Thursday, February 16, 2012
Close to Nowhere
Plagiarism is alive and well
I hate it when I accidentially read some of the columns that go in the newspaper before I write mine.
As I can’t recall ever writing on Mississippi polictics, it’s usually safe to read Sid Salter. But I can’t read Barry’s column, Wyatt Emmerich’s or Milton Winter’s. I plagiarize.
I read Wyatt’s already and laughed out loud in a couple places. Mostly because his opinions on traffic violations sound a whole lot like mine.
I try not to speed and I try to follow all the traffic laws (I was aware of the “move over” law). I have a lead foot though.
I’ve been to traffic court twice -- once for no inspection sticker (I have lots of trouble remembering to get those); and once in Memphis, Tenn., for an illegal turn off Union Avenue, before they fixed all the lane change lights.
By the time I was through explaining why I made an illegal turn (and I admit that I did not tell the judge I was orginally from Memphis and knew all about how idiotic Union Avenue was), she was as confused as Union Avenue itself and the policeman who’d given me the ticket was laughing. The judge dismissed my case!
The time I went to traffic court here in Marshall County for no inspection sticker, I was obviously guilty, but I did have a new inspection sticker.
It was fascinating sitting in traffic court listening to all the explanations. One guy from Memphis thought that if he pled guilty to speeding less than 10 miles an hour, it wouldn’t go on his record, because it’s that way in Shelby County. He was pretty disappointed, as it wasn’t that way here and it went on his record and this was his upteenth ticket and his driver’s license was in emminent peril!
I wrote a column about that experience and the late Kay Hale, who was the clerk at the time, sent me a note thanking me for the “nice” column about all the folks working in the courtroom and for saying up front, that yes, I was guilty.
I might have been the first person to ever admit guilt in that traffic court room!
Kay was killed in a traffic accident in a construction zone just a couple months after that.
Sometimes, when I’m driving through the endless construction zones either on Hwy. 78 or in the Memphis area, I think about Kay. The accident wasn’t her fault -- it was one of those true “accidents,” but she still died.
Makes me try harder to obey the traffic laws.
There’s this one sign though on the highways that always gets me...
“Move damaged vehicles to the shoulder.”
I never see “damaged.” And Barry won’t let me say what I think I see...
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