In the interest of finding the humor in everyday experiences, I submit the following. It is an article I wrote a few years ago (originally titled It Could Happen to Anyone) that was published in The Town Messenger in July, 2010. Enjoy.
It finally happened. I had heard of it happening to other people, but like so many other things we hear about, you don’t really believe it until it happens to you. And it happened to me. I always thought that if it did happen to me, it would happen in some big metro area, not in a little community like Hutto, TX. But here is where it did happen.
They say Hutto is a small town with big ideas, and that is precisely what popped into my head and out of my mouth when it happened.
“Hey! What’s the big idea?”
There I was, minding my own business, sorting through the mail – bill, bill, advertisement – when there it was. A letter from the City of Hutto addressed to yours truly. “Hmmm, I wonder what they want?”
I slid my trusty letter opener along the top of the innocent-looking envelope, creating a nice, clean opening through which I pulled out the contents. I opened the “letter,” and there they were, staring me in the face – two full-color snapshots of my rear end. Okay, so it was my car’s rear-end, but now that I have your attention, let’s continue.
Now before you start thinking that I was flying down Highway 79 like a bat out of you-know-where, allow me to explain that when I committed the offense that got me busted on camera, I was making a right turn on a red light at Exchange Blvd, an act that, so far as I know, is perfectly legal. Apparently, however, I did not come to a complete stop before doing so. That, come to find out, is not so legal.
For those of you who have found yourself in this same situation, I know you feel my pain. Thank you. For those of you who have not yet experienced that surreal moment when you see a full-color photo of your vehicle committing a no-no, accompanied by all the sordid details, don’t laugh. It could happen to you, too. And if it does, I have good news and bad news for you. Bad news first.
The bad news is that fighting a photo ticket is next to pointless for obvious reasons, and your little moment of carelessness (aka committing a ticketable offense) will cost you $75.00.
The good news is that photo tickets do not count as moving violations, so they should not appear on your driving record or affect your insurance rates (or so says my attorney).
The other “good” news is that if you do find yourself the recipient of a traffic ticket in Hutto (the photo variety or the old-fashioned kind), you can easily pay your fine online at the city’s website, HuttoTX.gov, from the comfort of your own home. I love technology.
But seriously, this little adventure has served me well as a reminder to pay closer attention when I am driving. It’s easy to get distracted and coast through a stop sign or fail to come to a complete stop when appropriate. I’m grateful for the fine job our Hutto Police Department does in keeping ours a safe community. But in the future, I will be more careful and keep that $75.00 in my pocket – at least until the next big shoe sale.