Laurie Notaro Gets a Speeding Ticket (in her Prius) and Writes an Open Letter to the Municipal County Clerk

Categories: Literary, Outdoors

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/jschumacher
Laurie Notaro is an author, crafter, and expert at finding a good cocktail. She grew up in Phoenix, but is currently based in Eugene, Oregon. Each week, she'll be joining us to share a crafting adventure, draw a flowchart, or remember a few of her favorite things about Phoenix. Today, she tells the story of her recent speeding ticket and writes a list of reasons why she's upset with the county clerk.

Dear Municipal County Clerk;

Let me start by saying I am sure you don't have an easy job. I suppose that's apparent by the fact that you have to sit behind shatterproof glass, which says to me that you have your share of irate customers on a daily basis, and you probably see crazier things and touched dirtier objects than the girl who works the return counter at Wal-Mart.

However, just because you deal with people paying their fines and court fees as a result of lawlessness does not mean you can jump to conclusions about any general lawbreaking citizen.

Lawbreaking is a spectrum, you know, with all sorts of colors in between. NOT EVERY COLOR IS AN ORANGE JUMPSUIT. So when you looked at my citation with a clearly disparaging look and said, "Whoa!" I feel I have no other recourse but to take issue with that. I object, sir, for a variety of reasons:

1. Reserve your disdain, sir, for those who actually take the law into their own hands and who were not really speeding but, more accurately, going downhill and submitting to the forces of physics. I didn't invent physics, I didn't vote for physics, I don't even understand physics. I was simply going downhill on a road THIS CITY MADE, and I can hardly be held responsible for the grade it deemed appropriate, thus creating a perfect physics-fed speed trap that I believe was solely created as a money-making venture for the city like a police-staffed lemonade stand.

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mothercopper.com
2. Doing 43 miles her hour in a 35 miles per hour zone is not breaking the sound a barrier, m' lord. It's not like I was all gassed up and making my way to Mars in a Prius that in certain moments, gets 99 MPG. NINETY-NINE MILES PER GALLON sometimes, even if it's just for a fraction of a second. If that doesn't demonstrate how seriously I take my responsibility to humanity, including people overseas who I do not understand when they call me to tell me my credit card payment is late, then frankly, I don't know what does. I had a V-6 Camry before I decided to provide a future for children I don't even have, so it's clear that I traded speed and power for a car that everyone who volunteers for Habitat For Humanity drives, and even some Doctors Who Don't Have Borders.

3. I was not drunk. Nor was I cited for that, but I could see the look of speculation that crossed your face when you saw my speed of eight miles above the posted limit. "What sort of madwoman is this?", it said. Stand down, sir. Stand down. I will have you know that for most of the summer, we have had our teenage nephew staying with us and whenever I got a little too happy at breakfast, lunch or dinner, all I had to do was toss him the keys and my chances of walking the line dropped dramatically. Sure, sure, it was my plan to wait a week before I drank "magic grape juice" in front of the Mormon side of the family, but happy hour is happy hour and if there's a $3 glass of chilled rose calling my name on a summer afternoon, you can hardly expect me to ignore that sort of value. Alcohol rarely goes on sale. But I can usually find it when it does.


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49 comments
ConcernedReader
ConcernedReader

It's sad to see someone trying *so hard* to be funny, and failing at every opportunity.  Yet, for some reason, there always seems to be another Laurie Notaro article published in this paper to make you feel a little worse about the fact that someone so awful at what they do is actually getting paid to be really terrible..

 

ohfortheloveofgod
ohfortheloveofgod

Come on, Laurie, write another one!  Write another one!  Please Please Please Please!  This is so much FUN!  

b_bazley
b_bazley

Just sounds like complaining to me....anything more than 5 miles/hour over can get you a ticket.    Traffic tickets are what pay to have police for the other more urgent services that we need in our neighborhoods.  You are mailed your insurance card and you can print one online...sounds like you being a negligent customer.  Suck it up and enjoy that a civil servant was doing his/her job so that they could provide you safety at a later date.  You being cute or untattooed does not negate your speeding. 

