Thu 29 May 2008
Been Keeping Me Down Watching My Back?
[Ed.Note: For those who don't know, Trikeasaurus is my 500W tricycle-with-speakers (click here for more)]
So about a month ago, on one of my Trikeasaurus rides, a bad thing happened: I got a ticket. For being too loud & thus creating a public disturbance. The cop in question was kinda lame about it. Many cops have been cool or at worst have just said “turn it down”. Most ignore it. A few have been mean. This one was just lame in lecture and attitude.
Anyway I got this:
Doh! I can’t say I was surprised. I have been warned a few times, and the cop in question gave me a stern talking-to back in November (when I liked the idea of beat cops in my neighborhood & thought they would deter crime, not fun. Sigh. I guess I still like the idea of beat cops.) But all those reasons aside, I guess I knew that a maverick outlaw type like myself (stop laughing!) is always just one “good idea” away from the hoosegow. Given my DWITS (Driving While In Tiger Suit) incident of 2001, & the “Gloating over Political Victories Can Get You In Jail” episode of 2003, you could say I was way overdue.
Before I go on though, let’s make one thing clear: The fact is, I *am* violating the law when I’m rolling with Trikeasaurus: anything over 50 decibels is illegal.
A more important fact is that everyday numerous obnoxious motorcycles ROAR past my house at sounds way the hell louder and less pleasant than Trikeasaurus and no one ever gives them a ticket. Also, I take multiple steps to be as much of a positive thing as possible:
- I make a point of keeping my sound system moving so as to not annoy anyone for long.
- I’m careful about what time of day & types of days I rock the bike….
- I’m pretty conscientious to try to play music that will make a lot of people happy.
In fact the whole POINT of Trikeasaurus is to make people happy. And it works – the VAST majority of people are VERY happy when Trikeasaurus comes by. They tell me all the time, and now it has gotten to the point where random people stop me in the street with comments like “Hey! You’re the guy with the tricycle – right? Awesome we had soo much fun…. you made my day.”
So anyway, I went to court yesterday. I was expecting to plead my case and make various devastatingly reasonable points such as the ones above. I planned on courtroom drama. I planned on staring at the judge eye to eye. To look at it another way, I planned on losing. And I planned on paying a fine, being disgruntled about “The Man Keeping Me Down” and coming home and blogging about it.
Well here is what actually happened:
I showed up at the Hall of Justice, (disappointed as usual by the lack of Superfriends or even the lame Xann, Jana & the dumb monkey combo) and prepared myself to take on The System™. Very quickly my hopes of presenting a stirring and impassioned court room plea were crushed as I realized that my destiny only deserved a line in the Traffic tickets room that lead to a clerk behind a glass barrier. No Judge, no gavel, no “You want the truth! You Can’t Handle The Truth!” (I had worked that in by this point). Sigh.
So I waited in line for 15 minutes & then stood in front of The Man™ and frankly he kinda looked the part: late 40s, white guy, officious-if-bored. At least that much was meeting expectations. And so I opened:
‘Deep: “Good morning! How are you?”
The Man™: “Fine! What can I do for you?”
‘Deep:“Well I have a ticket” <sliding ticket through barrier>
The Man™: <reading> What? <smiling>
‘Deep: Well I have a sound system on my bicycle…
M: “Sounds fun!”
D: “Yeah – I think so and most people seem to – but this cop didn’t like it”
M: “Well, we don’t like this cop.”
D: “And I was playing Stevie Wonder at the time!”*
M: “Well your choices are the fine, or court”
D: “OK, what’s the fine & what’s the court?”
M: <slight pause, then reading>”This ticket is invalid”
M: “This ticket is invalid – was it a young cop?”
M: “Well it is invalid – you don’t have to pay”
D: “Wow! What is wrong with it?”
M: <gesturing vaguely over the text of the ticket> “Something’s wrong in
D: “Wow – Thanks.”
M: “This is your lucky day….”
And so it was ( a really lucky day! for numerous reasons**).
Thanks The Man™!!
* Ok this wasn’t true. It wasn’t Stevie. I think it was Asia actually? Luckily I wasn’t under oath.