In my 66 years of driving, here in the states and overseas, I’ve earned only one ticket. In a city that was new to me, I mistakenly parked on the wrong side of a street where parking was only allowed on the other side. My fault; I paid the fine.

However, a while back, Lolly and I drove to the Social Security office in Mesa to ask some questions. When we came out I was about to trash another dumb ad stuck under my wiper when I noticed it was actually a ticket for parking in a handicapped spot. We looked under the car. No markings! We looked for a post with a sign on it. No sign!

So we went inside and asked the security guard about it.

Shaking his head, he showed us the improperly posted sign. It was 25 feet from the parking space, hidden on the wall of a building behind a line of people.

I sent the ticket in with an angry letter!

A summons to appear in court arrived. I took a day off from work, which cost me $240. Lolly and I went to a courtroom packed with such dirty, cruddy looking characters that we sat way back in one corner, hoping we wouldn’t catch anything.

Finally we were called. We strode up to the bench. The judge asked our names. We replied. He mentioned the charge. I said, “The parking spot where we were tagged was outside the Social Security office. There was no marking on the parking spot itself and no post or sign. The ...”

“Whoa!” he said. “I can’t take any evidence.”

“What are we here for then?”

“To plead guilty or innocent.”

“Oh, for crying out loud! It cost me $240 to take a day off to be here.”

“Well-l-l, I could lower the fine to the minimum.”

“How much would that be?”

“Eighty dollars.”

“Can I plead no contest?”

“Yes.”

We paid the fine rather than waste more time and money in another courtroom full of cruddy looking characters!

Three years later my job in the head office of the school district was to provide computer support for 42 Mesa schools. Coming back from a school, and in absolutely no rush, I stopped for the light on Broadway at Mesa Drive. When it changed I turned north, doing 30 in a 35 mph zone. Half a mile later a small red SUV roared past me in the fast lane. A quarter mile or so after that a squad car pulled behind me flashing its lights. I was in the slow lane so I turned right to get out of the way.

To my amazement the squad car followed me and a female rookie cop came to my window. I rolled it down. “Why in the world did you stop me?”

“You were speeding.”

“What?”

Spotting a civilian in the back seat of the squad car, I asked questions and found out that she had been sitting in a parking lot back at Broadway learning to use a speed gun. Obviously she had read the speeder, taken too long to catch up with him, spotted my little red SUV, and ...

I told her about the speeder, but was she willing to admit her mistake?

Ho! Ho! Ho!

What about the ticket? Since I had no moving violations on my record I spent a Saturday taking a “class” instead of paying another fine for something I didn’t do.

Thank you, officer!

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(1) comment

Phil Mason

Obviously, the moral of this story is: Do not go to Mesa unless you use Uber or Lyft


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