Girlfriend in Tacoma

Feb. 14, 2008 at 6:43pm

Photos, Phun, and Phucking Big Brother.

(my brush with Tacoma cops via photo.)

A letter came to The Man today, from some random police-ish address, "Photo Enforcement Division," or some such.  Now, as it stands, I drive a car that we purchased and insured under his name, since my reputation is less than pristine as far as insurance companies view me.  Kinda', they look at me like a cross between "the girl next door who's easy" and "that girl at the strip club who only dances to buy milk for her baby."

Consequently, Joe Virgin-Reputation scores us much better deals, insurance-wise.  And when notices about parking violations come in the mail addressed to him, I pretty much know the dealio.

And so, consequently, I got that gut-sinking feeling that follows (or precedes) the word "busted!"

Normally, I'm a good person and I let The Man open his own mail, but today I had a niggly feeling it might be best for me to feign ignorance if he asked about the open state of said letter. Maybe I'd bat my eyelashes and raise my voice several octaves, "oh, heee heee heee, that's *your* name??"  

So I decided to open the envelope.

Sure as shit, there was my car, going through a red light, 9 am.

And you know, pictures don't lie.

Friends do, when they tell you, "you don't look at all like you've put on thirty pounds," or "you don't look that old!" -- but the photos will straight-up tell you, "yes, you're a fatty and you appear to have morning face that lasts all day."

So I had to examine the photo, the better to go on the defensive about it. "Musta' been The Man driving," I said, looking at the date stamp.

(um, no.  Friday the 8th, 9 am. Intersection of Pearl and N 26th.)

"That wasn't me, I was dropping the kid off at school."

(um, yeah, negatory number two.  Kid got dropped off a scosche early so I could get to MIL's for the Hillary thing.)

"The light couldn't have been red, it musta' been yellow!"

(once again, the picture chirps a cheerful nope! as it shows the car, passing the crosswalk  .15 seconds after light turned red.)

"Oh for the love of a dog, .15 of a second?  Come ON!" -- and as it turned out, the speed at which I crossed said crosswalk-- 20 mph-- showed further that perhaps I was not the most hardened of career traffic criminals-- surely, if I wanted to commit a crime, I'd want to do it right, veering across lanes and careening through the intersection at at least... 35 mph, right?

Another beautiful point: roads, empty.  Empty, empty, empty.

HOWEVER, the camera snapped my car, my license plate,(make that, HIS car, HIS license plate)  going through a red light.

Do I fight it, which means telling him, so that he can fight it? Or kiss away my freelance check and pay off the bastards without a fight?  ...And then, does he find out about the hidden ticket anyway, via increased insurance premiums?

(arrrrr.  Cameras, pictures.  Love 'em.  Hate 'em.)

comments [15]  |  posted under d'oh, Tacoma, traffic cameras


by tacomachickadee on 2/14/2008 @ 7:26pm

by jcbetty on 2/14/2008 @ 7:31pm

by tacomachickadee on 2/14/2008 @ 7:35pm
I love that I can totally hear you whenever I read your writing. I love people who write how they talk ... sigh. Too many people get caught up with flipping grammar. There's a reason when I was an editor I edited "by ear" more than by Strunk & White. (Though I definitely wielded a heavy AP Stylebook hand.)

by jenyum on 2/14/2008 @ 10:24pm
I heard once, through a friend in the same situation, that her husband just went to court, said "It wasn't me" and the judge said "tell your wife to stop running red lights" and that was that. So if the violation is in his name, depending on how much money it is it might be worth going to court.

by jcbetty on 2/14/2008 @ 10:41pm
dearest Chickadee,
I thank you heartily for the praise of my style. You are my friend. I like you.

And dearest Jen,
I appreciate your input on the situation. I had considered asking you for a legal opinion, and yet felt as though perhaps that might be overstepping boundaries.

(my attempt at "non voice" writing." --lame. Dumb. Bah. --I appreciate your input, Chic-a (dee) --I have tried to formalize my style, and can do it if push comes to shove, but... bah. it's easier to be me.)(and I hope, more fun to read.)

by tacomachickadee on 2/14/2008 @ 11:09pm
Trust me: Be you. In some cases you can clean it up a tad to make it more marketable, but it doesn't have to be much. The "voice" is what makes you unique ... and fantabulous. :)

by jcbetty on 2/15/2008 @ 9:04am
ooh. speaking of "marketable"... two words: writers group. lets chat about it Sunday, if we're still on for that...

by jenyum on 2/15/2008 @ 9:15am
I keep thinking this post involves Pho, somehow.

by jcbetty on 2/15/2008 @ 9:52am
heh. I considered changing the title, because putting phucking out there so big made me uncomfortable, like little eyes would be scarred for life...

*random side note: at the poetry contest, a kid did a poem about a mom who'd lost a son, whose daily routine involved alot of emptiness and routine... and the scarred table bore witness to it all... and (as this was an oral recitation) the kid said "scared" table --it was kind of ...funny. (and I wondered... did the teacher not know?)

by AP on 2/17/2008 @ 10:23am
The only thing remotely decent about these piece of sh!# cameras is that they don't report these tickets to your insurance if you pay them in a timely fashion. Make sure you write something super offensive on the "For" line of your check!

I challenge anyone who had something to do with these stupid cameras to come on here and "discuss" with us why they think these cameras are anything other than dangerous revenue generators. Yes: DANGEROUS.

To date, my only fender bender at a Tacoma intersection came from a poor sap very lightly rear-ending my bumper because I had to slam on my brakes at a yellow light (cop sitting on other side of intersection, otherwise I'd never stomp on the brakes.)

Oh, and here's an idea for the nimrods in charge of this rubbish: MAKE THE YELLOW LIGHTS LONGER so we don't all live in fear/anticipation of that yellow light that always shows its face when we're 100 feet from the intersection traveling 35mph.

I was having a fine morning until now. Now I'm pissed.

by jenyum on 2/17/2008 @ 10:40am
The yellow lights around here are very short. I do not really speed, ever, yet I constantly feel like I'm in danger of running them when the light turns yellow as I get to the intersection.

In NJ they are a reliable 9 seconds. I liked that. Made it easier to be a pedestrian, too. You always knew how long you had and it was a pretty good stretch of time.

by AP on 2/17/2008 @ 2:30pm
Wow, 9 seconds!? Ours seem more like 4 seconds. I'll have to time one around here and see what it truly is.

by ensie on 2/17/2008 @ 5:36pm
Is it weird that I totally have a "D'oh!" blog category as well? I was thinking as I was reading that I could also hear you telling this story to me out loud in your own sassy voice? I don't know how I've avoided getting a red light ticket with my...aggresive (so I've been told) California driving.

I totally feel your pain. It absolutely sucks, especially to get a ticket in the mail for something that you don't even remember doing! Red light cameras are purely money making schemes for cities and towns and the companies that make them. They've been shown to raise accident levels at the intersections they're stationed at.

I vote with Jen that The Man goes into court and says, I didn't do it." You then either pay the thing or not and things go on. :)

by tacomachickadee on 2/17/2008 @ 6:51pm
There's two votes that Betty has an awesome and realistic writer voice ...

by jcbetty on 2/19/2008 @ 12:29pm
awwwww.... (visualize hearts with warm vaporous waves floating out of my head.) ---I feel so...affirmed. And the ticket still nestles comfortably in my purse. (D'oh categories are useful :) and auto-ticket cameras are evil. It is therefore unanimously agreed upon!)


musing her way through arts, culture, dining, shopping, exercising, and parenting, all while wearing a pungent, truffle-like aroma.

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