backward in time here, but this entire blog relates to living in Beloit. As soon as Joe began to be abused by the school system, I had a sinking feeling about living here. He didn't want to work every day. He just couldn't see no to them. And in some ways he enjoyed being needed. The problem arose that he wasn't allowed - or felt he was allowed - to have a decent lunch. All he took was crappy energy bars, and didn't listen to me when I told him that wasn't a good idea.
So now he's disabled, I want to leave here, move back to Madison (even talked to a former co-worker at Easter Seals) and told him the house goes up for sale as soon as he can't do his share. Well, that's a good move on my part because it keeps him active. Carrie said that I should hire someone to mow and shovel snow (he has an electric thrower but it's not something that needs doing every week either). I said no, we sell the house if he can't. And I told him that if he thinks of hiring to get that done, I will hire for housework. Oh, he says, we tried that once and it didn't work. Ha. It's absolute agony scrubbing the floors in this open concept.
Anyway, there we are, doing a Tarot reading. I thought I could do it of the two of us at once, but I quickly learned these are individual readings. His first card was of "Perfect Contentment," and that's exactly how I'd describe the way he feels in this house. He loves it here. I don't. I whacked my ribs the other day on that darned wooden stairs barrier that I whacked other parts on two previous times, and believe me, you think you've broken a bone for how long it hurts afterward.
As I continued his reading, the same trend continued: "Plenty in all things - material well being." And here's my favorite: "If you allow future influence this will lead to agitation, trouble, embroilment." In other words, don't let anyone take you away from your contentment. Which of course means he has to come to that decision on his own. Goodie. He also got "Hold yourself to what you have, keep current possessions." He also got the Fool card, which I was deign to interpret for him, but could have. His final message was that a page was coming to render you service, with news, a message. This could relate to the phone therapy he's been having. I think that lasts for eight weeks. He never tells me what they talk about, except that he's been told to think about moving to assisted living. That's where you go if you live alone! He doesn't mention me at all. Like I don't even exist in his life. And that's probably the truest statement of all.
So then I shuffled the cards, because there are upside down readings too, and he didn't get any. So I turned some over, shuffled, turn some over, shuffled again. Until I felt they were ready.
Here's my first card: "Imprisonment, doubt, reasonable fear, shame." Oh goodie, I could see where this was going. And all cards proceeded to project misery on me, and here's the thing - ALL of mine were upside down. Now I've always said Joe and I were opposites, but I never expected the cards to say so. "Goal was to be recognized as the one with the answers although I have no authority over them." Says I fantasize about having a higher intellect but instead reach only mundane royalty.
I really don't think we could have gotten more accurate readings by a professional! I did get one card I really liked: "Daughter of Heaven & Earth, meant for much beyond this, above all things material." One that said he reads the law but I give it meaning (my Night Court experience, obviously). I got several that made me a conduit between heaven and earth, which I found fascinating, but in the end I am filled with inner emotions, reflective of disputes in marriage, a stinging of conscience, facing calamity.
Couple this with the Goddess reading I had earlier, and I am to just accept this fate, because, after all, I'm not really meant to be anywhere on this Earth. Explains, I suppose, why my head is always in the clouds.
CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY 2-PLAYER RULES
If you live where you have no one to play cards with, what do you do? Oh sure, we can play cribbage, or gin. But what about a game that even ghosts can play? This past Halloween, we did this for a second time: invited Mom and Ramon to play with us. (Ramon isn't dead but lives in Fort Worth with his daughter.) Here's how you can play four when two people are not there to choose which card to put down.
First, the one who reads the black card (Reader), of course, doesn't get to see any ghost cards. The other player picks up one card from their pile, reads it and puts it in front of the Reader. This way that person will always know who gave each answer, because the winning answer then gets to keep the black card. If you get 10 black cards you win, right? (I'm assuming you know how to play this game.)
One of the issues that we discovered is it can be hard to read yours and the two ghost cards and remember whose is whose. The other suggestion is the person who is giving the Reader the cards reads only one of the ghost cards, the same one each time. Joe opted to read Ramon's, for instance, and I opted to read Mom's. I found it easier to remember just one other person's card, and then the one that isn't familiar belongs to the one you didn't read.
Now remember, this makes the game skewed in favor of the ghosts, because they never become the Reader. So it is easier for them to win. But when you think about how hard you work to choose the right card in each round, and you see these random choices you pull from the ghosts fit the black card better than your choice, you begin to wonder!
For instance, we read this card: "What made my first date so awkward?" Ramon's card read "Masturbation." I mean, that's hilarious, and that was the result of just pulling a card from his hand blindly.
That's the key. You do not look at the Ghost's hand to choose a card. You just pull one blind. The winner that night? Ramon. The time before when we played, Mom won. I didn't not get my answer chosen, even once, but I think Joe skewed his choices against me!
A few other things to think about -- put your card down first, before choosing theirs. You do get to look at theirs, and you don't want that to skew what you put down. Also, you might want to avoid those confusing black cards that have two blanks on them. We did.
Why live, as we do, without friends and no way to have a laugh once in a while?