Saturday, March 29, 2008

My Field Trip To Lawrenceburg, TN.

So back in January, I was a clown for a kids birthday party an hour and a half southeast of where I live. Basically, Alabama. So, of course, I underestimate the amount of time it will take me to get there.  I'm in a hurry.  I get pulled over, because that's what happens to me.  We're all aware of my luck with cars.

The cop was definitely not forgiving.  He wrote me up for everything he could find - 4 total citations, with a mandatory court date of March 28.  I was pretty bitter about the idea of driving back out to Lawrenceburg again but I wasn't really in a position to negotiate.

So Thursday night I go to prepare for my next adventure to Podunk, Tennessee.  I look at my ticket.  The time at the top says 2:15.  Excited that they gave me a time, I get my paperwork together and go about my business.  Around noon on Friday, I'm walking out the door to my office and look at the ticket again. 2:15 was definitely the citation time.  My court time was at 9am.  I am envisioning a warrant out for my arrest, and call the clerk in a mild panic.

Me: So I'm having a mild panic attack. My court time was 
at 9am and I misread my time on the ticket.
Clerk: Wait, you're the one coming from Nashville, right? (I'd already called for directions)
Me: Yes ma'am, I am.
Clerk:  Well just get on down here, be safe. They'll be in for a while, you'll be okay.
Me: But I'm still in Nashville. I have to drive down there.  There's no warrant out?
Clerk:  You'll be fine. If they call your name and you're not there, they'll come out and I'll tell them you called.
Me: You're sure? I won't be cuffed when I walk in?
Clerk:  No. Just get on down here, you called and let me know, it's okay. 
Me: Okay. I'm on my way.

So on the drive down Rachel calls me, and I'm talking, not entirely sure where I'm going. Next thing I know, I'm like, 15 minutes from the Alabama border.  Deciding to focus on getting there, as I'm already about 4 hours late, I hang up and call the courthouse again.  Apparently Nashville is a foreign land to people in Lawrence County.  No one knew where to tell me to go. So eventually I figure out that I'm 20 miles past my exit, and tune into the Alabama radio stations for the remainder of the drive.  

The closer I get to Lawrence County, the stranger things seem to get. I start seeing an
 abundance of trailers and rusted out, obviously
 immobile cars parked on lawns.  I briefly 
wonder if anyone would notice if I parked my Toyota between them, but realize quickly that would require another means of getting myself back to Nashville.  I did NOT want to be without transportation in this part of the world. ----->

Apparently Lawrence County is Amish country - Tennessee style. (Yes, that's a horse and buggy crossing sign, and that is a meat outlet behind it.) I manage not to kill any horses or people, and keep driving into "town".  There's a Wal-Mart (of course) and about 37 Rik's BBQ gas 

Eventually I make it to the courthouse.  I walk in, now roughly 5 hours late for my appearance, and,  after riding in quite possibly the scariest elevator I've ever encountered, I make it to the
 traffic citation office.  The lady immediately recognizes me as the one that called her a grand
 total of 4 times that day, and she send me back to the judge.  Who is sitting in an office the size
of a closet that she shared with another woman, flipping through folders.  She opens mine up, 
crosses off three out of the 4 violations, and reduces the speeding violation to the minimum.  It took a grand total of 42 seconds, she sends me back out front and I'm done.  Nothing goes on my record, and I've been released from several hundred dollars of fees.  


So I hop back in my car and start to head out again, completely relieved.  This time I spend my drive enjoying the scenery.  Apparently the hot spot was the Kuntry Kitchen, and if I hadn't been alone, I would have insisted on stopping. I made the trek back to Nashville, slightly 
impressed that the Toyota had survived the adventure.

Basically, I should never drive. Period.

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