Thursday, April 10, 2008

Quick on One’s Financial Toes

On a recent foray into Philly with my daughter, I unfortunately drove into a situation involving two seperate expenditures of cash and depletion of my goodwill toward men.

Expenditure and Goodwill Erosion #1
In search of scant parking spaces around the TLA, I was approaching an intersecting street crossing South Street, the main drag of the “Alt/Cool” section of the City of Bro-Love. The light was turning quickly from yellow with tinges of a red dawn already shining my way. On the corner were four of Philly’s finest in riding shorts, strapped pistols, and straddling pitch-black mountain bikes. On my car’s backside was a cellphone in hand motor-mouthing, SUV-driving, not-paying attention driver.
What to do?
A) Slam on the brakes to obey the signal and prevent the occifers from writing me up for running a red light, while almost guaranteeing a solid hit to my Camry by the aforementioned $&^*^*# driver?
B) Continue on through the now turning red light, but at a reduced rate of speed while looking up South Street to ensure I’d get through without being broadsided?
C) Press the ejection seat buttons and propel my daughter and myself through the sunroff my car doesn’t have?
D) Veer off to the left and plow into innocent pedestrians?

Surmising the consequences of safety and eventual financial layout, I opted for choice B.

It wasn’t but a matter of a minute or so when I glanced in my side mirror and saw three dark bicycles struggling and bouncing up the street in my general direction (Note: Philly’s streets are well-known for their debilitating potholes). One rider passed me and pulled over the car in front of me (who had driven through a completely yellow light…poor sucker.). Another shallow-breathing guy rapped on my window and asked for the usuals. As I was digging through the glove compartment for my insurance card and registration, I heard him yell to the cop who’d stopped the cart in front of me (with a touch too much of glee, I’d say), “Hey, this is a first. Two cars, one light. You bet your ass, we’re going to ticket both of them.”

His delight was a balloon I couldn’t and wouldn’t be able to deflate or prick. So, to the cost of the concert tix, processing fees, indulgement fee, sight fee, I’ll just add on the cost of a traffic ticket. I’ll discuss my parking woes on this fine night in another post.

Well, at least I won't have to fret about auto body repair bills or having to file a claim for damage to my car as I wasn't rear-ended. More importantly, my daughter and I were able to walk away form the ticket sans a scratch. I mentioned this little bit to the officer as he handed me his excrutiatingly penned script, to which he opined, “Guess I saved you a bundle, bub.”

Bub, indeed.

A bub and his money were soon parted.

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