David Romo
David Romo

agents of social controll love to fang those who shade themselves in prius's while in hot pursuit of good cocktails....

donna_lee624
donna_lee624

Ah Seaninnova. I do believe you have proven my point!  . Kudos to you for including politics - perhaps you would like to somehow work in Allah a/k/a G_d a/k/a GOD a/k/a Powers That Be, etc.into the comments? Geeeeeezzzzz!

 

nikcam84
nikcam84

Tell it, sister!

 

Last year, I was driving my boyfriends mother's car... got pulled over because the tags were expired. They gave ME the court date AND the ticket. I guess I "forgot" to pay.... Well, 24 hours after the due date of that ticket my license was suspended - and i ended up dishing out twice as much to get it reinstated, plus a whole day's worth of pay at work. I was sent numerous letters after that with information regarding the law from our county's courthouse. I also had to explain this embarassingly and ridiculous event to my insurance company. 

 

this brings me to my next point... My exhusband owes over $2,000 in child support. Now, not only was he allowed to move to another country, but he also does not pay taxes in this country... AND now that he works, I only recieve an extra 2% of that back-pay until he is caught up (which in my calculations would be 4 years). His license was never suspended. He never went to jail. He is free and happy living in tropical climates, sipping mai-tais with the local bar-wh0res. And as long as he sends even $5 a week, he will stay free and clear. 

 

The law is corrupt. I will never trust in my local or state government again. 

bethabee
bethabee

Wow, some people just can't take a little humor anymore! Laurie, I've been a long time, die hard fan of yours since your first book... keep the laughs coming! Thank you for this giggle!!! XOXO

ohfortheloveofgod
ohfortheloveofgod

oh my god, Laurie, they just don't get it, do they?

The whole point of the blog is going RIGHT OVER their heads.

donna_lee624
donna_lee624

Ah, car 'coasting'.  One of the few thrills left in these rough economic times!  Much like reading a humor article written by a person of humor and whimsy unlike reading a negative, unproductive comment from a humorless person called seaninnova.  Then again I do tend to try to see the silver lining of things.  While I get chuckles reading about cow flatulence adding to the green house problem seaninnova would probably become indignant at my lack of concern at such a major issue.   Please continue to be awesomely wonderfully wonderful in entertaining us with your life and words Ms. Laurie while the haters just stammer and quake in their aimless anger!

JustDoIt
JustDoIt

43 in a 35 is breaking the law, sure it is not criminal speeding, but it is speeding and any MORON knows this, and woul dnot waste the time of or clutter our system with letters meant to vent your own stupidity and ignorance of such a law. Hope they double your fine for being such an arrogant individual.

juneohara65
juneohara65

That's entrapment. 

 

Had I known you blogged, I'd have been commented much sooner.  

cwohlschlaeger
cwohlschlaeger

seaninnova this is NOT traffic court nor the "How much more paper I save than you do" site.  You and the other grumpy old people obviously don't realize this is a HUMOR column. Laurie, you are AWESOME!

troybob
troybob

Dafuq did I just read?  No one cares but your cats.  Speed limits are there for a reason.  I speed, but I don't complain when I get a ticket I deserved.

