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When Bad Becomes Good!

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I wrote a while back about the bad luck streak I had. Breaking down car and van, roof getting blown off in a storm, walking miles to get home,  slow work schedule, bad cheque from customer. In the end it worked out because the insurance company paid me to re-roof my home. I was in need of a new roof anyways so it provided some quick cash and got me a new roof. My bills are now up to date and the work is coming in again.

Not so quick to claim clear skies ahead. I got pulled over by the friendly Ottawa Police and he was kind enough to point out my license plate was over due since September last year. A little more paper work and well looky here your license is expired. Of course, the cherry on the cake was my outdated insurance slip. I guess on my last birthday I procrastinated so much, that I totally forgot.

The police officer gave me three tickets, no plates, no license and no updated insurance slip. He told me he couldn't let me drive the vehicle home and that I should make arrangements for someone to drive the car back to my home. I did as he suggested and told him it will be three hours until my friend could come. The officer explained that he will drive away and that he will not be looking for me or my car. I got the hint and as soon as he was out of sight, I high tailed it home.

This entire situation is my own damn fault, I know that. It is what fueled my desire to write that blog saying I'm an asshole. I was going to remove it this morning, but realized It is in my best interest to admit my short comings.

This morning I was literally sick to my stomach thinking about how stupid and neglectful I was and now had to take the chance driving around the city to complete all the paper work and pay over five hundred dollars in fines not to mention the plate and license renewals. I waited until the mail lady came, hoping my insurance cheque was here. Fucking aces, four thousand dollars in the mail box!!! 

I used my work van to do my deeds as the license sticker is on the front and not the back, where a cruiser can pull up behind you and notice. That's how I got caught. Cashed the cheque, filled my wallet with money and off I go, on a stomach boiling over with nervousness. I must have shit ten times today. If I got caught again, seriously, I would have entered a dark period of life.

The water to my area has been strictly reduced, due to scientific error, and road work has begun to rebuild the water lines. Road lanes are down to one and traffic control is needed. As I approached the affected area, there was a random vehicle check point. My stomach churned. I could see a line of cars pulled over and I reduced my speed to below the posted limit.

The police officer appreciated my caution and flagged me through. Thank God the 2012 stickers are the same color as the 2010 stickers or he might have noticed.

Informed by a city clerk to get my paper work in order before going to the court house to pay my fine, I did just that. The clerk explained that I could plead guilty with an explanation and get my fine reduced. How can this be? The illegal act was committed, there was no way or excuse I could possibly come up with that excused my behavior. I was negligent. She said it was worth a try. For five hundred bucks, it was definitely worth a go.

Spoke with a city clerk at the court house and asked about pleading guilty with an explanation. She asked, "What is your explanation?
"Well, I procrastinated so I have no excuse. I am completely guilty, but I was told that if I appeal my case to the judge he might reduce the fine".
"So what will be your reason for him to reduce the fine?"
"Well, I guess because I have four boys, three of which are in University and my roof blew off a couple of weeks ago in that storm. But that is no reason for me to have been irresponsible."
"Well there you go, that might work" she enthusiastically said.

The clerk suppressed her joy at my situation and honesty and the clerk beside her was also taken aback.  The beautiful lady asked me to sign a book around the corner and to take a seat. My guts where churning thinking about how ridiculous I was being trying to avoid a fine to which I so fully deserved. I was about to sit in front of a well educated, responsible individual and ask for a reduced fine based on my family situation and my misfortune. Why should he take pity on me. Fuck that, I'd rather just pay the fine and own up.

The Judge called me into his office, asked me to sit down. Then the most amazing thing happened, he did not reprimand me or suggest I should be more responsible. He just explained how an officer will see your plates are not up to date and then pull you over and check your paper work. He's just doing his job.

I said, " I think it was a good thing he did. If I had gotten into an accident, then the situation could have been a lot worse."
"Yea", he said non nonchalantly,"It just makes things messier."
 
The judge did some quick paper work, asked me for my new license and informed me, "I have reduced the fines to zero dollars. Lets see, what has that saved you? Five hundred and thirty five dollars. Hmmm, not bad. Here are your statements of my decision, you are ready to go".

Those lovely clerks must have put in a good word for me as the judge didn't even ask my reasons for a reduced fine. This experience has restored  a lot of my faith in local authorities. Respect, Dignity and Truth. It really works!
 
Letemdangle Uploaded 05/10/2011
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