Thursday, June 16, 2011
I Love the Smell of Red Tape in the Morning
181.2 lbs. For no good reason. If I don’t like what I see tomorrow morning, a Monster Burn is not out of the question.
And the rest of the day didn’t get much better.
There is a bumper sticker that says, "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup." I'll settle for someone's head on a platter.
After yesterday’s cop run-in, it became my duty, as a lie abiding citizen, to clean up a mess created by the law enforcement community.
As a reminder, my license plate number has been flagged for every cop to stop the car looking for Felon Asshole (not his real name) and demand an explanation from me as to why I am not HIM (yes, his real gender). I have gotten tired of answering the question “How long have you had the car?”, “did you lend your car to him?” and “Do you have kids who may have lent the car to him?” I have also tired of edgy, overly defensive cops who get cranky WHEN I AGREE WITH THEM AND ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS. If I’m driving normally, I’m not a fan of a cop car suddenly speeding up, cutting off traffic to get behind me and hitting the lights and sirens. (Yes, I do have a few speeding tickets in my past and when nabbed under those circumstances, I figure I have it coming).
At the suggestion of the cop who scared the shit out of me yesterday, I took my driver’s license and registration to the local police station and asked to see a detective. I’ve watched a lot of “Law and Order.” Detectives. Smart guys. Yeah. I would get this problem solved. Here I am, being a good citizen and working with the cops to solve a problem not of my creation.
Was the detective helpful? How do I put this? Does the phrase “screen door in a submarine” give you an idea?
He showed me the warrant, which had the perp’s name and address on it and said, “You’re not Felon Asshole.” (such an astute observation) As I had before, I assured him that 1) I’ve owned the car for years (and I doubt Felon Asshole is driving around with a Red Sox bumper sticker), 2) I don’t know Felon Asshole, 3) I’ve never loaned the car to Felon Asshole and 4) nobody has ever crawled out of my womb who had loaned the car to Felon Asshole (Look, I’m getting the signs from Mother Nature that I will not ever have kids, but I am now tempted to find a way to do so JUST SO I CAN GROUND HIM). Since I had proved, to a detective, that I was not Felon Asshole, perhaps he could fix the system glitch that had caused the problem?
That’s about as likely to happen as the Whoredashians and me becoming besties.
The detective’s best suggestion: I should go to the DMV and switch my plates so I wouldn’t have these hassles. The alternative was for Felon Asshole to be picked up and the warrant would vanish. Right and who’s going to pay for that? He gave me a slip of paper with the warrant number and the date on it, saying he couldn’t identify the issuing court. I asked him, since they had Felon Asshole’s name and address and there was an outstanding warrant for him, why didn’t they, just for a giggle, GO ARREST HIM? I got something about “service hours.” Really? Arrests on felony warrants are only made between 8 and 5?
And he wished me good luck as I left.
In between yesterday’s run in and this morning, the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay D Bags and the Bruins won the Stanley Cup (thereby causing the destruction of Vancouver). As wonderful as these events are, they didn’t solve my cop problem.
The morning started with a phone call to DMV. Anticipating the usual kinds of hold, I made sure I’d gone to the bathroom and had adequate food, water and something else to do while waiting. To my surprise, after being told my wait would be less than 10 minutes, IT WAS. And the guy was (brace yourself) NICE and HELPFUL. (Maybe that idiot who said the world was going to end on May 21 meant it was a slow collapse and actual help from the DMV was one of the first signs). Unfortunately, he couldn’t do anything for me and told me that it would be $20 to swap my plates, but that would be easily done.
I got on the phone to LA Superior Court, the one nearest where Felon Asshole lives. The woman who answered the phone was about to give me the brush. I forget why she changed her mind (it might have been something about the “What’s the number for the Chief Clerk of the Court and did I spell your name right?” that changed her mind. After 30 seconds, I learned that the warrant was issued by LA Metro Court. A cop in the Valley cannot figure out that LAM means Los Angeles Metro. It is indeed a Byzantine and cryptic prefix. This information was apparently on a need to know basis and the cops don’t need to know what courts issue which bench warrant. Especially since, you know, THEY ENFORCE THEM.
Okay, let’s look at the scoreboard, shall we? LAPD? 0 + incompetence. DMV? 5. LA Superior Court” 1 + attitude. Will our last contestants enter and sign in, please: LA Metro Court.
The number I had been given by Superior Court landed me in the civil division. The lady there gave me the number for criminal and tried to transfer me. I got somebody’s voice mail message that sounded like it was in Farsi. I left a message (and I have not heard from that guy, even though I said the matter was urgent), hung up and dialed the number.
Enter Anita Attitude. I introduced myself, explained the problem and said, “I believe that someone in your office made a mistake and that’s why my license plate is on this warrant.” Anita took this well, getting huffy and telling me, “We don’t make mistakes.” Again, I had to answer questions about how long I’ve had the car, no, I don’t know Felon Asshole and no, nobody I know loaned him my car. Anita got even huffier and started to tell me I had to come down there, but I heard someone in the background. Suddenly, it was “Here, you talk to my supervisor” and I was put on hold. For 10 minutes. I never did talk to the supervisor, but Anita came back on the phone sounding (OMG) pleasant. “You right (No shit). Someone put the wrong license plate number on this warrant (NO! SAY IT AIN’T SO!). My supervisor (name withheld until I actually hear from this woman as promised. Was supposed to be today. Want to hazard a guess as to whether I have? Right.) will get it fixed in 20 to 30 minutes.
And that’s where we left things. We’ll see if I get pulled over again.
Oh, the weight loss? Not my biggest concern today. I went to yoga, did a half-hour on the Rotating Staircase of Death (I had intended to do 45 minutes, but I wasn’t in the mood) and a half-hour on the treadmill.
And Felon Asshole? You have earned yourself a pantsload of bad karma. Wear a cup.