Stop Payment

Yesterday morning, bright and early, I got a ticket for rolling through a stop sign. It was totally legit–the ticket, I mean. Although my actions were also, in my opinion, completely justifiable. My neighborhood is filled with moronic, pointless, arbitrary stops; you have to run some of them if you ever want to get down the hill. Or so say I. My husband disagrees, but he’s always had the lion’s share of the patience in this household. I, on the other hand, just have the lead feet.

So I got the ticket. I asked the cop if he might consider letting me off “just for the heck of it,” but he demurred. Odd. Anyway, I figure I’m out around $300. It’s brutal, but true. At least I can do traffic school, because I haven’t gotten a ticket of this kind in, oh, twenty years. Which isn’t too bad, when you consider the ambivalent relationship I have with traffic laws. Still, it’s a tough pill to swallow, financially. Especially with Mike about to go on unpaid hiatus.

Then the dryer broke. Suddenly it sounded like it had an ecstasy-induced drum circle inside of it. I got a repair man to come in. It’ll cost $150 to fix.

Finally I returned four kids’ books to the library. I knew they were a little late, but really? $7.10? Sigh. The galling thing about it is they all sucked. “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom?” Lousy. It makes no sense. And it’s terrifying. Baby letters falling out of a tree, incurring various highly visible injuries? Um, if I wanted to traumatize my daughter like that I could just take her sight-seeing to the local emergency room. So that was a bust. Then there was some story book about a puppy; the dialogue consisted almost entirely of the words “bow wow.” Try saying that fifty times in a row. “Bow wow! Bow wow! Bow wow!” You’ll want to scream. You’ll want to die. You’ll want to throw yourself out of a tree like a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom lower case “p.”

The other two books were equally forgettable. Making the entire experience totally dispiriting. If I’m going to pay usurious fees for late books, I’d prefer that they were of the “War and Peace” variety. Or whatever the kids’ equivalent is. “Tantrums and Snuggles.” Why didn’t Tolstoy write that?

There was one item in the plus column yesterday. I took MJ to Michael’s to buy her some new “treasures.” She selected three heart necklaces from the sale bin, a mesh bag of glass stones, and a package of metallic beads. In total these came out to about nine bucks. But I had one of those coupons for 40% off of one item. They’ve been coming regularly in the mail since I sunk my entire life’s savings into that frame awhile back.

This saved me $1.40.

I am thinking of applying for a job at Trader Joe’s. Or finding more stuff to sell on ebay. But one thing I am doing for sure, right now, no question? The thing that’s sure to keep us a bit more solvent than we would be otherwise?

Stopping. At every. Damn. Sign.

At least until I’m eligible for traffic school again.

5 thoughts on “Stop Payment

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