Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Been In Trouble With The Law Since The Day He Was Born

It seems as of late that I've had a few run-ins with local authorities. Let me tell you about them.

While driving home one evening a month or so ago, I came upon a license check being run by the Highway Patrol. I expected to produce my license and proof of insurance for the officer and then sail on my merry way. Frankly, I enjoy a good license check...you know...keeps the vagrants and filth out of the neighborhood. "Mr. Ford," the officer said after giving me back my license and proof of insurance, "are you aware your inspection sticker has been expired almost a year?" Uhhhhhhhh. "Please pull off the side of the road, and I'll be with you momentarily."

I left that encounter with a ticket for having an expired inspection sticker. And while the Highway Patrol officer exemplified the agency's motto of, "courtesy, service, and safety," I didn't exactly drive away fond of my experience. Nonetheless, I am glad to report that mailing proof of a new inspection sticker (which I acquired approximately 12 hours after my chastisement) along with the ticket to the local county courthouse will expunge the ticket and its penalty from your record. Since my entire experience was rather painless, it may have been worth it to see what is plastered across the bottom of one of Mississippi's uniform traffic tickets. Directly above the space for the signature of the officer of the peace is a statement along the lines of "infringement against the honor and innocence of the State of Mississippi..." I laughed aloud the first time I read that and thought to myself, "Did I just rape the State of Mississippi?"

My latest run in with local authorities occurred yesterday. Jamie and I were eating dinner with half of the Usual Suspects at our house, and she recounted an incident that occurred earlier in the day. Apparently an agent of the county came aboard my personal property and removed a pampas grass from my flower bed. From our inspection, we hypothesize that the county feels my pampas grass is obstructing my water meter. I was a little peeved when Jamie told me she watched this guy (apparently a big guy) extirpate my pampas grass without accosting him. She told me that he was a big guy and the chainsaw he was wielding scared her. I told her that if the guy was indeed one buffet line away from a myocardial infarction, he probably wouldn't have been a formidable foe (chainsaw or no chainsaw).

I'll have to consult with my legal counsel, but I have a feeling there is nothing I can do (legally) about the pillaging of my verdant property. And yes, the fat guy really did use a chainsaw to dig up my pampas grass!

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