Wednesday, August 01, 2018

The MIL Part Three: 'Demo Days'

I have to go to traffic court in downtown Winston-Salem tomorrow morning. I haven’t been to traffic court since I was 15 when I was hit by a speed demon at the intersection of Air Harbor and Lake Brandt in Greensboro. The Trooper with a chip on his shoulder gave me the ticket even though he said to my father (Guilford County deputy at the time) that “He was MOVin’” when measuring the skid marks. When my father asked the Trooper, “Aren’t you going to give the other guy a ticket?”

The trooper simply said, “No.”

We fought it in court and won. The Trooper didn’t appreciate being called to the stand and of course he never recalled ever saying that even though the measured skid marks was positive proof that the guy that hit me was driving at least 65 MPH in a 45 (at the time). And since the skid marks stopped abruptly, he was going faster than that.

I haven’t had a traffic infraction since. So… Going tomorrow has nothing to do with me.

I was at the Beer Den at Lowes Foods in Clemmons a couple of months ago when my wife called Bait because I wasn’t answering my cell phone. I don’t get a good signal inside of that building and my phone had no record of her calling. She was audibly upset because no one could get a hold of me. Jamie told me that her mother was okay, but she got into a bump up at the CVS Pharmacy.

I chugged down the rest of my beer and made my way up the road about a quarter mile. When I got there, the MIL was sweaty and frazzled. It was an extremely hot afternoon. She seemed relieved that I was there.

The MIL had scuffed up a car while pulling into a parking space. It was a very minor scuffing, but it was enough for the owner of the car to whip out her phone to call the police immediately. When the MIL realized that she hit the car, she went into a slight panic.

If panic were an Olympic event, she’d be the Michael Phelps of panic. We joke around the house when she goes into a panic with a good natured “WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO?!!”

In her panic, she backed up her Taurus. As she opened the door to get out, she realized that the car was still in reverse and that resulted into hitting another vehicle behind her. She hit a very sturdy trailer hitch and caused no damage to the hitch on that big ass pick-up truck. They were so unmoved by the lack of damage that they waved it off and wished her luck.

The deputy wrote up a ticket and presented it to the MIL. I could see the panic in her eyes. I wasn’t aware of tickets being passed out on private property, but the laws have changed. The deputy told us that when she gets the letter of settlement from our insurance company it would most likely be dismissed. He made sure that there was no guarantee of dismissal. So, it may cost her $213 bucks to purchase a couple of 4-packs of small bottles of Sutter Home wine.

I got back to Lowes Foods for another pint and a growler fill to share later with the wife. She was going to need it. We ALL were going to need it. When I walked in, Jim and Bait inquired about the health and welfare of the MIL. I simply said, “Well… She had herself a demolition derby in the parking lot of CVS.” We joked about entering her into the ‘Night of Destruction’ demo derby at Bowman Gray Stadium.

Later when Jamie got home, the MIL said, “I don’t know why I parked there. I usually park on the other side. I don’t know why I did what I did.”

“It’s a hot day,” I said. “You wanted to park under that tree with shade over your car. It’s nothing to beat yourself up about. Hell, I hit Bait’s truck in the Lowes parking lot a couple of months ago. It happens. Let it go.”

I hit Bait’s truck tire with my bumper. I could see his truck rock. Boy, did I feel dumb. And when I told Bait about it, he dismissed it like a gnat in his beer. It was no big deal.

To calm the MIL down a little more I explained some things the way that I saw them… It’s a tight parking lot. She was more than likely in the middle of the lanes when she pulled in and scraped the other car. Had she swung out a little to right before pulling in the space on her left she could have easily avoided the curb and the car in the next space. It was a misjudgment plain and simple. Just let it go. Let the insurance give the woman the payout that she obviously wanted on her late model Hyundai and take the insurance proof of settlement to court for a hopeful dismissal. BUT take money just in case they don’t dismiss the ticket.

So that’ll be our adventure tomorrow to the City of the Arts and Aggravation. I say “aggravation” because they’re ALWAYS working on a road in downtown Winston-Salem that causes waits or they’ll just have it shut down without a warning. Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike Winston-Salem?

My buddy Tim Beeman doesn’t care for Greensboro. It’s like a Springfield/Shelbyville rivalry on ‘The Simpsons’. We don’t hate the people or businesses, we just find the cities inconvenient and poorly laid out. Personally, I find downtown Winston-Salem to be a pain in my ass. There’s a severe lack of free parking in the evenings and weekends. So, I try to stay out of there as much as possible. But “hello parking garage” tomorrow as the MIL and I hit traffic court. Wish us luck!

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