Friday, March 14, 2008


I may be cranky about the time change but I can't complain about the weather. It's been just beautiful. Spring is really the best time of year here. It's warm, the flowers explode in a riotous confusion of colors and the bugs don't arrive in earnest for a while yet. In short, it's entirely pleasant to spend the afternoon outdoors.

So I was out driving around yesterday afternoon and I took the shortcut to avoid downtown. Shortcut is a bit of misnomer as it doesn't save any time unless you take it during rush hour. It cuts off four traffic lights that can hold you up at that time of day but otherwise, it's not really worth it except it's a more pleasant drive. It cuts through the poor section of town that hunkers down around the railroad tracks but at either end the view is rural and gorgeous.

I've lived here over three years now and one of the things that has amazed me is how lax the police are about cars. My inspection sticker was expired for months and nobody stopped me. Even when I was pulled over for running the stop sign a few months ago, the cop ignored the sticker. So imagine my surprise to discover a roadblock on the shortcut. They were doing a license check. Just licenses, not registrations although I couldn't fail but notice that if the driver was black they also peeked around at the license plate, I assume to check for a current sticker. I was waved through with a bare glance at my license.

Astoundingly, there were a couple of people pulled over, I assume because their license was expired. Amazing really. Their cars were a lot nicer than mine. Why would anyone drive an expensive car without a valid driver's license?


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