seaninnova
seaninnova

That was the most offensive column I've read in a long while. While you "awesomely" pat yourself on the back, consider this. (1) your hipster Prius will kill a child at 43mph just as efficiently as any other car, regardless of the gas it is or isn't using... the speed limit is designed to keep you, and your would be pedestrian victims, out of the hospital and out of the grave... physics isn't meant to play a role in driving down hills when, as we all know, even priuses...prii?... come with brakes (you'll find that pedal to the left of your horribly efficient accelerator); (2) my insurance company has gone paperless... no endless mail, no endless crap in the mailbox, no wasted paper... and I'll bet yours would be happy to do so, too... or guess what? if you don't get too many speeding tickets and your Xanax dosage isn't too high, all the other companies that do offer paperless (read: email) service, will gladly undercut your bill by at least $5 to get you to sign up with them... so stop flapping your gums and help the environment by saving a tree already; (3) snarkiness is great... I love snarky almost as much as I love "...", whatever those three dots are called... but snarkiness toward court clerks, or Wal-Mart return counter workers is not only cliche, it's also just plain rude. I would rather have read an article about how a well-educated, earth-loving liberal went out of her way to be nice to another human being she didn't know, especially one who tested her patience by "ooh'ing" her speeding ticket and fonding her Visa. Wouldn't the world be a better place if (a) all our bills were paperless and trees didn't live in fear, (b) kids could play in their neighborhoods because people weren't priusing down their streets at half the speed Marty McFly needed to achieve time travel, and (c) we all went out of our way a little more often to give one another a smile, ask each other how our day was going, and made some polite conversation rather than blogging our snarky little hearts out to faux-mock those who were working to provide for their families and weren't breaking the law? I enjoyed your wit and indeed you're a fine writer, Laurie, but your Sex-in-the-City, Limousine Liberal, Prius-speeding, ignorant-of-physics, dissing-on-others, non "..." using snarkiness rubbed me the wrong way and made me wish so much more for someone of your potential. Hope you learn to use your breaks and treat others with more respect.

QstionEvythng
QstionEvythng

The brake is that thing just to the left of the gas pedal. 

laurienotaro
laurienotaro

Again, I love comments. They could not be more awesome.

bobobogoat
bobobogoat

Jeez, grow up. Driving a hybrid and thinking the world revolves around you does not make it so. So you got a ticket because you didn't break (or gear down) while going downhill. Instead of blaming it on a speed trap for the municipality to make money, how about you open your mind and consider maybe that hill is a dangerous spot where lots of accidents happen because people don't slow down and law enforcement simply watches for speeders more there to save lives. Your judgment of other people's appearance and how it places you above them is repugnant. Just another self-important, self-entitled piece of trash who doesn't want to take any personal responsibility for themselves. If the speed limit is 35mph, it's 35mph and if you exceed it, you can and sometimes will get a ticket. The county clerk doesn't have to kiss your ass because of it. Maybe he was having a bad day, maybe you were emanating the same smug attitude you do in this piece and he was simply tired of dealing with whiny hipsters, maybe you're just a grade A d-bag and need to grow the $()# up. In any case, I hope you get more tickets until you wake up and realize that the world doesn't revolve around you and you are no better than the rest of us flipflop wearing masses. Oh, and carry your insurance on you, you idiot. If you can't be bothered to do so and blame your insurance company for why you didn't, change providers and just STFU already.....

ohfortheloveofgod
ohfortheloveofgod

Laurie, you're AWESOME.

Don't listen to nowayjose1.  She (?) obviously just doesn't get it.

 

mmeforte496
mmeforte496

I got my first speeding ticket in 30 years of driving last week.  In a 10-year-old Honda Accord that I didn't even know could accelerate to 56 MPH (in a 40 MPH zone) in less than 2 minutes.  Now my husband, who's an attorney, is making me go to court.  He SAYS it's because if I just pay the ticket, it's $90 and 2 points on my license, which will of course raise our insurance, whereas if I go to court I might do better due to my clean driving record.  But it's REALLY because he wants to go with me as my mouthpiece and watch me squirm and act contrite (emphasis on the word ACT).

addymonica
addymonica

Very funny! I like knowing that I'm not the only " normal" person getting a ticket. And nowayjose1 this is a humor column not a Laurie Notaro think she's better than everyone else column. There's no reason to throw the "H" word around.

 

nowayjose1
nowayjose1

How Juvenile.  

