Wednesday, August 5, 2009
We let our vehicle registration expire. Happens every time. The only way I ever discover this unfortunate annual act of negligence is that I receive a gift under my windshield wiper from the city police, requesting a sum to the tune of thirty dollars. That's sixty bucks a year I pay for being irresponsible.
The truck got ticketed in May. I went to contest the ticket (I've got this system down to a science) and they knocked off ten conciliatory dollars--better than nothing. Yesterday the car got ticketed. I felt like an idiot but commenced the routine. Go to the court, contest the ticket. Take a number.
The woman who helped me was a sour-face. She wouldn't make eye-contact, or laugh at my jokes--can you imagine? My jokes are so funny! Anyway, imagine my shock when she told me she had waived my ticket. I gave Ryan a high-five and kind of hopped a little. I didn't know they could just dismiss the tickets, because in the past, they have merely reduced the fee. Wahoo!
The traffic court was not the only piper to pay today, however. There was another score to be settled. Two words: library.
Ryan has a little habit of checking out large amounts of library materials. He gets really excited. The CDs! Audiobooks! DVDs! AND BOOKSBOOKSBOOKS! The man can't be stopped and, really, it't not a bad problem to have. Some husbands watch ESPN.
It would be a perfectly fine habit if it weren't occasionally challenging to keep track of bulk library checked-outs. From time to time they get forgotten, lost in the trunk, or simply remain on the to-read shelf past their expiration date. To get to the point, the man has racked up a serious fine.
Not that I can't relate. Ever since we got married, we have used only Ryan's card because I used to have a little fine-racking habit of my own. His fines were lower, so we used his card. But then, somehow (maybe the lost library books stole it) Ryan misplaced his wallet. With his library card in it. Meaning the only remaining card was mine. The card with the epic fee, the fee so large we forgot what it was and spoke of it only in hushed tones. So, we figured, we got to play with that money for a few years, and we need library books for the plane tomorrow. It's time to pay up.
We went to the library, picked up our loot, and, tails betwixt legs, went to the counter, muttering excuses for the fine so long unpaid. "There is no fine on this card," said the woman behind the counter. For a minute my brain choked. How could there be no fine? The fine was so monstrous, so overwhelming, that I have not used my own library card in three years! Seriously?
"When you don't use your library card for several years, eventually, they just erase the fine. You'll have to apply for a new card."
It takes some special moments to make a person feel like she won the lottery when all she did was spend two hundred bucks on safety and emissions testing and run some errands.