The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Monday, August 15, 2011

That first encounter

I was a child of 16; just a boy, really, shaving maybe once a week. And driving. The beast (if I may call her that... affectionately) I was driving was a `52 Studebaker Champion. I had dropped out of public school (not in shame and/or disgrace, I assure you, but out of rebelliousness and boredom) and was attending a private school in Hollywood, FL.

Hollywood was then a small city surrounding U.S. Highway 1 just south of Dania which is just south of Ft. Lauderdale. Maybe it still is, I haven't been there in many years. I am sure it is still south of Dania, though. Since U.S. 1 dissects it, you would think that would be the fastest way to get to it from my home in North Miami Beach (which isn't near Miami Beach at all and is several miles from the ocean and any beach). Well, you'd be wrong, of course. Instead, the fastest way to get there was to head up West Dixie Highway until you reach the "presidents". That is, where the streets are named after presidents. Then you head east a bit and turn north again on 19th Ave then east on Hollywood Blvd, go around the Circle and north again on U.S 1.

Why am I going into all this, you ask? I have no idea... except to give you a vague idea why I was pulling up to a 3-way stop at Van Buren on 19th Avenue. It's a 3 way stop because traffic is one-way north of Van Buren. Once through that intersection, you go another couple of blocks to Hollywood Blvd where it dead-ends at a traffic light.

As I pulled up to the intersection, I glance west and then east on Van Buren (I have to creep forward to do this because there is a large hedge to my right block my my view east), noting the police officer on his 3 wheeler marking tires with a chalk stick so he can give them tickets if they are still there when he next comes around (about an hour or so). There are time limits but no meters on Van Buren. The officer looks up just at that point.

I proceed through the intersection and on to Hollwood Blvd where I stop for the light then turn right on red toward the Circle, yield for traffic heading south and then move into the Circle. At this point, that officer pulls up alongside me and indicates I should pull over. Which I do, being the ever obedient citizen, pulling into one of the diagonal parking spaces which line the outside edge of the Circle and await the inevitable.

The officer, scowling ominously, leans down and says quite loudly,

"There's a stop sign at Van Buren and 19th... and it means 'STOP'!"
"I'm aware of it, officer... and I did."
"Let me see your driver's license and registration."

I hand him the requested documents and he walks back to his Harley trike. A couple of minutes later, after verifying that I have no "wants or warrants" out there, he walks back and writes a ticket for running a stop sign. He hands the ticket book to me to sign, telling me it is not an admission of guilt but merely acknowledging the receipt of said ticket. I briefly entertain the idea of keeping his book and speeding away because even my old "Stoody" could outrun one of these trikes but decide against it because he still has my license and, instead, sign the ticket and hand his book back to him.

His scowl is still there but his gruffness has dissipated as he tells me to be careful. I pull out (very carefully) and continue to school.

Thus began my first lesson in the justice system.

I will learn much and it will enhance my nascent cynicism.

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