Thursday, March 25, 2010

Part 3: The Petite Young Blonde vs. the City of Kennesaw

PYB has two traffic tickets to fight; no brake lights, suspended license.

The PYB's Day in Court, March 23, 2010

After dropping off the Petite Jeune Fille Brunette at school the PYB headed to her AMF (Awesome Mechanic Friend) to check the brake lights before heading to the courthouse.  It would not be cool to get yet another ticket for the same thing in the same area.  Yep, they’re out.  He replaces them again; the 2nd time within a month which was completely consistent with the internet research the PYB found.  The base of the bulbs, which is black plastic, is melted – EVIDENCE! She is SO going to win today!

Back at home…what to wear, what to wear?  New blue linen dress with white cardigan. Yes. No. Too dowdy.  Is dowdy good for court?  Hmmm, no, red knit dress with black jacket.  That works. Red is powerful, strong, in charge! Did you know it has been scientifically proven that teams that wear red uniforms win more often? So, power dress, fake Spanx, panty hose, sensible shoes, conservative earrings.  Good to go.

The PYB arrived at the Kennesaw Courthouse at 1:40 for her 2:00 appointment.  The parking was a few blocks away so she found a spot and started the trek to the courthouse. Once she reached the entrance of the Courthouse she was turned away – no purses allowed?? Are they serious? No cell phones, no granola bars. Great. So she turned around and hiked back to the car to put it away.
Sidebar – Any smart criminal would stake out the offsite parking lot and
watch for people returning to their cars with their cell phones and handbags.
Good grief. Talk about the perfect set up!

The PYB heads back quickly to the courthouse and goes through security.  In her pockets she paws out her keys, light bulbs, and pen and puts them into the basket and walks though the metal detector.  Success! The giant security guard who looked like the football player in The Blind Side, we’ll call him Gentle Ben, looks at her with raised eyebrows.  “Light bulbs, m’am?”  “Evidence,” says the PYB, scoops them up and goes into the courtroom.

She finds a seat and takes inventory of her paperwork: tickets, brake bulb receipts, research from the internet regarding the problem with the brake lights, and…hold up! Where’s the letter from Tennessee Helen?? That was to resolve her of the suspended license! It must be in her purse! It’s now 1:55pm so she bolts out of the courtroom and races back to her car…again. Curses! Thinking she only has five more minutes she breaks out in a run in her dress, fake Spanx and pantyhose. Ah, warming up outside, nice.
Uphill, uphill, no bursitis flare up, not now….go go go go….five minutes, just five minutes! She got to the car rifles through her purse and finds the certified letter from Louden County, TN (oh, is that where she got the original ticket that has caused this mess?) and a half full water bottle that had been rolling around in the floor of the back seat for a week or so.  She starts back while drinking the who-knows-how-old-water and feels her big toe pop through her pantyhose.  Sure, why not?  At least she didn’t dump the water all ov…never mind.  At this time the line for the courthouse is out the door and down the sidewalk.  She finally reaches security, and yes, Gentle Ben, she’s coming through again with her light bulbs.

The court room has filled up considerably, but being that she likes to see and hear what’s going on she walks up to the 2nd row and sits at the end next a man.  No, a woman.  Oh dear, this person does not smell good! Old, old, old nicotine smell, slightly sickly sweet, not good, not good.  Nicotine Lady turns around and says hello.  What teeth are left are pretty much black and then she launches into a deep, hacking cough.  This is not going to work, but then court is called to order and the PYB was stuck. Ugh.

The first cases called involved guys in handcuffs and orange jumpsuits.  Ummmm, excuse me, but being that they don’t actually have anywhere to go like back to work or to soccer practice could they not be saved for last? Just askin’. After about an hour of prisoner issues they worked on cases involving minors and/or those charged with drug possession.  The PYB was starting to wonder if she was in the right place.  One young girl, there with her mom, was asked if she could pass a drug test that day.  She was honest and said, “No.”  They gave her another one and, sure enough, she tested positive for cocaine.  Why her mother didn’t beat her to a pulp right then and there on the spot the PYB will never know.

After the drugged out kids the judge announces that he’ll try to have everyone out within eight hours.  WHAT???!! It was 4:00…was he kidding?  What happened to the 2:00 appointment?  Why wasn’t this explained when the PYB called the day before to confirm? “Oh, and btw, m’am; be sure to have a hearty breakfast and lunch and don’t forget to hydrate! It’s gonna be a long day into night.” That would have been good customer service.

At this time the judge turns the room over to the City Solicitor, Dr. Oz, who talks for awhile, blah, blah, blah, blah and then the judge comes back and gives a powerpoint slideshow about traffic court! The PYB is dying a thousand deaths.  Nicotine Lady’s smell is about to choke her and she starting to feel the beginning of a headache.  The traffic court in Cobb County was nowhere near this ridiculous!  Ah… so she had heard. Right. Yeah. Anyway…(the PYB has a heavy foot).

At this point, please allow the PYB to take a moment to  tell you about some of the characters in the courtroom.  You’ve met Nicotine Lady and Dr. Oz.  The PYB would like to introduce you to Porky Pig.  He was a cop who, bless his heart, truly looked like Porky Pig in a policeman’s uniform.  The other courtroom cop was pretty short, older, and balding with what was left of his hair slicked back…in other words, Christopher Walken.  The PYB was quite sure that if anything janky went down in that room these men were NOT going to be able to subdue anyone.  If he had to move quickly, Porky Pig’s gun would certainly get jammed in his ginormous love handles as they covered the holster of his gun.  Not trying to be mean, just the facts.  This being said at the first opportunity the PYB escaped the smell of Nicotine Lady and moved to the last row of seats at the end by the exit.  She would not be placing her life in the hands of Porky and Christopher Walken; she needed a getaway plan.  There was also a woman in a “Budweiser The King of Beers” embroidered jacket and the PYB was really hoping she wasn’t there for a DUI charge. As for the judge, he wasn’t a bad sort and he smiled a lot and tried to make a few jokes.  But, can he be charmed by the PYB?  Not sure about that yet.

