I was returning a library book, an activity that always makes me feel like Miss Marple and a general upstanding citizen, when all of a sudden disaster struck. Driving, and using headphones to avoid breaking the law and things, I called my grandmother. Suddenly, just as my grandmother was explaining in detail a recipe for lemon chicken, I saw a bright white flash in my rearview mirror. Staring into the mirror I noticed a camera planted above the traffic lights that may or may not have just recorded my license plate number. The irony of avoiding a library late fee with the real possibility now of a massive $485 fine for crossing an intersection as the light was amber.
5 minutes later I was in the supermarket parking lot googling fines and West Hollywood. Up popped a myriad of forums of angry and resentful people avoiding paying fines through long and lengthy court cases and others still embroiled in bitter disputes. When I could tear myself away from my iphone I drove home and spent another hour on the computer watching videos of police officers explaining what the cameras capture and how in west Hollywood, a v small area of Los Angeles, they issue 11,000 tickets for this sort of thing annually and at almost $500 a pop, that’s not bad going.
No amount of beading and yogic breath could dilute my initial livid response. I was momentarily doomed to replay the drive; swinging from being sure I was OK to being sure a ticket was heading my way.
But after that I did bring myself back. Reel myself in and try to think of the positive. What my therapist would say would be it is a warning that I need to pay closer attention to whats going on. I’ll take that, to be frank. Whether or not a ticket does make its wicked way to me, I have learnt a lesson and hope that I don’t have to highlight it with a blow to my finances. I am driving slower and with more caution, which to be frank in a city which cars feel like second homes or a mere extension of the ones you’re in, being reminded of consequences to you and your vehicles actions is not bad thing.
Basically this whole story could be summed as follows:
Sometimes you may need to stare at a grey rock a long time until you see the friendly ladybird.
Tags: bright side, ladybirds, Mhairi Morrison, The bead movement, traffic fines, warning