Last month when I wrote about my experience in traffic court – in which I went exactly one month earlier than my court date – I received a nice gift certificate to attend a comedy traffic school for free.

As I parked and walked in for my 1:00 p.m. showdown with the officer that ticketed me outside LA Fitness in Sorrento Valley, I came to the realization that I’d probably need to use that certificate. I had gotten a ticket for an illegal left turn going to House of Blues eight months ago and didn’t need another one on my record so soon.

I placed the Flip video camera that I use for Crasher parties, into the plastic box to be x-rayed.

I buzzed as I went thru the metal detector, which is odd. Last time I wore slacks, a dress shirt, and belt. This time I was wearing dark jeans with a polo shirt. I figured, why dress up? Everyone else in court looked like a bum. And the judge might think I was trying too hard. I figured I’d also leave my sunglasses and cell phone in the car (unlike a few others, who had phones go off and got a scolding from the bailiff).

I did bring in the paper and a few magazines, which is a good thing. After waiting 15 minutes to be seated, along with another 30 minutes before the judge walked in…it’s nice to not completely waste your time.

The officers all marched in at about 1:20. It was like something you’d see on a news clip of Tiananmen Square.

An interpreter came over to speak with two defendants. Nice to see our tax dollars hard at work.

The bailiff read out a list of names, mispronouncing the first four. When he said “Josh Board” he mentioned that being the first name he pronounced properly.

I just hoped I wouldn’t hear the judge say my name, followed by the word “guilty”, as he slams down his gavel and orders me out of his court room (okay, I’ve seen too many court room scenes in movies; in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a real judge with a gavel).

About 15 minutes later, the judge mentioned a name and dismissed him. His officer didn’t show up. He said my name, and also said I was free to go.

We were the only two people that didn’t have officers appear. As we sat in the next room, he was giddy with excitement, talking to his friend about it. After 10 minutes he asked one of the clerks how long it would take until we can sign our paperwork and leave. She said, “I have no idea. We’re waiting for them to bring it to us.”

I found it odd that she had “no idea”, since she does this daily. The guy then asked, “Will it be three hours? Or three minutes?” She sighed and said, “I just told you, I don’t know. I’m guessing it won’t be three hours, though.”

It ended up being another 15 minutes.

When my name was called, I signed the form. She said, “Your case has been dismissed.” I looked at her and said, “Yeah, I’m kind of bummed. I was looking forward to standing before the judge and presenting my evidence.” She sternly said “Why do you care? The case was dismissed. That’s the same thing as winning.”

I finished dating the document, looked up at her, and explained “I was being sarcastic.”

Comments

KarenBP Nov. 9, 2009 @ 8:40 p.m.

Anyway, Josh, thanks for helping me figure out how to fight the ticket. Doesn't always work but it doesn't hurt to try...

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Ponzi Nov. 4, 2009 @ 9:16 a.m.

Yes, that’s often how it happens. I think I have beat four tickets that way. One time I was in a small town and was in court and the officer didn’t show up and the judges asked someone to “call him” in his squad car so that he would show up. I made a scene and said that I had appeared and that I was leaving, that calling the cop who missed his hearing was not something I would easily settle for. So I left the court room and sat in the lobby for 15 minutes then went back into the courtroom and told the judge I was going to file a complaint with the state judicial ethics board (or something). He dismissed the case.

I hate going to traffic court. You wind up spending hours there. Nothing seems organized. It’s a system of wasting the publics time because they can’t get their act together and become more streamlined. The workers are generally rude and act like drones. It’s like they all walk around handing each other paper all day in their little cubicle farm. Sadly, that’s how most government entities operate and traffic court give the public a little peek into the world of government inefficiency and union workers that never get fired no matter how slow they work or how rotten their attitude is.

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Crissyst Nov. 4, 2009 @ 11:07 a.m.

I have never been to traffic court and will be going soon.

If I need it, can I have your traffic school gift certificate?? Pretty please. ;-)

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Josh Board Nov. 4, 2009 @ 6:01 p.m.

Yes, the certificate is yours. Courtesy of Ken Harrison, who contributes pieces to the Reader.

