Waste of Time

So. Got stopped for not speeding the other night.  I’ll repeat that cause it really does kind of deserve repeating.  Stopped for NOT speeding.

There is a 6 mile road that runs between the main highway and my little town that alternates between farmland and woods – not a house or business in sight until you get into the town limits. Did I mention there are no lights on this road? Now I don’t know how familiar you folks are with driving on country roads with no street lights, but at night time, they get dark. And I mean dark. As in pitch black. Some people opt to drive like a bat out of hell on this particular road because well, either they’re idiots or they figure it’s an easy way to cut the time off their oh so important commute to somewhere they likely don’t want to be in the first place.

Me? At night I tend to go a little slower than the normal speed so that I don’t run over and kill (or worse, hit and not kill) the animals that so often come out in the night-time, like the foxes, deer (which are a big concern over here), opossums, raccoons, and even cats that I’ve routinely seen cross the road as I’ve been driving down it…and whose corpses I’ve seen litter the shoulder of this very road, victims of drivers who may not have been as conscientious.

I interject at this point that the speed limit (limit as in “do not exceed,” not minimum as in “must meet”) on this road is 55 mph. I was going 50 mph. I know this because I had my car set on cruise control, a nifty little invention that allows people to fully concentrate on the road without fear of varying their speed.

So while driving down this road, there was one car following me with his brights on the whole time, you know those drivers, the umm…annoying ones. And even though he could’ve passed me, he didn’t. No. Of course not. Instead he chose to stay behind me and tailgate with his brights shining ever so dazzlingly in my rear-view mirror creating a lovely driving hazard all the way down this 6 mile road – of which we were the only occupants. So you can see that my cutting a whole 5 mph off the normal speed limit in an effort to drive safely was really putting a hamper on the heavy traffic flow.

Now, when you hit the town limits, the speed limit shifts suddenly to 35 mph, no warning…but of course I know this because I’ve lived here off and on forever.  So I touched my brakes and lowered my speed accordingly…and that’s when the blue and red lights on the tailgater’s roof went off and he pulled me over.

When the officer approached my car, he said the obligatory “Ma’am, do you know why I pulled you over?” And I said back as politely as I could, “Well, no, no I really don’t.” And for the first time in my life, I was advised that I was being pulled over for NOT speeding.  What he explained was this: “You were going kind of slow back there for a while, and I’ve found there are only two reasons for this: either you’ve been drinking or have a hard time seeing at night. And I can tell you haven’t been drinking.”

When I explained that there was a third reason: not wanting to run over and kill the animals that routinely cross that road at night, he laughed and said he hadn’t thought of that but, “Yep, that’s a good reason and you’ve given me another one to think about.”

And here’s where it gets interesting folks, because this officer who claims to live in the country, and who as circumstance has it, just drove down the same road I did, had no idea that animals wander into the road at night…and apparently didn’t see the no less than four dead bodies strewn across the stretch of asphalt we had just passed over.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I didn’t get a ticket and further, I appreciate the difficult job police officers have (and the danger they put themselves into just by pulling people over). I didn’t appreciate his initial sarcasm, but hey, the officer understood my reasoning and seemed to seriously take it under consideration for future use when approaching people – so that’s a very good thing.

But what bothers me (and I realize this is small beans in the big scope of police issues), is how fast is that cop used to going on that road that he thinks 50 mph is slow?  And why is not speeding on a lonely, pitch black road a bad thing or a reason to pull someone over?

Kitchen Mishaps

I blame my mother. I’ve written before about this truly amazing yet probably possibly deceptive chef I have for a mother. Trying desperately to duplicate her mouth-watering recipes is what surely brought the demon spawn down (or is that up?) into my humble abode. I haven’t yet caught Mom out in her kitchen-y lies. But I will. Oh, you can be sure, I will. Eventually.

