Photo credit: Jim
We've had a couple of vehicle-related issues recently. Cars are a necessary evil. I wish we could walk or bike everywhere. I know two guys that actually do that. Okay, I'm sure there are many guys that do that but I'm thinking of two in particular. One is relatively new to the city and doesn't have a car. One day he looked at a map and thought it didn't look too far to walk from downtown to Club Regent casino. It took him four hours on a cold winter day. The other guy is a cyclist: for years, I have seen him pedalling his bike daily on Kingsway, summer or winter. Again, he's not the only one but he is the only one that I've seen that does it with his children. He has a wooden box at the front of his bike and has carted his children to and from school for many, many years. I've seen them all over the neighbourhood and beyond and one thing that puzzles me is that his children still fit in the box.
I try to walk to places as much as possible but I'm not willing to go to that extreme. Besides, I can't imagine convincing Spencer to climb into the box. So I am stuck with motor vehicles. And speeding tickets. And car accidents.
Yup. First I get a ticket for speeding through a school zone on Harrow. I haven't had a ticket in years so I thought I had a good shot of getting my fine reduced. I thought, "What do I have to lose?" and went to traffic court. Well, it turns out I lost my dignity and $4 in parking. The judge was stone-hearted and cold. I pleaded guilty but said I was a careful driver who hadn't had a ticket in years and then played my trump card by claiming the fine would cause financial hardship. Those are usually the magic words, but not for this judge.
In a condescending and mean way, she said, "I see here you had a ticket in 2009. You have to learn to pay attention to the signs and keep focused on the road."
Hello?! That's seven years without a ticket! I should be getting a trophy and a key to the city! Do you know how much I've driven in those seven years and how many school zones I have driven through??
She did say she could give me more time to pay and asked how much time I needed. I said, "Twenty years." Apparently she did not like that answer and gave me three months instead.
The accident was less traumatic, at least for me. Poor Chloe was at the wheel, stopped and waiting for a break in traffic to exit a parking lot, when someone backed out of a parking spot right into the van. Not sure how he couldn't have seen a giant red van, but these things happen. He was a young driver as well and I would have paid money to see how that situation played out. I imagine they both looked like deer in the headlights, having no idea what to do. The guy called MPI right from the parking lot and claimed full responsibility. Chloe eventually remembered our instructions and took pictures of his license plate and drivers permit. Then she called Dale, who told her to draw the accident scene and get the guy to sign it. Which he did! Chloe was a bit shaken up by the whole thing, but she did good. I'm so glad it wasn't her fault - oh right, and that no one got hurt.
That little bump caused $3500 worth of damage, which my brother Jim is fixing as we speak. On his birthday, in fact. Both my brothers are autobody guys, so just ask me for their contact info if you are ever unfortunate enough to need it. They gave us a rental vehicle that's so identical to our van that Spencer didn't even realize we had a rental until I told him. So it's been pretty painless.
Happy Friday! Hope the weekend is amazing - especially with the spring-like weather - I love it! And drive carefully!