Ya know what? It's a comedy traffic school. I'm almost tempted to go with you...and if the guys jokes are bombing, I can heckle him. And even just decide to get up and say "I'd rather pay for the regular comedy school." That would be fun!

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arinoman Nov. 4, 2009 @ 6:06 p.m.

Maybe if you had gone there with an afro on, and black make up, you would have seen how traffic court is for a brother. If it had been me, and i had done what you did, in downtown san diego (or really, downtown where ever) I would have been tickted for the illegal turn AND loitering AND some silly other reason they would have found.

You have again, Mr. white blogger, upheld my hope for justice for all...well..all white dudes.

RINO

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KarenBP Nov. 4, 2009 @ 6:24 p.m.

Earlier this year i faced my police woman in court (El Cajon) and lost - for a rolling stop thru a sign in La Mesa at midnight with nary another car (aside from the chick cop) in sight. And the judge would not let me take traffic school.

My friend had to take care of his ticket in Clairemont a month after mine, for the very same issue and of course the cop didn't show. Life is so not fair.

But i have been meaning to tell you that i kept putting off a ticket i got after the POLICE concert in Chula Vista whenever they were here... i put it off three times, and eventually they lost my paperwork. i did this after reading your initial story about doing that very thing. And it worked.

OK, so that time, life was fair. :) And i owe you for that. Thank you!

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arinoman Nov. 4, 2009 @ 7:12 p.m.

KarenBP

Must have been the experience of a white woman.

Rino

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 7:20 p.m.

Oh you poor,poor black man...my heart goes out to you for the-oh who the hell am I kidding?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3ORwO5xDUE

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Josh Board Nov. 4, 2009 @ 9:38 p.m.

Isn't that odd, to get a ticket from the police, after having a ticket to see the Police.

Anywhoooo...wanna hear something funny, Rino 911? Well, the cop that gave me the ticket for making that illegal turn downtown? He was a tiny African American officer, with his hair all relaxed, and he had this bizarre pencil thin mustache. He looked like Cab Calloway. And he was screaming at me. It was insanity. I wanted to say "cool down, my man." He was literally jumping up and down (and stood about 5'7"...aren't there height requirements?) He said "Would you go the wrong way down the freeway?" And I literall laughed and said "What does that have to do with anything?" He responded, "well, you made a left turn you weren't allowed to make." To which I said "Yeah...well, not down the wrong way of a street. My light was green, and there was no oncoming traffic. It was safe."

No playing the race card, Rino. It's an easy card to play, and it really just sets race relations back.

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arinoman Nov. 4, 2009 @ 10:04 p.m.

You seem to be playing the card as well. Cab Calloway? And you did break the law because you decided it was safe to break the law. Well, if we all decided to break the law when we decided it was safe, what kind of message would that send to our kids? Maybe instead of sending you to a comic the judge should have sent you to a first-grade teacher to learn common sense.

And as for playing the race card? Its about the only card we have to play, since you have the rest of the deck, and have for the last 500 years. But time is on our side. White men will be breeded out of existence in the next hundred years, either because they will run out of cousins, or, they come to realize that all the hot women out there are not white; they are black or brown.

As for the ticket? Had you been black, and stopped by a white officer, you would have been taken away in cuffs. The brother who stopped you, Cab Calloway, he was probably the most professional cop you could have come across; he just did his job.

Rino

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arinoman Nov. 4, 2009 @ 10:20 p.m.

You don't need a rope sir, you need glasses. Go to any of your schools in the 'white' San Diego North county and count the number of kids with black hair to those with blond or red hair. Numbers are on my side....and time.

Rino

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 10:25 p.m.

Only in the Southwest & Northeast. :-D You still have to take over the Midwest and the South and that'll take more than 100 years. Don't believe the hype. Latino In America on CNN is just a feel good tagline. I'm not inherently racist but if you want to pull that race card bulls*** and start actin' like you're a slave from the plantation via 1884,you're barkin' up the wrong tree. I'm white and an American. I, and only I, hold the deck. The only thing your whiny ass is holdin' is a shoeshine box and an empty box of cards.

