Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Last Friday, DC and I took a day off from work and zipped down to Houston to check out this really cool exhibit at the Natural History Museum. It’s called Body Worlds 3 and it’s an exhibit of human bodies that have been sort of “plasticized.” I won’t try to explain it all here. Wikipedia explains it well though.


At first it was a little disturbing, but then it became just fascinating. We had a great day. In fact, the thing that I found most disturbing was the fact that there was a McDonald’s INSIDE the museum building, and, as far as I could tell, it was the only place where one could get food or drink in the entire place, other than a couple of water fountains.

It would have all been a perfectly marvelous day, except for one tiny thing that happened on the way to Houston. I got a freaking speeding ticket! Me. A SPEEDING TICKET! Me, the freaking Pollyanna of the freaking highway! I never intentionally drive more than 5 miles an hour over the speed limit, EVER. I had the cruise control set at a very restrained 73 mph on a road where the speed limit was 70 mph. Except, apparently, for about 20 feet of road near someplace called Paige where the speed limit drops to 55, and where Mr. Constable sat like a big, fat spider in his web, just waiting for some unwary insect to come along and get stuck. There is nothing in this place to indicate human habitation other than a deserted convenience store. There are no lights, no stop signs, no cross traffic. This place was so small that I never even saw a sign with the new speed limit posted. I never saw it, and I am Queen of the Sign Spotters! If I don’t spot a sign, that sign is not spotable. I’m the one who interrupts the conversation and points at the 45 mph speed limit sign when DC obliviously barrels into some peaceful little town at 85. He doesn’t even bother looking for speed limit signs anymore. He just asks me. I can’t even imagine how many tickets I have saved him from. Dozens at least. HE is the speeder, not me! This is totally unfair. And I’m not even mentioning all the self-satisfied smirks I got during the rest of our trip. He just sat over there, lording it over me and acting all superior and holier-than-thou, occasionally calling me a scofflaw, when everybody knows he is the REAL scofflaw in the family. And his intermittent use of a word I had never heard before (i.e. scofflaw) didn’t improve my mood either. Yeah, he thinks he is so smart. Well I for one am not impressed. Not one bit.

Ironically, I got my last ticket almost exactly eighteen years ago, as I was moving to Texas, in almost the exact same scenario. All my worldly possessions were in the care of some interstate moving company except for my house plants, which were seat-belted into the back seat of my very stylish-looking red ’88 Mustang (the suckiest car ever made, BTW, but I won’t go into that here). Back then the speed limit everywhere was 55, and I had the cruise set on 59. The trip was just fine until the plants and I blundered into a little speed trap in Malakoff, Texas, where the limit dropped to 35. I was so traumatized by the whole incident that I cried all the way to Waco. Pathetic I know, but I wasn’t very emotionally stable at 23.

And where does all this leave me? Stuck with a $140 fine or a $103 fee and a weekend of defensive driving class, that’s where! The enormity of the injustice that is being perpetrated is just beyond description. I’m calling the ACLU. I’m sure a top-notch civil rights attorney will be dispatched to defend me right away. Then they’ll all be sorry.


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