Listen, My Children...

Every Little Helps

Sunday, August 03, 2003

The City of West University Place


I live in an unincorporated city surrounded on all sides by Houston. There are many benefits to living in West U. One of them is a very vigilant police force. There are also a few downsides to living in West U. One of them is an over-vigilant police force. Speed limit is 30? Don't go 33, or you'll get a ticket. Really.

One of my friends, proud owner of a 1972 baby blue Pinto and resident of West U., gets pulled over every time there's a new cop in the area. What are you doing here in this neighborhood? I live here, officer. Oh, really? Yep, check out my address on my license. And how about that car -- you don't have a shoulder strap on your seat belt. Yes, officer; under law ______, it was grandfathered in. (He's memorized quite a schpiel about it.)

Bob got pulled over last night for "loitering" when he dropped me off in the wee small hours. I'd already gone inside, so he had no way of proving that he had a legitimate reason to be around. Anyway, the officer asks to see his license, and it turns out the fool is too lazy to have gotten it renewed when it expired last February. So he gets a ticket for driving without a license. Of course, that means he's angry, and, even though he's at fault, he's refusing to come back to this part of town. He's also still not going to go get his license renewed. Doesn't have time when he's in Houston; doesn't know where DPS is in Austin (and when I look it up and tell him where they are, he gets mad, so that's not the real reason). Hey, I'm mad because they caught me out in my negligence -- I'll keep on being negligent! That'll show them!

It sounds like something my father would do. Some men are so childish.

UPDATE: Part of the charge was a large fine for "failure to maintain liability insurance." Now, Bob has insurance, and he has the card in his car and showed it to the cop. No matter; since an insurance company won't allow you to take out a policy if your license is expired -- that is, since he wouldn't be able to get a new policy if he had tried to get one yesterday -- he doesn't have insurance, no matter what the company says. Quite sensibly, he takes that up with his insurance company, who tell West U. that the cop's a fool. So all that's left is the license violation; after much nagging (I hate nagging, but sometimes it has to be done) he went and got his license renewed, at which point he finds out that, if you renew your license within a week or so of the citation, you get the ticket waived and just have to pay $10 for the inconvenience. Huzzah!

Moral of the story: West U. cops are over the top (which is better than having useless ones, though), and it pays to be responsible and do what your girlfriend tells you to do.

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