Tag Archives: speeding ticket

A box of sunshine

I am emitting an afterglow from one of life’s rare and simple pleasures – a good mail day.

We all have days when we dread taking in the mail because we know we’ll find nothing but bills, useless coupons or maybe a notice from the good people at the county traffic enforcement office, with a picture of our car enclosed. Or maybe we are awaiting news about  a job or a college application. Just approaching the mailbox can be anxiety producing.

My son wisely observed at a young age that any letter containing the word “however” is bad news: Thank you for interviewing for a position at Any Company. Your skills and experience are impressive.  However, . . ., usually followed by what might as well say, we think you are a big loser and insist that you never inconvenience us again with your pathetic excuse for a résumé.

We’ve talked about the decline in personal communication but, in my view, among the things that have suffered most are of the smile-producing variety–the personal letter, the hand-addressed greeting card and the thank you note.

While the three almost never come simultaneously, it’s a treat when at least there are no bills, no threats, no coupons for electrolysis or basement waterproofing and no glad tidings from any government entity because, let’s face it, except for a tax refund, those are seldom welcome. 

Yesterday our mailbox was graced by a little happiness.

Not only was there a friend’s thoughtful, handwritten–and hand-made–thank-you note for a gift given just two days before, but a Bed Bath & Beyond coupon from another friend who knows it’s my favorite. The pièce de résistance:  a letter to our son from the property management company for the college apartment he and his friend occupied for two years (ages 19 to 21). I braced myself for a nasty-gram accompanied by a hefty bill for damages, most likely caused by poor aim at a dart board, an illegal cat or worse. Instead, the letter said, “It is with great pleasure that we enclose a check in the amount of your full security deposit. The apartment was left in very good condition and you did a nice job of cleaning it. We thank you for taking such good care of the apartment and making sure that it was clean when you vacated.” 

I am a proud mother who had a good mail day. Can you feel the glow?


Filed under All Things Wordish, Family and Friends

Justice I am, without one plea

I am feeling a little Andy Rooneyish today.  I can almost hear him narrating this post.

Last month, I was handed a uniform traffic citation outside my home state.  Because there is a court date looming, I realize I am taking a risk by blogging about it.  But I can’t resist.

To recap, a state trooper pulled me over for driving 69 miles per hour in a 55 mile-per-hour zone.  Then he wrote me a ticket for 70 mph, which could have consequences beyond a simple fine.

Following this incident, I received letters from seven of that state’s law firms, pitching their services in helping me get the charge reduced or dismissed.

I finally sat down and combed through all the letters.  The first one hit me with its rash of unnecessary quotation marks, so I decided one way I’d sort the letters would be to weed out those that didn’t pass the Word Nymph test. 

Here’s where Andy Rooney comes in.  Just picture him sitting there behind his cluttered desk, amidst the open envelopes, letters and the waivers they all come with (in case you haven’t been so fortunate as to receive one).

The first letter comes from a “Community Oriented Law Firm.”  In quotes, but no mention of who said it.

The second claims, I am not a Big City law firm.  Is this supposed to be a selling point?  Or is Big City a municipality in that state?

The third letter talks about fines for running a Stop Sign or Red Light.  Capitalized.

The fourth displays the following tagline below the firm name:  honoring Him by serving those with legal challenges in our community with integrity and excellence.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

The fifth one touts its postage-paid envelope for sending back the waiver:  No stamp necessary!  Exclamation point! Wow, if this saves me 44 cents, then they’ve got MY business.

The sixth letter went straight to the bottom of the stack for twice using the obnoxious parenthetical numeral.  That’s in case you wouldn’t otherwise know  – Traffic offenses generally cause insurance points to be assessed against you that will result in increased premiums for a period of three (3) years.  For example, premiums can be doubled for a traffic violation that carries four (4) points.   I’m glad they made that clear, as I was absent the day they taught us how to spell numbers.

The seventh letter begins a paragraph with, If you have not already plead guilty…  Isn’t it pled?  Or pleaded?

The reality is that, if I choose to obtain legal representation, I place my fate in the hands of one of these firms.  And I do so humbly because I am being charged with a violation that has nothing whatsoever to do with grammar or punctuation.  Traffic law is the great equalizer.

Anyone out there have a cousin Vinny?

Word Nymph will resume on Monday, after spending Sunday asking forgiveness for her irreverent headline.

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Filed under All Things Wordish, Foibles and Faux Pas