You shouldn't get a ticket because you drive a hybrid and wore cosmetics?  I'm not a fan of traffic tickets, but I think I like whiny self entitled hipsters even less.  

nowayjose1
nowayjose1

@ConcernedReader Its even sadder to see her state over and over again how much she dosn't care that people don't care for her attitude or writing. Well I suppose that would be sad, but sadder yet is the inability as a writer to convey that thought clearly and instead having to resort to "I love the comments section" ad naseum 

marcy
marcy

 @nikcam84 Find a new boyfriend who comes from a better background.

 

On second thought, never mind, you sound like a perfect match.

 

Kudos to your ex-husband for cutting his losses and moving on.

seaninnova
seaninnova

 @bethabee

 They used to think laughter was the best medicine, but now most doctors are going with antibiotics. As a result, I don't endorse that "humor" thing of which you write. Incidentally, I've been a long-time DIe Hard fan... but, you know, prob'ly not the same thing.

seaninnova
seaninnova

 @donna_lee624

 How am I a hater? @#$%... I said Laurie is a fine writer. Does everything people do have to be good? If I criticize Obama, am I a racist too? Fine, I think Obama talks like he's got a stick up his @ss, and that's when he uses the teleprompter. When he doesn't use it, I think he talks like George W. Bush with a stick up his @ss. Does that make me a hater? No. Will I be hurt if you don't think I'm funny? No, not really. Incidentally, I'm pretty sure cow flatulence is a bigger problem than most people assume.

Sindi
Sindi

 @maximummccoy 

Apparently you have never taken a drivers ed class in Phoenix.  That is not speeding.  Speeding is 10 miles over the speed limit.  If your speed is 11 miles over you can be ticketed. You will NOT be ticketed at  10 miles or less over the limit.

seaninnova
seaninnova

 @cwohlschlaeger

 My bad, I didn't realize it was a "worship at the feet of Laurie" site. Yes, I had a bug up my butt earlier, as, no, I didn't much like this particular column, but as you've now explained this site to me, I'll get with the program. READY? HERE GOES: Laurie, I loved every word you wrote/typed/blogged. You are the wind beneath my wings, the captain to my crunch, the marshmellow in my rice crispy treats. When I looked up comic genius in Websters this afternoon, not only did I find your picture, I found your picture in color... the only color illustration in the entire dictionary. That's saying something! When Congress convenes next, I'm writing all 435 Members and demanding they award you the first Congressional Medal of Honor on the basis of not just your comedy, but also your humanity (lest we all forget, you drive a Prius). When next I dine with Andrew Lloyd Webber, I'm going to hint that his next musical should simply be "Laurie!" and see where he can take it. And as if Arizona hasn't been looking for an excuse to do this anyway, I've already left messages at the State Capitol to change MLK Day to Laurie Notaro Day here in the Grand Canyon State. In this instance, we'll honor you by driving just a little bit faster than we otherwise might think prudent, but only when going downhill, and only if that gravity-thing can overcome that friction-thing (out, out, damn physics!) and we do it in neutral! Last but not least, I'm going to take it upon myself to rewrite the collected works of Dr. Seuss to pay homage to the genuis of Laurie Notaro... beginning with the newly titled "Green Eggs and Speeding Tickets"... followed by "The Cop in the Hat"... after which I'll take a turn at "One Fish, Two Fish, Look No Breaks!"... ahh, yes, indeed, life is better now that I've firmly planted myself into a Laurie-centric universe. Thanks again for setting me straight!

dakra
dakra

@seaninnova You need to have your head examined if you think this article was "offensive."  I personally don't like the styling of the Prius or most hybrids but I don't see how describing this as a "hipster" vehicle helps analyze the issues she raises in her article.  You are making a number of obnoxious assumptions that the author is a "limousine liberal" Xanax taking whatever.  For example, I could assume from your response that you are a knuckle-dragging misogynist conservative who thinks women should be barefoot and in the kitchen, but then I'd be guilty of the same lack of logical reasoning you exhibited in your excessively verbose response.  


nvaerewyck1
nvaerewyck1

 @seaninnova seaninnova was more funny than the article. i'm guessing the court clerk scoffed because he was shocked to see someone ACTUALLY came down to court to pay a speeding ticket. that shit can be done online with a VALID credit card, which is probably why he was so intent on checking it. 

