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