Jon de Vos: Incredible likeness of being
Fraser, CO Colorado
I got a nice photo of myself in the mail.
Well, really, it wasn’t such a great photo. It wasn’t terribly flattering because my hair was messed up. Actually I looked a bit wild and disheveled. And sporting a pirate-like sneer? Is this supposed to be me? It looks like it was taken through the windshield of a car. Hey! That’s my license plate. Could that possibly be me? I don’t look like that, do I?
Oh good, here’s a note. It says: eighty dollar fine? City of Denver? Me? Me, the self-anointed Safest Driver on the Road? Outrageous! They’ll hear about this!
I called the number at the bottom of the ticket and spoke to a not-happy-to-be-speaking-to-anyone Denver police officer. I explained the city’s error, citing the numerous times I had avoided accidents while driving. I had hardly begun listing the names of all the pedestrians I had never run over when he interrupted me, “Sir, is there a point to all this?”
“Yes,” I said, “this ticket is for 13 miles above the speed limit. It says I was going 28 miles per hour in a 15 mile per hour construction zone on south Broadway. I took my own photograph of that same spot showing a 25 mile speed limit sign.”
There was a long pause, “So?”
“So, Officer Smartypants, I guess that proves I was only 3 miles above the limit and I’m waiting on your apology.”
“Good Heavens! I’ll drop what I’m doing and look into this shocking matter immediately. I’m afraid I’m going to have to put you on hold for a few moments until I come up with a red queen to go on top of this black king.”
I waited patiently for justice, drumming my fingers in slow tempo. Finally he came back, “OK,” he said, “our records show that city workers reduced the speed limit on Washington from 25 down to 15 just two hours before you got there. Then I see here where they raised it back up two hours after you left.”
“Did you say Washington? Officer, I was on Broadway. Even the ticket says Broadway.”
“Wow, really?” he said, “Imagine the coincidence.”
I shook my head, “What time did you say they lowered the speed limit, officer? On south Broadway, now, not Washington.”
“OK, sir,” he said, tweaking up his command voice, “You seem to be getting confused. Which street were you speeding on, Broadway or Washington?”
“I wasn’t speeding! Well, technically I was going 3 miles over the limit but not 13. What time did they change the speed limit?”
He gave out an exasperated sigh, “I told you, buddy, the time is stamped on the lower right-hand corner of the photo.”
“Yes,” I said, “I see that, but what time did you lower the speed limit?”
“Two hours before you got there. The proof is the time stamped on the photo. You got to argue? I don’t got to hear it. Fork over the fine or talk to the judge. Your court date is on the right side of the ticket if you need to whine your heart out to somebody over a measly eighty bucks. Don’t forget your attorney and half-a-dozen briefcases full of charts and photos. Bring all your evidence, your advance interrogatories, depositions and all your witnesses. Go ahead and pack the courtroom with family and supporters as you explain your problem to the judge. Heh-heh.”
“Officer,” I said, “did you just laugh?”
“Absolutely not, sir. I must have been clearing my throat. Heh-heh.”
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Here is this week’s Grand County fishing report