JustDoIt
JustDoIt

 @seaninnova

 The author thinks its funny, just like most every other Childish 20-30 something year old who lives the Old Town Scdl life

nowayjose1
nowayjose1

@laurienotaro  Repetitive and smug, that's what you're going with here?  You need to thicken up that skin a little, especially if you're going to take criticism as an excuse to display your immaturity instead of an opportunity to do a better job.  You already stated that you're above it all after the first comment in the article, why restate it here?  Why state it at all, if you are in fact so above it?   Truth is you wrote an immature article, got called out, and acted in an immature way.  Give it 10 years, you'll see what I mean. ;)  Until then try to put on your big girl pants and improve at your job and you just may grow up and be able to peer beyond your own navel.  

dakra
dakra

@bobobogoat Wow, who pissed in your Cheerios this morning?  Did it ever occur to you that the government uses speeding enforcement as a tool to raise revenue?  Her speed of 8 mph over the limit is not reckless, not dangerous and in all likelihood, probably endangered no one.  Often, local governments set speed limits too low to help generate more tickets and thus more revenue.  It is all a scam - if we as a society were serious about speeding enforcement as a "safety tool," all vehicles by law would be equipped with a speed limiter of 75 mph, and it would be a felony to disable that limiter to go faster.    The fact that we have not done this and continue to make cars with ever-increasing horsepower and top speeds in the 120 mph to 150 mph range tells me this is all utter hypocrisy.  

dakra
dakra

@mmeforte496 You are far better off going to traffic school and wiping out the citation.  There would be no points on your license and there would be no rate increase.  I clerked for a justice court judge in law school and attorneys arguing simple traffic cases like this usually irritate the judge to no end.  16 mph over the limit is enough that no one is going to give you a pass.  If it is your word versus the cop's word, you will likely lose (unless your husband is F. Lee Bailey - and even then that's a maybe); then you get to pay the full fine and potentially have points on your license.  As long as you have not been to traffic school in the last two years, you can do that, waste a Saturday morning and get the citation dismissed.  

beebee13
beebee13

 @seaninnova And all those antibiotics are just making you sicker by killing off all the good bacteria as well and as a result, lowering your body's ability to be healthy. I'll continue laughing... haven't had to take antibiotics in over 15 years! 

QstionEvythng
QstionEvythng

 @seaninnova

" I think Obama talks like he's got a stick up his @ss, and that's when he uses the teleprompter. When he doesn't use it, I think he talks like George W. Bush with a stick up his @ss." 

 

Now that was funny!

b_bazley
b_bazley

 @Sindi How does anyone say that ANYTHING over the posted limit...is the REAL limit?!!!!  Suck it up...you saw the posted rules and because you usually get leniency does not ALWAYS mean you get leniency for breaking a rule.  Pay your fine or go to driving school and be thankful that we have law enforcement in a tough economy.

laurienotaro
laurienotaro

 @maximummccoy CHEER UP, you guys! Charlie Sheen will make another show someday. PS: Did you spend your entire smoke break writing that?

mmeforte496
mmeforte496

@dakra @mmeforte496 We did go to court.  Officer showed up.  Judge was amused that I was married to my representation.  Husband went in with Maryland statute to back him up -- if a traffic law isn't indicated by a sign or something, it can't be enforced.  There was no speed limit sign between where I got on the expressway and where I was stopped.  Judge had to go to his law books; found the statute; case dismissed.  I don't know if traffic school would have been an option, but I probably would have done it if I could avoid points, etc.  Anyhow, it was an experience -- first time in a court room as a party to a case.

bethabee
bethabee

 @maximummccoy wow, you really DO have a huge limb covered in poison ivy up your ass, huh?

 

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