Civil Disobedience!

convict

I’ll admit it.  I occasionally break the law.

True, it’s in little ways, but still. . . .

This morning on the way to the Salt Mine work was a good example.  I typically treat myself on Fridays to (what I consider to be a well-earned) coffee.  I always try to leave home a few minutes early to make up for the stop, but I rarely do and I inevitably end up arriving at the office somewhat later than normal.  I used to feel a twinge of guilt about it, but no longer — probably save that for another post.

Anyway, today was no different.  I stopped in to obtain my cuppa and returned to my small beater commuter Miata, where I positioned that java cup in one of my empty high-top basketball shoes.  If you don’t have adequate cup holders, I have found that using your shoes can be a great alternative.  However, you need to be prepared to explain to whomever does the laundry why one of your socks always seems to be a bit “browner” than the other one.  In fact, on my really uninspired days, I seriously consider formalizing this invention and taking it on Shark Tank.

Heck, it can’t be any worse than Daughter’s HeadHelmet or FaceHelmet, or whatever stupid name she calls it these days.  After all, it is trademarked (not really; at least I don’ think so).

headhelmet

Actual recent photo of FaceHelmet in use. Two-year manufacturer’s warranty included at a small additional fee.

So with drink firmly planted in shoe, I left the miniscule parking lot and drove off in the direction of the interstate on-ramp, otherwise known as the Muggle Commuter Bottleneck.  It’s a metered affair, which is Urban Planning Speak for “We’re going to make you wait here under the illusion that delaying your merge into the broader highway really and truly cuts down on congestion.”

And like most Muggles, I duly line up in one of three lanes and (mostly) patiently wait my turn to join the rushing maelstrom.

Except for this morning; this glorious overcast June Gloom Southern California morning.  Because today, as I veered to the right and onto the access lanes, I was met by — nothing; no one; no cars queuing; nada.

Just three red lights, staring me down.

I had to make a command decision very quickly.  Do I obey the law and stop, thereby wasting the modest momentum that 78 horsepower generates in my little piece of crap car, or do I dutifully pause at the light and wait for the meter to do its thing?

It is the type of moral/ethical dilemma at which I excel.  That is to say, I’ll make up for whatever wrongdoing I commit now by counteracting it with a goodly act later.

Well, a quick glance in the rearview mirror to confirm I was, indeed, alone in my splendor, and a moment later I simply floored it through the light.  “Flooring it” may not quite be an accurate description of what I did.  Rather, I continued to accelerate at a moderate pace and seamlessly merged with the traffic ahead.  After all, my tiny little car doesn’t have the “oomph” it once did because it bears the burden of almost 185,000 miles now.

What value!

Back to my sad story. . . .  After driving straight through the light, I felt bad for about one nanosecond, and figured I saved approximately two tenths of an ounce of gas in the process, thereby justifying my legal waywardness.

And for the sake of complete openness, I must admit this time was not my first.  I have occasionally committed the same crime in the past, but only when the opportunity presented itself.  I would never take advantage, after all.  That would be wrong.

I’m sure one day I will suffer the consequences for these misdeeds but, in the meantime, I will “Live, Baby, Live!”

And just so that you don’t lose complete faith in me, I did hold open the door for someone later in the day, and I let someone jump in front of me in a line, as well.

I figure I’m even.  I’m sure the local constabulary does not.

I’m okay with that.

- Dad

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