That was even worse than I was expecting, quite frankly. Can’t he ever call me to tell me he loves me and wants to shower me with puppies and rainbows? Why does it have to be all, I have cancer! There’s a warrant out for your arrest because you missed jury duty! (Which I hadn’t – it was a mistake) You’re going to jail for not paying your traffic tickets!
But I digress.
Upon hearing this voicemail, my immediate reaction was something along the lines of What the fuck is he even talking about?!! at which point I suddenly remembered that fix-it ticket I got a few months back concerning my lack of front license plate. I’ve never forgotten to pay a ticket in my life, and suddenly I am completely terrified. Am I going to jail?! This isn’t even my fault! I think front license plates are a perfectly reasonable requirement!
No, really, it’s not my fault. Back in the day, circa 1992, my parents bought the car I now drive, and my father actually got down on his hands and knees and removed the front license plate and threw it in the trunk.
Well, according to my parents, front license plates are tacky.
So, as I’m hyperventilating about how my parents’ demented obsession with disobeying the law for the sake of style is going to get me raped by a four hundred pound lesbian in prison, I remember the kind words of the officer who gave me the ticket.
Don’t worry, he said. Just go show them the plate and everything will be fine. I wouldn’t even give you this dumb ticket if these other cops weren’t here.
Whew, okay, it’s not a big deal. Even the police think this law is stupid. I’m going to be fine.
I drive over to my dad’s house to pick up the letter just to verify that he isn’t trying to fuck with me or something. And, in the tragic tradition of being a young blonde female, I am told that I should really let my boyfriend put my front license plate on for me, as to avoid further infractions. I refrain from punching him in the face, as I am capable of using a screwdriver – the problem here is not that I can’t put on my front license plate, it’s that I haven’t. I mean, really Dad?
Anyway, the letter went a little something like this:
THIS SEEMS A LITTLE BIT EXTREME.
(Okay, it didn’t really say that. But it did imply that I would be charged $531 and/or be arrested if I didn’t address the situation within 10 days after April 30. Fan-fucking-tastic.)
Because I wanted very badly to avoid jail and/or huge fines, I used my lunch hour today to wander over to the courthouse to settle the manner (a.k.a, avoid prison) and found myself looking into the eyes of pure apathy – the eyes of a traffic violations department employee. She has eyes the color of Nutella mixed with broken dreams and sub par moral standards – I hand her my letter with some serious reservations.
She says, Five hundred and thirty one dollars, puleeeease.
Whoa, whoa, missy. It is May 6th. I do not owe you five hundred and thirty one dollars!
My cow-faced traffic violations friend looks me dead in the eye and chews her gum like cud. I put on my brightest, most innocent smile. She rolls her eyes, sighs, and says cryptically, Let me gooooo cheeeeeeeck.
So I’m pretty sure she had to go visit the Courthouse Oracle.
I say this because law does not govern the San Pedro Courthouse. The letter I have handed her clearly states that I owe $231 because I am paying within my ten-day grace period. But, apparently, that means nothing. She has to go make an animal sacrifice and get that shit verified.
I feel a tiny glitter of hope in my chest. Perhaps this is all a mistake. Perhaps I owe nothing. I mean, if they can’t trust the official letters they send out to people, then, well, everything must be up for negotiation, right?
Tragically, the Oracle was pissed off today. He probably found out one of his vestal virgins was really a hooker with herpes. Or maybe my traffic violations friend got lazy and sacrificed a dead skunk she found in the dumpster out back instead of a champion white stallion. Because what happened next was clearly not reasonable.
So, yah, starts my intelligent new buddy. This is a mistake...
OH THANK YOU JE….
You actually owe eight hundred and thirty one dollars, she says. With. Gusto. Oh, and this is a misdemeanor, not an infraction.
…SUS FUCKING SHIT.
My jaw dropped so hard, I’m pretty sure everyone in line heard it.
Wait. WAIT. I didn’t have a front license plate. I missed the date on the ticket by a few weeks. I DID NOT MURDER A CHILD AND TIE SAID CHILD’S DEAD BODY TO THE FRONT OF A HUMMER AND RIDE AROUND TOWN WHILE CHUGGING A BOTTLE OF JAGERMEISTER AND SINGING “MEMORIES” FROM CATS. Although I guess that would be a felony.
I just stare at her.
The only sounds that can be heard are my gasping breaths. And angels crying.
Nutella Eyes starts speaking again.
...buuuuuuut we’ll honor the letter. So I guess you owe $231.
I pay – because at this point, $231 sounds like a goddamn miracle – and leave.
As I am furiously telling this tragic tale of metaphorical rape and highway robbery to my mother, she interrupts and says, “Brittany, have [The Boyfriend] put your license plate on your car!”
Point One: You are supposed to be gasping and yelling about the villainy of the court system right now, not referring to whether or not I have a front license plate on my car. That is not the point anymore. THE POINT IS THIS GREVIOUS INJUSTICE TO MY PERSON.Obviously, I’ve really got to stop expecting my mom to respond to my craziness in a desired manner.
Point Two: How is it that you think the very second I thought I was going to get molested in prison for not having a front license plate I did not go put on my front license plate? Woman, I immediately dropped to my knees on the oil-covered roadside and screwed that damn thing on then and there AND UNDID WHAT YOU AND DAD DID 18 YEARS AGO.
I mean, I was totally just kidding when I texted her today…
…and I’m pretty sure if God strikes people dead for that kind of stuff, I would have been hit by lightening a long time ago.
P.S. Seriously, I don’t think anyone should die from cancer for treating me like crap.
P.S.S It was a joke.
P.S.S.S. You don’t even deserve that if you tell me I look ugly and sickly and desperately in need of lipstick in front of a whole room of people (true story). I’m that forgiving.