TODAY’S FORECAST: Mildly comedic
So I have a story I’m going to share with all of you today that I’m not particularly proud of but that is amusing, so I’ve been told. It’s one of those stories your supposed loved ones pull out at family gatherings when you’re least expecting it and you wonder what hit you as your cheeks turn three shades of red. Then they all laugh because they already know you well enough and love you anyways. I thought of this story today as I was waiting for my kids to get off the school bus and decided it was time you saw another side of the “real” Jen. After all, you are my blogging family; so it’s high time you see that underneath all that inspiration and faith that there is a bit of a rebel, right? 😉 For those of you who don’t know me personally, I have to start off with the disclaimer that I really am a law-abiding citizen! For the rest of you, you know that I am the least likely candidate to purposely break the law. (In my college days there might have been some question about that, but not now!) So please keep that in mind as you read this post. 🙂
Last fall I had sinus surgery. For people with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), this is not an unusual occurrence. Polyp-happy sinuses are just another lovely side effect of the “chronic-ness” that is CF, so my ENT went in and “roto-rooted” a bit to reconstruct my sinuses and remove a large polyp that was blocking my breathing. It’s really not the surgery that is important, but what happened a few weeks prior to it that started a chain of events I wouldn’t have dreamed possible.
I accidentally ran into the back of a school bus. Umm yes, I do know just how awful that sounds, TRUST ME. No one was hurt, thank God above! There were NO children aboard, just a driver and a “newbie” driver who was learning the bus route. Okay, so now that you’re breathing again, stop thinking, “What idiot runs into a school bus?” I’m sharing a personal, embarrassing story here; we’re family now, remember? 😉
We were stopped by a red light in a busy section of town. I was meeting a friend for breakfast and was sitting in traffic, actually making good enough time to be there a couple of minutes early. I couldn’t see the traffic light in front of me because the bus was blocking my view. At one point, the driver rolled the bus forward a bit and I took that as my cue that the light had changed to green. It hadn’t. BAM! Into the back of the bus I went. I think I was more of a wreck than anything else. There was no damage to the bus and the senior driver said, “There was a little bump, I just thought maybe I blew a tire.” My own car didn’t fare as well, but luckily it was still completely driveable.
The school’s bus manager came and said she didn’t think there would be any damage claims filed from their end but we exchanged the obligatory insurance information. The officer cited me for failure to control but was extremely kind and considerate given the pure idiocy of the situation. He wrote me my ticket, stated I could pay it to the address listed by said date or else I would have to appear in traffic court. He gave me his card and told me if I had any problems to give him a call. He told me to be careful and wished me a better day. Nice guy, unfortunately, my problems were not quite over yet.
I got home, wrote the check for the ticket and laid both the check and the ticket on the counter to mail. The kids came home from school and threw some school papers up on the counter for us to look at. Bob brought in the mail in and tossed it on the counter. You can see where this is going, the ticket and check were soon buried and all but forgotten.
BUT do you know when I remembered them? At 11:00 at night, lying in the hospital, after my sinus surgery, hopped up on pain meds! I was sitting in bed getting ready for the nurse to come start my nighttime meds and realized the ticket and check were still sitting on the counter at home! Bob was driving home from his evening visit with me and got a frantic call. “Bob, I think I forgot to mail my ticket and check in and I know I’m way past the mail-in date. OMG, I’m freaking out here! What am I gonna do?” He got home, and sure enough, they were still sitting on the counter. He read the dates on the ticket and said, “Jen, I think we might have a slight problem. Not only did you miss the mail-in date but you also missed your traffic court date – TODAY.”
Flip my CRAZY switch! I was a panicked mess. I’m the paper-keeper of the family. I have my Social Security folder organized by phone calls and filings. I have our home warranties organized by appliance, this could not honestly be happening to me of all people. I muttered a quick prayer to God, “Please don’t let me go to jail. Please.” I had visions (albeit irrational, pain medication-induced ones) of police officers storming my hospital floor with a warrant for my arrest. Bob tried to get a hold of someone at the police station, but of course the traffic offices were closed until the next morning. I went out to the local traffic court website and looked up my name; sure enough, the status showed I had been due to appear in court that day. It wasn’t this that drew my attention; however, it was the big, bold statement on the website said:
If you do not show up for a scheduled court appearance for a criminal or traffic case in municipal court, you should expect a warrant to be issued for your arrest. This warrant is called a CAPIAS and usually has a bond amount stated within the document. Once you are arrested, the bond must be posted to secure your release from jail. In order to avoid the issuance of a CAPIAS, please see WHAT TO DO IF YOU CANNOT MAKE A COURT APPEARANCE. A CAPIAS also can be expected if you do not pay the fine and do not show up on the date ordered by the court.
The night nurse came into my room just as I began to fully digest the implications. I burst into tears and she was trying to understand between sobs what had upset me so much. When she got the full story she started laughing. She couldn’t stop. She was sitting beside me apologizing and trying to comfort me all the while trying to stifle her laughter. She said, “Jen I promise I will NOT let them take you away, but is it alright if I call you felon?” I started to calm down trying desperately to see the hilarity of the situation. She assured me that Bob would be able to straighten the mess out in the morning and that if I needed to talk to buzz her. She said, “They won’t be looking for you at the Children’s hospital anyway, no worries.” We later had a good laugh over that.
It was a LONG night. Bob called the traffic office first thing in the morning. He explained the situation and the lady said cheerfully, “Oh those warrants won’t go out until Monday, just bring the check on over and we’ll take care of it.” Bob dropped the check and ticket off and they cleared it with no damage to my record, just the damage to my “organized” ego. When my CF doctor showed up the next morning to check on me his response was “You’ve got to start writing some of this stuff down, you could seriously make some money.” I don’t know about money, but I’m hoping for some entertainment value. 😉
At any rate, that’s the story. “All’s well that end’s well,” as the saying goes. And if you don’t stop following my blog after that or alternately decide to start following me because of this post, then…welcome to the family! 🙂 God bless!