I left my house and realized that I had left my phone behind. I asked Sheryl to run it down to me on her way out. After I left, I still had this nagging feeling that I had forgotten something. Driving down to Mount Vernon, I noticed that New York State has now purchased a fleet of smaller, unmarked, SUVs for the purpose of traffic code enforcement. This is just to let all who travel the highways of New York State, these SUV's are very nondescript and that the way that they are being placed on the highways makes them look even more like a regular citizen's vehicle. Anyway, not far from where I got on, there was very large, reddish brown coyote on the shoulder, much bigger than the coyotes that I am now so used to seeing in the area.
All the way down to Mount Vernon, I kept having this nagging feeling that I had forgotten something. I just couldn't shake it. I pulled up to my Aunt's Apartment house and called her. While I was waiting for her, I checked and rechecked everything that I normally carry with me. Everything checked out. My Aunt came down, and I told her my feeling of missing something. She said "Well, let's go get breakfast, and maybe it will come to you." I drove into Pelham and, as usual, there were large box trucks double parked up and down the street. I saw a space while I was waiting for the light to change, but someone came out of the side street and took it before I could get to it. As the light changed and I continued down the street, I noticed that there were several parking spaces on the opposite side of the street, so I looked around quickly for a place to turn around. There was no traffic coming in the opposite direction, so I pulled into a small parking lot to turn around. Just as I did so, I heard "Whoop, whoop" and the police officer who had been behind me, flagged me over. I pulled into the parking space, and he began to lecture me about pulling a U-Turn when It was clearly marked that no U-Turns were permitted! (It Wasn't) I explained to the officer that I had not seen and signs, and he wave his hand vaguely at the street and said "They're all over the place! I don't know how you missed it. But, I'm in a good mood this morning" (You could have fooled me, since his ears were bright red and he was yelling at me like he though that I was deaf.) "I'm going to give you a warning this time. One warning, that's it! Next time, I'm gonna give you a ticket!" I contritely thanked the officer and promised to sin no more, well aware that there were plenty of people out there willing to stone me to death for my offense. I put money in my meter, and took my poor, traumatized Aunt Mary by the arm and went in for breakfast. Aunt Mary said. "Signs? What signs? There's no signs anywhere. I was going to give him a piece of my mind if he gave you a ticket!" Aunt Mary may be 96, but she's still full of fight, and she had her cane with her today. I silently thanked the powers that be that all the cop did was yell at me. I didn't want to think of what would have happened if he had done more.
So, we had a nice breakfast, sat and talked about things in the world and how much better life used to be. (The same thing my grandfather's generation had said 60 years ago.) When we came out to the car, there was a ticket on it. I looked, and it said invalid registration. Now, I have a handicapped sticker, but not an invalid registration.... wait.... she meant 'Expired'! Now, I knew what had been nagging me since I left home. I had the new sticker sitting next to the computer at home. It had come yesterday in the mail, and I was going to put it on before I left the house this morning.
A worker came out of one of the stores and told me that if I went directly to Town Hall, they would either cut my fine in half, or throw it out... so, off i went.
Pelham Town Hall is, to put it mildly, not hive of activity. The town clerk sat dozing in front of his computer just inside the front door of the building. After several minutes, he roused himself from his torpor and I explained what had happened. He asked me if I had the new registration with me. I told him, no, if I did, it would have been on the windshield, where it belonged. I told him that I could access the receipt through my iPhone. "No, I'm sorry sir, that will not be enough. It's going to cost you $20.00" I reached in my pocket and pulled out some bills. I peeled off one twenty dollar bill and handed it to him. "NO, sir." He said. "I said $40.00" And he handed me back my twenty. I found another twenty and handed both to him. "I'll give you a receipt." He said and wrote one out. I thanked him, he grunted something unintelligible to me, and went back to nodding off.
I took Aunt Mary on her errands, the whole time feeling like a wanted criminal, and thinking that, at any moment, a swat team of police would block me off, order me out of my car and handcuff me after they had made me lay, spread eagled on the ground. I pictured Aunt Mary swinging her cane like a latter day Davy Crockett at the Alamo, before being subdued by a Taser. I breathed a sigh of relief once I dropped her off. She was still mumbling about the "Damn cops..." as she got out of the car.
Driving home, I felt like I was going to be stopped at any moment by one of the Statey's that sat along the highway. Luckily, I made the return trip without further incident. That was my morning. I hope everyone else had one that was at least as much fun as mine! Just kidding, friends. Have a great day!