After some no-contest cases the rest of us had to sign up to see Dr. Oz, the solicitor, to  review our cases.  Could this not have happened as we arrived?  The PYB’s name was 5th to the last on the list, hurrah! It was proving to be a really long day.  The judge took a break, but the solicitor would continue his interviews and call names.  Ok. Phone in car, granola bar in car, wallet in car…the PYB needed to go to her car.  She stepped out and asked Gentle Ben about leaving the building.
            “But if I leave the solicitor will certainly call my name,” said the PYB.
            “What’s your name, m’am?” asked Gentle Ben.
            “PYB, of course.”
“Ok, I’ll listen for it and if he calls you I’ll make sure you get put back to the top of the list.”
Sure you will, she thought. I bet you say that to everyone.  But she had to go!

Thank God it wasn’t a rainy day! By this time the run in her pantyhose was creeping up over the top of her shoe.  As she walked back to her car she noticed that some parking spaces were opening up near the building so, knowing it would probably be dark, she moved the car closer.  She called the Hunky Husband to explain what was going on.

Back though security and, no, Gentle Ben said, her name had not been called.  She filled up the basket with her light bulbs, pen, keys, wallet and gum.  She hurried up to wait so more. It was now 5:30 and here come so more orange jumpsuits.  Really?

Now the probation hearings were starting.  Up next, Teenage White Trash Girl.  If you were in court because you messed up your probation and had to answer to it would you actually wear sweats?  This really pathetic child was a teenaged, unemployed, single mom, who was knocked up again, and she had to pass a drug test.  Her sister and father were with her and, come to find out, her dad had just finished a chemotherapy session that morning.  The poor man looked worn out and frazzled. He tried to explain his daughter’s actions to the judge who patiently listened.  Long story short, Teenage White Trash Girl failed her drug test.  Sobbing ensued and TWTG started pleading to the judge about her baby at home and her dad, and she had a lead on a job, etc. This is what the judge said and the PYB almost stood up and applauded,
“Why do you expect me to care about your family, who I don’t know, when you didn’t care about them when you were out getting high and breaking your probation?  They aren’t my family; they’re yours. You are doing drugs and you are PREGNANT.  It’s time to grow up.”
Her dad kept saying it was all his fault and that she was a wild child.  The judge said, no, she has to be responsible for her actions.  Wow. What a concept!  TWTG goes straight to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200. 

Five minute break! Finally! So the PYB takes a trip to the water closet and wouldn’t you know it; the solicitor called her name to come in and see him. Blast it all. Her file goes back into the pile.  It’s now 6:30pm and her stomach is grumbling.  More sitting and waiting.

Her name was eventually called and she was to go into the lobby to sit in a different chair to wait.  This is where the PYB met Daniel Radcliff/Harry Potter, a KSU art student.  He was a very pleasant young man who plans on having his own comic book series.  He had just returned from a semester abroad in Italy.  HP provided the only intelligent conversation the PYB had had all day!  He was just as bored and climbing the walls as she was.

Dr. Oz calls her name to come discuss her tickets and the game was on. The PYB gathered all her papers and put on her brightest, most charming smile and breezed into his office. She felt she was at a disadvantage because it was getting late and he had been at this all day. Surely, he was tired of hearing people’s excuses and stories.  This could go completely wrong!

He started with the suspended license.  Right from the start they were not on the same page. He started talking continuance and she’s thinking, “Oh, hell no I am NOT coming back here again.”  He was talking $780 fine for driving with a suspended license and she was thinking, “Oh , hell no, I can’t pay that! That’s Atlanta Beat season ticket money!” She tried to start from the beginning to explain how it all happened, but he didn’t want to hear it.  She kept saying that no, it never WAS supposed to be suspended because the fine had been paid.  HE was telling her that she didn’t pay the $35 GA reinstatement fee so technically it was suspended, blah, blah, blah.  But what about the certified document from Tennessee Helen stating her fine had been satisfied, etc?? And this went on for at least ten minutes. Fortunately, the PYB had her canceled check from when she had the stimulating visit to the GA DMV to replace the license the 12-year old cop took from her.  She paid all of $5.00. 
“Oh,” said Dr. Oz, “looks like they waived the reinstatement fee. I’ll dismiss
this charge.”

Thank You Baby Jesus!! Beat tickets, yes!!

            “Now, about the brake lights…”

Dr. Oz was not the least bit interested in her light bulbs. Fine: $123.50. 

“So, has anyone ever told you you look like Dr. Oz?”

Back into the courtroom, go see the judge, yes brake lights out, whatever, let’s get out of here, go pay fine, no sign of Harry Potter, hope it worked out for him, get the heck out of this building!

The morals of this story are:
v    Drive carefully and slowly when in the City of Kennesaw. In fact, just avoid it if possible. The PYB has now has 5 tickets issued to her from the eager Kennesaw police force.
v    If you own a 2003 Chevy Venture start socking away money to pay for a ticket.
Your brakes light bulbs are probably melting at this very moment and you are
gonna get in trouble for something you have no control over.
v    Fake Spanx – not worth it.  Splurge for the real thing.

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