Open on Saturdays

My post today involving days of the week and bureaucracy conjured up another amusing anecdote from my sordid past. As anyone who has followed either of my blogs might know, I have no patience at all for bureaucracy, especially for that involved with traffic law. This particular story is one of the numerous reasons I no longer even desire to have a driver’s license.

Anybody who has ever moved between states knows that one must change your driver’s license and registration to the state you are living in if you don’t want to face the wrath of God … or the local DMV (or MVD) which is actually much worse. When I first moved to Arizona, I had literally just gotten my license and registration in Massachusetts, and really did not want to waste the money I spent there AND spend more money in Arizona.

I believe that part of the training for any police official is to specifically pick on out-of-state registrations. That way they can ensure that any ridiculous fine they choose to throw at you is likely to be paid just because it is too inconvenient to travel back to the state to contest it. So I was basically a target for quota time (the quota that “doesn’t exist”). I was pulled over for speeding once, (which I am sure I was) and the officer wrote up my “ticket” with the date I was to appear in court. I rarely know WHEN I am, let alone what day a future date will fall on, but I happened to know that this particular date was a Saturday, because it was my dad’s birthday. I even pointed this out to the officer, who said that the courts were open on Saturdays.

The date shows up, and I do my civic duty and show up to court well in advance of the appointed time. I get there to find the doors all locked, and a sign on the door that distinctly says that they are in fact NOT open on Saturdays. Thinking that breaking into the courthouse was not the best way to deal with a traffic ticket, I simply went home and put it all in the “worry about later” pile … also known as the wastebasket.

About a month later I get a sweet little letter saying that my license is suspended for defaulting on my court date.

Fortunately I didn’t REALLY throw away my ticket … that would just have been insane … so I went back to the courthouse, went up to the clerk with the letter of suspension and the ticket, and said “I was here, where were you?” The clerk looked at the ticket, kind of did something between a grimace and a laugh, and said wait here. Shortly, a judge comes out, take one look at the ticket, and says “Who was the Jackass who wrote that?!”

Basically he said that as long as I appeased the MVD (or DMV) demons … in other words change everything over to AZ from MA … all would be forgiven and forgotten.

Of course that was a whole other adventure, but we will save that for another tale.