Rob Taylor: The true cost of speeding in Grand County
If Guys Could Talk
It could have happened near the Granby Reservoir or Coffey Divide, but Mr. Fulltimer was pulled over in the Fraser Flats Gauntlet (the Highway 40 stretch between Tabernash and Fraser). Lurking that day in the shadows of the post office was a trigger-happy HP, who clocked the motorized blur for doing 43 in a 40.
“I was talking to my brother-in-law,” he explained to the officer, gesturing to his passenger. “I wasn’t watching the speedometer. Sorry, it won’t happen again,” he pleaded with drummed-up remorse.
He wasn’t pretty enough for the officer to overlook the offense. The 3-mile excess cost him $75 and two points.
“Great,” Fulltimer snapped, looking at the ticket, then handing it to Mr. Weekender (his brother-in-law). “My wife is going to kill me.”
He spoke the truth, though it was not liberating.
After a moment of silence, Weekender spoke.
“We’ll tell our wives (who were sisters) that I got the ticket. My wife will go ballistic, but sooner or later your wife will tell her to let up. When that happens, we’ll tell them the truth. Your wife will have to follow her own advice and not yell at you.”
“Brilliant,” he exclaimed, recognizing genius when he saw it.
Fulltimer’s anticipation of putting “the plan” into action thwarted his natural course of thought, which would have led him to stew in the injustice for a spell. By the time he got home, he was surprised to find himself in good spirits.
The husbands approached their wives confidently, under the cloak of subterfuge.
“You what?” Mrs. Weekender barked upon hearing her husband’s confession. “I tell you to slow down all the time, but do you listen?”
Theatrics was not her husband’s strong suit. His opening act – the announcement that he had been ticketed for speeding – was solemn and in character, but the role was too big for him. He gave way to fits of laughter as his wife laid into him. Mrs. Fulltimer joined the fray, giggling uncontrollably at her sister’s fury. Their reactions only fueled the fire.
“How much is the ticket?” Mrs. Weekender demanded.
“Seventy-five dollars and two points.”
“What?” she roared. She shifted into overdrive, tapping a whole new level of spousal reprimands that were as spirited as they were long-winded.
“It could have happened to anyone,” Mrs. Fulltimer finally said, coming to brother-in-law’s defense. She wiped the tears (of laughter) from her eyes, but could not wipe the smile off her face.
It was the moment of truth: Mr. Fulltimer’s cue to confess, which he did with wide-eyed innocence and sincerity.
“Funny you should say that, dear,” he began. “Actually, he didn’t get the ticket. I did.”
His intrusion into the morass crippled the sisters, who looked like their eyebrows had been plucked and cosmetically replaced with a permanent 24-hour surprise. The all-encompassing silence was a bad omen for the brothers-in-law, who suddenly realized that things were going south in a hurry.
“You what?” his wife exploded, shattering the pregnant pause. Without fully counting to 10, she picked up where her sister left off, targeting her husband’s “lead foot” in the crosshairs.
Mrs. Weekender, who was a bit hoarse from yelling, was torn between righteous anger directed at her husband (for lying about the ticket) and trying not to laugh at her sister’s tantrum. Her marital beef was no match for the levity at hand; she attempted to bottle up her amusement, which first surfaced as a grin, and eventually gave way to peals of laughter.
The Weekenders kept their howling to a low roar until Mrs. Fulltimer honed in on a new target: Her husband’s derriere. Armed with a flyswatter, she gave chase around the living room, crying, “You better run. I’m gonna’ take a big ‘ol chunk out of your rear end.”
When the smoke finally cleared, the brothers-in-law privately reflected on the matter.
There was a chuckle or two about the wives’ level of compassion, which they agreed was no better than the HP, who was the tangled affair’s true scapegoat. They concluded no additional experimentation was necessary: Forgetting an anniversary or two was less risky than plotting against the sisters.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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