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Tuesday, Oct. 09, 2001
Possibly the fastest I'll ever be at making two entries in one day. And it's all thanks to my new hero, superjudge.

Oh I was resigned to snoozing in court for the better part of the day. It's happened before and I can tell ya, there is no more boring place in the known universe.


Beth and I arrived outside the proper courtroom, waited about 60 seconds, and they announced that juvenile traffic offenses would now be heard. Went in and sat down. The judge appeared after a few moments, and my pilot light went on.

A female judge. Not a honey, mind you, but she had the appearance of one who could have been a sorority gal back in the day. Which is to say, back in my day.

The first three cases were no shows. The fourth was, get this, a 12 year old kid who was charged with possesion of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Both of his parents were in attendance with him. The judge asked some questions and bantered for a minute, then pronounced sentance. 50 hours community service, no chance at a drivers license until the kid was 18 and, of course, counseling. Disguised as a program for substance abuse. Three week course.

Beth was the next called to the stand. I went up with her, as required, and batted my baby blues at the judge as we were sworn in. I could have sweared that she winked at me, heh heh.

Beth plead guilty to doing 35 mph in a 25 (if she hadn't, I would've enlivened court by promptly strangling her). The judge then rendered sentance, with me flashing her all the silent charm I could muster.

The judge dismissed the ticket on the condition that Beth attend - counseling. With a parent. Pay the court costs, see you later.


We were dismissed to a little room off to the side to pay our way out. Drunk boy and his folks were still in there.

Here's the dialouge betwixt me and Beth in the pay room.

OF: Okay, they're gonna charge you $30. Pony up, big girl.

Beth: But Dad, I didn't bring any money. You said bring the summons and my drivers license.

OF: You read the summons. It said $32.50 for the ticket, right?

Beth: Yeah but.....

OF: oh jesus...

I believe we spent more time in that walk in closet of a pay room than in court itself. I walked out $30 lighter.

Normally I'm not a vindictive sort of guy. Not at all. But I know how to hit my kids where it hurts.

We drove back home and I told Beth it looked like a fine day to go back to school. Which was fine by her. She skipped off to gather her books.

OF: Got your stuff?

Beth: Yep. Let's go. You need to sign me in 'cause I'm late.

OF: Cool. Got your savings account book?

Beth: Huh?

OF: You owe me thirty, kiddo.

Beth: (babbling) well I can give you some of it now....

OF: Yeah? How much?

Beth:'s $11, and I can do some chores...

OF: Naw. Get your savings book, we're going to the bank.

And we arrive at the bank and she goes in and comes immediately back out. "Dad, I forgot my driver's license, I have no ID. But you can come in, they know you!"

Oh yes, how well they know me at the bank. Scrooge himself would be no more well known than I. Outfoxed emerged victorious with a fistful of cash.

So Beth has to have a parent accompany her for three sessions of something called Student Driving Awareness, at three hours a pop. 6 pm to 9 pm, weeknights. If she completes it, she doesn't have to go back to court. The parent, for their willing involvement, gets 3 safe driver credit points on their state driving record.

I, the patient and compliant dirver with a stellar record, need no such incentive, and I surely need no points. It's counseling, dammit, and it cuts into my watering hole time.

Sure hope Ally has a good time going to night school with Beth.

I mean, after all, she was the one who wanted her to drive in the first place. Seems all so fitting to me.

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