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arinoman Nov. 4, 2009 @ 10:31 p.m.

Your people bought up all the land, and then opened it up for us. Your people didn't even let my people vote until the 20th century. Your people, using the labor of blacks and asians, built this so-called land of free (free for whites) and then, because you began to be out numbered, you opened it up to us.

But, as I said before, the Latinos, we blacks, the asians are slowly surrounding that white cotton-candy, clinging to the stick (racism) that can no longer support them.

Now, go get some excercise for your right hand with your newest porn with two mexican girls in the center page.

Rino

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 10:36 p.m.

HEY DUMBF!!!!!!!!!!!! My people are dead and so are yours! It's 2009 dips! I'll damned if you think I'm going to feel guilty about what happened on Earth before 1976. I have NEVER killed or raped anyone, let alone for the color of their skin. I REFUSE to apologize for things my forefathers did just appease some whiny,self-centered,egotistical douchebags.

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David Dodd Nov. 4, 2009 @ 10:41 p.m.

Hey, Rino, STFU. It's all relative. Be white and live in a country of color and tell me how it is. Or better yet, explain Rwanda. I'm all ears (or eyes in this case).

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 10:45 p.m.

When I was in prison, I was out in the courtyard smoking a cigarette. There were a group of young black men standing near me. I was in no position to judge,especially since I was there for armed robbery, but I couldn't help but get a little racist listening to this one guy tell his friends how he knocked down an old lady,kick her in the face and steal her purse. This story will seem relevant when I blog about how I came to commit armed robbery. It'll make a little more sense.

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magicsfive Nov. 4, 2009 @ 10:52 p.m.

based on what rino is saying, i guess i should hate all black people now because a black man stabbed my aunt and cousin to death in their home in university city...yeah...cleophus prince...the clairemont killer...google it. he killed them and some other women, then bragged about "doin a mom and her daughter"...yeah i am supposed to lump my feelings for an entire race based on one man's actions. um, you gettin the sarcasm there? idiot.

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magicsfive Nov. 4, 2009 @ 11:06 p.m.

thanks pete..we struggled through it. it was 18 years ago..

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arinoman Nov. 4, 2009 @ 11:11 p.m.

You white folks are just so ignorant. Let me explain this simply.

YOUR people bought up all the land, and then handed it off to YOUR people. Most of the land owned in this country, the land people want, can be traced back to, in some cases, three changes of hands; YOUR people's hands.

YOUR people bought up all the broadcast channels, at the start, and only started letting us colored folk own channels since, (pay attention) we are begining to out number you through-out this country.

YOUR people managed to be the only country to use Nuclear weapons..not on other white folks, you know, that Hitler guy. Hitler was your cousin, so you used it on the Japanese. Heck, the majority of the people in this country didn't even care what was happening in WW2 and wanted to stay out of it.

And, the economic downturn we are in, was caused by YOUR people's greed. And guess who gets to clean it up? The black man.

Oh, and I am willing to bet that YOUR people are the biggest subscriber to the Reader, which would explain the number of blacks we see on your pages, and blogs; hardly any.

So, I am not shocked that most of you are angry at hearing this black man speak. I will give you credit for even letting me say my piece in a thread aimed at...your people, and the author who gets his kicks calling blacks with tiny mustaches Cab Calloway.

YOUR PEOPLE get to experience the justice that Josh told us about at the top of this thread. I am glad he got off, and I am glad he can sit here, as white man, and brag about how he beat the system. But you all know, deep inside, that I am right. Do you know how I know I'm right?? YOU ALL VOTED FOR A BLACKMAN for president. Its called white guilt..and it comes from somewhere; reality.

Rino

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 11:30 p.m.

You want to help YOUR people? Tell them to knock this kind of s*** off...

...and maybe they'll have a better reception in OUR community!

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Josh Board Nov. 5, 2009 @ 12:17 a.m.

I mentioned Cab Calloway because that's exactly who the cop looked like!

Also, I wasn't "bragging" about beating the system. Just telling a story. I do a daily blog, and like to mix it up with stuff other than wacky news stories and my take on them.

