Some weeks ago in the murky AM hours of a drizzle infested day, I fled through a yellow/red light, accidently, in an undisclosed intersection found in North San Diego County. I knew I had committed the crime as soon as the strobes of vigorous flash bulbs, hiding on the snitching sidewalks, burst all around me from an on duty red light camera. For a moment I felt as if I was on a New York City super-model runway, but even my ego knows that I’m not that sexy. Anyway, I accepted my fate as a criminal of the law and for the next couple weeks waited in expectation for my sentence/fine to arrive in the mail. They got me. Boohoo.

'North San Diego County Superior Court', it read on a classic white envelope. This must be it; I almost forgot about the incident. I was a little excited to see what kind of shots they sent from the photo shoot as I ran my index finger through the top of the sticky seal of the envelope. I tore into it like a child tears into a birthday card in hopes of discovering an annual 11 dollars from a poor relative. Instead, I was awarded with a fine of $480 and four candid photos of myself looking like a confused baby that just passed gas. Wait, back up, did he just say $480? Yes, that’s right ladies and gentleman, that was not a typo; that’s real. “Real bullshit!”, I said in disbelief to my nosy blender standing by on the near kitchen counter. I now felt like I was the victim of this steamy new case in which action would be required.

After about seventeen minutes of extensive research and a hired P.I., I found the answers I was searching for. I knew there had to be a way around such a ludicrous law. I will now fill you in with the dirty details that they would rather not have you acknowledge. First, the ticket will NOT go on your DMV record, however, it will remain in Superior Court as an “unresolved matter.” B.) The highly irritating ticket will NOT go on your credit report if you choose to ignore it, as I have done. If you do not respond to the ticket by its due date, you will receive another letter stating that a $300 civil-assessment fine will be piled onto your already massive fine of $480 for a grand total of $74 million dollars. Ignore the next love letter from the court, and another one will follow with even scarier threats to you and your innocent goldfish. If they really want to instill fear in me, I would suggest having Michael Myers deliver my next letter with the postal worker’s decapitated head in hand--then I might be more inclined to fork over my hard earned rubies. Finally, the last and most desperate letter of all will crawl its way into your mailbox, and it will read: “Anyone issued a red-light citation must resolve it within the specified time limits or face certain penalties as prescribed by law.” How much more vague can you get? It sounds to me like a last-ditch effort to pinch the pockets of the violators for the court’s much needed cash.

In conclusion, I just want to say that if the fine had been, say I don’t know, 100 doll hairs--I would have more than likely paid the dim-witted thing without much question. However, because of the bulky price tag, I have chosen to place it in my bathroom, next to my September 2010 issue of Maxim, just in case I ever run out of toilet paper. And that my friends is what the Ancient Greeks refer to as a “Shit Ticket".

Post Script- My sources aren’t very reliable, so should you ever find yourself in my flip flops, I would suggest doing your own homework.

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conanthequasilibertarian May 6, 2012 @ 9:47 a.m.

Unless your statement was a joke or you were not paying any attention whatsoever to the traffic signal (surely an amazingly dangerous way to drive), I'd like to know how you accidentally ran a red light.


nan shartel June 8, 2012 @ 11:50 a.m.

i think ur pretty silly to not take care of the ticket...and a 3rd place win here won't get u enough money to pay it off

clever write tho.....


nan shartel June 10, 2012 @ 4:10 a.m.

that's good Jake

i hate to see clever young writer at odds with the law...lolol

i used to deal with a ticket by telling the judge i was raising 5 kids and offering to give blood instead of money

that usually soften the blow


Tallsharon June 10, 2012 @ 8:29 a.m.

My favorite... After 17 minutes of extensive research... I got a ticket once for wearing a pashmina that sure as heck felt like my seatbelt. Oh, and I hadn't gotten around to putting the pesky car registration sticker on the license plate- it was in the pile of to do mail. You have to clean the plate first! Waaay too much work, congrats on the win- and nan is right " fame won't pay off your mortgage"


Jake Peterson June 10, 2012 @ 10:50 a.m.

Thanks for the wise tips, Nan. All I have to do is round up 5 kids to bring with me to court and hopefully the judge shows some compassion. I think I will bring in white, black, asian, indian, and hispanic to mix things up. Haha. I agree, Tallsharon. Waay too much work! haha


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