Collide

Collide:(v) to hit with force when moving

I lied like a rug, therefore I assume my feet stunk.

I have no witnesses to the odor, just as there really were no “Amen-ers” to my testimony (which was really a lie).

Taking my old beat-up van onto the road, I was not entering the freeway with safety and concern.

The gentleman who was already driving on the freeway, probably using his cruise control, made the foolish assumption that I was going to honor his position,
perhaps coming in behind him.

I was yearning for something a bit more intimate.

So I smacked him in the side. Being very young, I decided to collide. So I smacked him in the side.

He was an older gentleman–perhaps in his late sixties or early seventies. He was so upset by the collision, and also how quickly the highway patrolman arrived at the scene, that I was able to come up with the story for the accident, which left him dumbfounded, bereft.

I explained to the policeman that I was already in the lane and that this gentleman came across and hit me.

The facts didn’t measure up, and if the cop had been any kind of investigative sort whatsoever he would have challenged me.

But since the older gent stood there slack-jawed, with bulging eyes, he looked horribly guilty. I, on the other hand, did my very best Shakespearean rendition, portraying much of the hurt and pain of Prince Hamlet of Denmark.

So not only was I deemed free from responsibility for the accident, but the ancient dude got a ticket.

I ended up getting a check for $450 from his insurance company to repair my van, which I chose not to do, since any part on my van I repaired would have been yelled at by the other parts, which were more terminally ill.

I so enjoyed my $450–and as far as I know, the innocent gentleman I hit went to court and spent even more money to cover the expanse of my lie.

Now, I know at this point we need a moral to the story. For instance, later on I saw the gentleman and paid him back, or I drove all night to the highway patrol station and confessed my misadventure.

None of this happened.

So I guess the true lesson from this story is, you should do things because they’re right–not because you’re expecting a payoff. And if you get a payoff, it certainly does not mean that it’s right.

“What goes around comes around.”

It doesn’t always come around your way.

Or go around, for that matter.

 

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Citation

Citation: (n) a summons; a ticket

Back when I was very young and my genitals held the key to my life and my ego the key to my soul, I had a beat-up green van which originally was used by the telephone company. (That was back when we had telephone companies instead of cell providers.)

I bought this van, putting a considerable amount of work into it so I could begin my own musical group and insist that I was unable to
pursue gainful employment because I was on a mission to “make music.”

Driving along with my friends one day, we found ourselves in the midst of a huge argument. Frighteningly, I remember that it was about where we were going to eat lunch. Because we were young, the spat was volatile. Lots of yelling.

So I was entering with my green van onto a four-lane highway when I was struck by a car. My van was not hurt very much, but the gentleman’s car was pretty banged up on the side.

He expressed controlled anger, but insisted we call the police. I didn’t have insurance. In my state at that time, you weren’t required to have it–just considered an ugly troll if you didn’t.

When the policeman arrived, he listened to both stories and gave me a citation for “changing lanes without safety.”

Now I will tell you–I had no idea whether I changed lanes without safety or not. I was too busy arguing over the specifics of our luncheon plans. But I did make a decision to fight the ticket–to object to the citation.

I went to court. I was such an asshole.

When the policeman came forward to testify, his sketchy details did not compare to the tale I made up, which I convinced myself actually happened. I explained that I was already in the lane when I looked to my left and realized that the gentleman was changing lanes into me, striking my side. I even got one of the members of my group totally on board with the account, and she testified on my behalf (even though there was no window on that side of the van, where she could have seen.)

The judge didn’t know, the policeman didn’t know, and the gentleman did not show up for court since he had no citation.

The case was dismissed. I didn’t even have to pay court costs.

I remember walking out feeling very proud, but also somewhat aware that such shenanigans and half-truths would certainly eventually catch up with me.

 

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Alibi

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alibi: (n) a claim or a piece of evidence that someone was elsewhere when a criminal act is alleged to have taken place.

I think I have only talked to a policeman about four or five different times in my life. Isn’t that weird?

I have avoided these encounters because quite bluntly, I don’t like them. It’s not personal, or a disrespect for the profession. It’s more the realization that putting oneself in jeopardy of being questioned or challenged is a great way to eventually fall off the cliff, onto the rocks of stupidity.

On those few occasions when I have been stopped by a policeman for a traffic violation, or to ask me if I’ve seen something on the road as I’ve traveled, my profile is always simple: don’t talk too much. Limit answers to less than eight words and make the policeman draw out the information instead of fumbling around, trying to come up with an alibi to display how it would be impossible for me to have been a participant in anything gone awry.

Here’s the truth: the more we speak, the guiltier we become.

You see this watching any cop show or movie. If a suspect is glib, full of unrequired information, you pretty well assume he’s the culprit.

So even though I have never hurt or killed anyone, if I was questioned on the subject, I would not be in any hurry to establish my alibi or explain my whereabouts, nor seem surprised that the inquiry was being made in the frist place.

I remember the first time I heard the spiritual sung, “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?”

After the musical question was posed for the first time, I simply stopped singing and said … “No.”

Adjudicate

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Adjudicate: (v) make a formal judgment or decision about a dispute

Courts freak me out.

I suppose there are very few people, except lawyers who make $750 an hour, who find them appealing. I guess a judge might enjoy the atmosphere, since he or she gets to wear the robes. But if you’re not making the bucks or not getting to judge, that particular arena can seem like the Coliseum in Rome on a lions-chomping-Christians mid-afternoon.

I sometimes think about the fact that even though I am a law-abiding citizen, toeing the line and trying to be faithful to my responsibilities and as honest as I can possibly be, I do realize that if someone had a vendetta against me, they could probably dig up something which could be misconstrued as criminal.

Isn’t that weird?

Sometimes in life, it’s not the piss in the pot that gets you in trouble, but rather, who you piss off.

About seventeen years ago, I took three children into my home. They were going through a rough time with their father, who certainly had some difficulties and struggles, and was not treating them up to par. I thought I was being generous. Damn–I thought I was being Christian. I thought I was helping a lady out, who was being abused, and her children, who were being somewhat neglected.

But this fellow took the legal system and used it against me, making up stories and twisting situations to get those in authority to adjudicate against me, forcing me into a courtroom to explain my actions.

As his lawyer sat in that room accusing me of everything except the Kennedy assassination, I realized how fragile we all are, and how we should never become so arrogantĀ as to believe that our actions could not possibly be viewed as questionable.

So even though this gentleman was proven to be a charlatan, I still had to go through a grilling process which made me empathetic to a two-inch sirloin steak.

So what is my point?

None, really.

It’s just that legalities are filled with so much legalism that no one could ever escape if the law was determined to get them.

That’s why I tip my hat to policemen, stay away from downtown areas where there are lionsĀ sitting next to lots of steps in front of courtrooms, and I try to keep all of my disagreements simple, discussed and resolved.

Because if I ever started being adjudicated … I don’t know how well I’d hold up.