 

summoning a demon

Party Favors

It’s not odd to see a piñata at a kid’s birthday party, right? I know, they’re all the rage. Well how about inviting over all the kids from the neighborhood so they can witness a death?  No? Well, apparently it’s a thing in certain circles.  I read a story about a doting father who put out food to bait a couple of brown bears just so his son could kill something prior to celebrating his 9th birthday with cake and presents. I mean it’s just not a party until the birthday boy kills something. In front of all of his young party-goers no less. Yay! Now it’s a party! Better than a lame old magician any day.  Hell, the birthday boy just made a bear disappear his own self. Happy birthday kid!

Wonder what was in the goody bags?

 

Ahhh...those were the days

Ahhh…those were the days

Mail Performance Issues

I’m no home owner. That’s for real adults. I rent. Sadly, my house isn’t exactly a mansion, but I like it. It doesn’t even have a driveway, but I still like it. I like it so much that I’ve lived there (or I guess I should say here) for two years now. The house on one side of me, it has a driveway. And the house on the other side of me is on the corner. They don’t have a driveway either, but that’s not a problem for them with their corner spot. When they park their car they either park on the side or hop their car up the curb and park in their yard. Classy, I know. My options are a bit more limited. I have no choice but to park on the street. I refuse to park in the yard. Sorry folks, just not my style. My mailbox is also right there on the street. Little did I know that my standard street parking protocol would wreak havoc on my mail carrier’s livelihood.

Because my car ends up being sort of in the way, the mail carrier can’t drive right through to my mailbox to pop in my mail. What’s the solution? Well, you would think that maybe said mail carrier would go just a little above and beyond the call of duty (or what used to be called doing their job), park their mail truck, and walk the maybe 4 feet to my mailbox. You would think this and you would be wrong.

Instead, the solution has been to simply stop delivering my mail. The mail carrier’s ridiculous answer to this equally ridiculous predicament would have me parking up the road on the next corner and walking back to my house rather than parking right in front of my house. So as to free up a straight line for her to zoom in her mail truck. Yeah. Right.

OK, so no home delivery. That’s okay. I’ve come to terms with this and rented a PO Box. It’s the only choice if I ever want to, you know, get my mail. I could do without bills of course, but letters from loved ones, online purchases, those I don’t mind actually receiving. Call me crazy but getting some of my mail is sort of a big deal to me.

I’ve done a good job of letting people know not to do something as audacious as mailing something to my house, but every once in a while it does happen. Things slip through. When it does happen, rather than (again) getting out of the truck and going the approximately 4 feet it takes to put the item in my mailbox or—gasp!—bringing it up to my doorstep which is not that much further from the mailbox or even sticking it in, say, the PO Box they know I own (because I’m at the post office ALL the freakin’ time) the mail carrier marks it undeliverable and the item gets returned to sender.

Again, bills, those can go back to the sender any old day. Like I care. But it never happens with them. Of course not. The only times it has happened is with pretty important items. Figures, right?

When I eventually find out about it, the same, simple question rolls through my head, and out of my mouth: WTF? I have no idea why the carrier avoids my mailbox like the plague. It’s not like we’ve had words. And I’ve seen her deliver, on foot no less, to other houses, but not mine. It can’t be some slow burning personal vendetta either because I’ve never even met her. So WTF? I have a perfectly good mailbox just sitting there as it should, just waiting for mail to be delivered. Plus…PLUS, I have a perfectly good PO Box for extra insurance, but even with that in place I’m never truly guaranteed of getting my mail.  I’m beginning to get a complex if truth be told.

Everyone INSIDE the post office is great (again, I know this because I deal with them on a daily basis, no exaggeration). The carrier? Anything but. I have my own real life Newman making decisions for me on what’s deliver-worthy and what’s not.

This letter from the school system? Doesn’t look important and the mailbox is so, sooo far away. Toss it. An elegant invitation to a high-brow event?  Nahh, she couldn’t be possibly interested in that. Send it back.  But this $10 coupon for Depends? Oh, she’s gonna want to see this one. Let it through.

Ahh, small town life. It never ceases to amaze.

no mail for you