No one just shows up to court…you have to get invited. It’s exclusive and mysterious. Sure you have to do something illegal, but once the officer hands you that invitation through your driver side window…you’re in, and you feel really, really great about it.
Kyle Patrick, that’s awesome! How did you get invited into this exclusive, members only event?
Easy. I saw an officer parked by the stop sign in my neighborhood, made sure they were watching, and ran through that stop sign. Boom. I was in.
Anyone can run a stop sign without an officer seeing, but it takes someone special, someone with remarkable intellect and talent to break the law while an officer is watching, and as you can see…I’m the ladder (small joke, latter*).
When Officer X handed me that golden ticket, I felt like Charlie from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I went and told all my friends and danced through the streets. My imagination ran wild as I thought about all the other lucky winners I would meet there. Surely they were as thrilled about their golden ticket as I was.
And how could this day get any better, I thought? Turns out, the court date, aka the party, was on September 10. My birthday. Score!
An elite, star studded event like this would make Stefon proud.
But upon my arrival, I saw that my expectations did not meet my reality.
Turns out they wanted me to pay for my new membership. Give me points for being bad. Everyone looked sad, too.
I had to find a way out. I began to craft a plea that I would use if the judge was kind. It turns out, he was. A shaggy haired gentleman who made jokes. He called my name.
Judge: Kyle Benjamin Patrick
Judge: How do you plea?
Judge: Come on up front.
There I saw Officer X standing to my right.
Judge: Officer, anything unusual?
Officer X: No your honor. Plus 5.
Judge: Oh a plus 5!? Do you know what that means?
Me: Yes, your honor. Perfect record.
Judge: That’s right. Do you think I should give you a break?
Me: Yes. Officer X has made a paranoid driver out of me.
(chuckles from the other “winners” behind me)
Me: …and…it’s my birthday.
(the courtroom laughs)
Judge: Is that right? Well alright. I’ll drop it down to a minor infraction that won’t show up with the DMV. That means, you’ll receive 0 points and it will knock the cost of the ticket down. Don’t do it again.
Me: Yes, your honor. Thank you.
As I turned and walked through the aisle to the door, I looked at the faces of the other offenders and they began whispering congratulations and encouragements to me. It felt pretty great. What a birthday treat.
Thank you City of Fairfax for the surprise birthday party with a few dozen of my closest strangers.
Courtesy Sarah Masters.