So then…I notice the guy in front of me keeps turning around to stare at me.
Normally I don’t shy away from “unwanted male attention” – (in fact, I consider “unwanted male attention” an oxymoron) – but in this case, it’s interesting because we’re in a courthouse, in line with fellow lawbreakers.
Yes, I sorta ran a red light. Yes, the traffic camera took my photo. (A rather unflattering photo, I might add. That’s the real crime here.)
And yes, I’m here to fight the $450 ticket because I KNOW the judge will want to hear the extenuating circumstances behind that violation – (AND why I was having a bad hair day.)
As I approached the light, a car was hot on my tail, so if I stopped suddenly for the yellow/orange/red light, I would have caused a crash! So I’m preparing a compelling analogy about how “sometimes you need to break a law for the greater good” – like it’s OK to jaywalk if you’re scooping up an innocent toddler who’s wandered into oncoming traffic!
(Of course, the judge might point out that my reckless red light-running could lead to the mowing-down of any innocent toddlers who ARE wandering into oncoming traffic. Ugh – judges are so judgey like that.)
So anyway, we’ve all been waiting in line for some time and the guy in front of me is restless. He keeps sneaking a look at me and I can’t help studying him as well.
He seems committed to fulfilling a specific gang stereotype – shaved head, bandana, thick muscles bursting out of his plaid shirt, low-rider jeans, and a neck tattoo declaring “T-Slash” in graffiti letters. (And lest we attribute his moniker to a fondness for the back slash key on his computer, he has helpfully inked a switchblade next to his name.)
Now you may know that I married a man who’s half Hispanic, so my kids are one-quarter Hispanic, and I love them dearly, so I mean no disrespect — but this guy’s outfit looks like it’s straight out of Central Casting for the music video “Lean Like a Cholo.”
“Lean Like a Cholo” Latin Rapper Down AKA Kilo
My kids love this story, so please don’t take offense that I tell it as it happened, including the thick accent of my new friend.
T-Slash: What dey getchu for?
Me: Red light. (I hold up the photo and citation they sent me)
T-Slash: Ohhhh, dey gotcher pitcher. Dat’s four-fiddy. Cuz you went tru da light. But if you run da light and turn right, dat’s only tree-fiddy.”
Me: Wow, you know these fees pretty well.
T-Slash: Jeah – (resigned) – I come here a lot.
T-Slash: Jeah – they stop me 3 times last week – ees my car.
And with that, he flips out his phone and shows me the screen saver photo of his car.
Now granted, it’s painted blue with yellow flames – and has tinted windows.
But I’m looking at him and I’m thinkin’ – “Really, T-Slash? You think they’re stoppin’ you three times in a week cuz of the car? Not the stolen guns and dead hookers in the trunk of the car?”
Really T-Slash? Really?
But of course I don’t SAY that out loud – because that would be stereotyping Hispanic gangstas. And I don’t stereotype. My kids are part Hispanic — and they don’t have stolen guns and dead hookers in the trunk of our car! (considers that statement) ….Um, wait. Hold on. I’ll be right back.
— Darcy Perdu
(Anybody else have their picture taken by those red light cameras? Does every state still allow the cops to send you a citation for that? Ever fight a ticket? Have you checked your trunk lately?)
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The awesome and hilarious Cary Vaughn from The Reluctant Cat Owner’s Journal just sent me this photo, saying “I think I stumbled upon one of T-Slash’s baby photos…” Love it!