Friday, May 01, 2009

Yeah, I'm Lazy


I own it. Hell, I embrace it.

Today, I am feeling quite lazy, so there won't be a new, interesting post until sometime this weekend. Right now, I'm quite content to lay here under the A/C vent and read my new books--I got three of them as birthday gifts--and they take precedence over any writing I was gonna do.

But before I get back to my literary munchin' spree, I want to give a shout out to, I can't believe I'm doing this, the WalMart automotive service center over on Marks and Sunset. The truck needed a new battery, badly, so I went there to have it replaced. Actually, I was worried that it was a much worse electrical problem than just a battery. It barely turned over this morning, and when the engine started, the headlights came on but wouldn't go off nor switch over to bright. Also, the windshield wipers refused to work. Ugh.

I could see how this repair might end up costing me a small fortune in what is turning out to be a lean month, due to all the cash outlays I've already made and those I still have in front of me.

I got online last night, and looking at various auto parts websites, the battery my truck required was well over $100 at each vendor. And while I was about 98% sure it was just my battery, there was that doubt creeping in that it might be the starter or worse, the alternator.

But I limped down to Walmart, and the battery I needed was in stock and only cost $75. Oh yeah, they also installed it for free--no labor charges. (Of course, I had tools and could've easily done it myself right there in the parking lot). I also picked up some new wiper blades for ten bucks and they only charged $4 to install them, too. So not only did I get out of there for less than a hundred bucks, I also got a ten-dollar refund on my old battery core. And I was out of there in about 20 minutes, too. Not only that, but the battery I got has a huge warranty on it--totally free replacement anytime in the next three years (oh yeah, I'll be taking advantage of that, they don't last in this desert heat), and a prorated replacement cost over the next nine years. They can't even come close to that at AutoZone or Pep Boys.

Once I paid, I went back out to the truck and offered up a quick prayer that all the electronics would work and that the engine would turn right over. Yep--it started up like it was brand-new and all the gadgets worked perfectly. The only thing that was slightly off was that the clock had reset to 12:00--yet somehow all of the radio presets managed to survive. No biggie. But I was glad that it was just a simple battery replacement and nothing more serious.

I was very happy at that moment, but my good mood would come to an immediate crash just a few minutes later. I was turning off of Marks onto Stephanie so I could get on the 95 a block down the road. I was at the head of the pack, and made the fatal error of turning right at the one red light in all of Henderson where it is forbidden.

Just my luck, there was a Village People wannabe Henderson motorcycle cop sitting right there at the Wendy's parking lot looking to pick people off. Of course he pulled me over about ten seconds later. He seemed friendly enough at first, and as I gave him my license, insurance, and registration, I apologized for missing the 'No Turn On Red' sign, and told him that I usually exit on the Warm Springs side, where there is no such restriction.

Of course, there ain't much crime in Henderson, as illustrated by lower insurance rates, so the Henderson PD (the two-wheel version at least) ain't there to 'protect and serve' so much as to 'collect and intimidate'. For a moment though, I thought I'd get off with a warning--there was no traffic out at 9:30 in the morning, I posed no danger to any other drivers or pedestrians, and I thought I was effectively contrite about my mistake, and on top of it all, all of my paperwork was in order and my truck was actually clean--it didn't look like your typical 'probable cause' vehicle.

But Asshole Knievel came strutting back to my door and said I'm giving you a citation for a safety violation, you'll need to report to court on blah blah blah.... I didn't hear the rest.

As soon as he stopped talking, I said Really? You couldn't just give me a warning here? I wasn't speeding, I didn't come anywhere near causing an accident...

He cut me off and started screaming I'M GIVING YOU A WARNING FOR A SEATBELT VIOLATION, AND A TICKET FOR RUNNING THE LIGHT!!!

I was shocked, not only at his sudden change in demeanor, but also because he stood there and watched me unhook my seatbelt when I reached for my wallet.

So I raised my voice right back at him (in a measured tone, of course) Are you kidding me??? I just took off my seatbelt to get my wallet--YOU WATCHED ME DO IT!!! And it's still lying here in my lap! If I wasn't wearing it when you pulled me over, please tell me how it got in my lap?

So he said--Oh, I didn't see it.

I couldn't resist at this point--the ticket was already written. SO IF YOU DIDN'T SEE IT, OFFICER, WHY WOULD YOU GIVE ME A WARNING ABOUT IT? HUH?

I was mad enough to eat glass and cuss him out right then and there, but I didn't wanna get Rodney King'd right there in front of the Walmart, so I stopped talking at that point.

His only response was Please sign here sir. I hope you have a better day.

Fuck him. Closeted cocksucker.

Now it's a $167 fine or another bout of online traffic school. I guess somebody has to pay for all these nice parks and walking trails here in Green Valley Ranch. I guess I've been free-riding long enough.

Anyhow, that kinda put a damper on my mood today, so I'm holed up in my room for the balance of the day. I don't want to talk to anyone, go anywhere, or even worse, spend any money. On the other hand, when I got home, I started catching up on the Adam Carolla podcasts I missed while staying down at Caesars earlier in the week, and I just happened to hear the one where he went off on a righteous rant about motorcycle cops. It had me laughing pretty hard and improved my mood just a bit. But he asks a great question--When did being a cop change from preventing crime and catching criminals into just being a revenue generator for the city government?

Of course, I've never seen a motorcycle cop ever do anything to stop a crime from being committed, or god forbid, actually help somebody--it seems that their sole purpose of being is to write tickets. So if I ever see one get clipped by a minivan, I'm not gonna feel the least bit bad for 'em. I'm gonna laugh to myself and keep on driving.

So in addition to being lazy, I guess I have a dark side, too. Oh well. Back to my books. You think I have a dark side--you should read Anthony Bourdain.

Mikey

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