I won't address the other racial stuff, because it's been done to death. And I've found nobody wants to listen to the other side. They just end up resorting to name calling.

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Josh Board Nov. 5, 2009 @ 12:19 a.m.

magics: sorry to hear about your loss. Regarding Cleophus Prince, during that time, he spent the night on my cul-de-sac. Parkdale Place, in Mira Mesa.

One of the neighbors told my parents, that there was a man sleeping in his car. The license plate was written down. He left in the early morning.

Police told us later, it was him.

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magicsfive Nov. 5, 2009 @ 12:23 a.m.

thanks josh..wow..i shudder to think he was that close to your family.

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David Dodd Nov. 5, 2009 @ 12:54 a.m.

Rino is a racist. People are people. Rino would like to seperate that.

Good luck, Rino, in your world of separating color from non-color. You are exactly what we don't need. Bugger-off.

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Josh Board Nov. 5, 2009 @ 1:07 a.m.

Magics...I can't remember the year, or if I still lived with my folks then. I think I did.

But, they were concerned, if memory serves, because my younger sister had just turned 16 and was driving, working, and coming home late.

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arinoman Nov. 5, 2009 @ 6:34 a.m.

Josh, my man, you were bragging, and making light of our court system as well making fun of an officer of the law. And when you come right down to it, buddy old pal, you willinging broke the law. You were treated differently because you were white. And thats cool, thats the American way. Right-up there with apple pie and slavery (which we call farm workers now)

PistolPete? Dude, I sure hope you're not some white high-school teenager, or white Postal worker, or some white teacher with a ton of little kids around as sitting ducks. Because if you were? I'd be worried to send my kids to your school; anger can eat your soul. I will pray, no scratch that, I will throw some chicken bones on the ground, with some dice I carved out of pig knuckles, and try to have some African spice God guide your soul.

Rino

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PistolPete Nov. 5, 2009 @ 9:14 a.m.

LMAO! I'm a white guy-PERIOD! END OF STORY! You're a black guy-PERIOD! END OF STORY! The ONLY anger I get at people of different races or religions is when they bait me. Trust me pal...I don't bite that hook anymore. I don't believe in "white guilt" because I'm not guilty of anything.

You're the reason why people say that I could get more flies with honey than vinegar. If you were more worried about your own life, you wouldn't have time to worry about what happened in the past.

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arinoman Nov. 5, 2009 @ 3:50 p.m.

We cant know where we are going, until we know where we have been. A white guy said that Pistolpete (is this some kind of penis envy driven screen name?)

You need to read more, and stop watching Happy Days.

Rino

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Josh Board Nov. 5, 2009 @ 3:53 p.m.

arin...I hate to sound like other people on these boards, but...were you once logged in here under a different name? I recall a person a while back, that used to always use the same style of writing you do ("my man" and things like that).

Back to the subject at hand.

Arin, as much as I'd LOVE to claim that cop yelled at me because we were of a different race, I honestly don't feel that was the case. I think this cop (and a lot of cops are like this), take it personally when you break the law. It could be because people break the law, and then yell at them for pulling them over. As if the cop did something wrong and are slowing them down. Or they cause some major accident, and someone dies. And the officer feels that anyone not following traffic laws, no matter how minor, is putting peoples lives (and vehicles) at risk.

So, sorry. I can't accuse the officer of being racist. I think he would've yelled at me no matter what race I was (again, I don't think being yelled at was even warranted, on turning left when I had a green light, but oh well).

Ponzi...don't burn the popcorn in the microwave. That smell never goes away.

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 11:22 p.m.

First off,besides the fact that the only thing history can teach us is to never let certain things happen again, what in the hell does my people or your people have to do with the price of tea in China? O_o

Second,I voted for Obama because I got suckered into voting for someone who I thought would change ignorant minds like yours. I can see I've failed in my thinking. Obama is workin' to keep the black man down more than I ever could dream. It's too bad your eyes are stuck in some mumbo jumbo African history book to look at the real world. You like Africa so much? GOOD! I'll buy you a one-way ticket there.

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