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What A Weekend

Saturday was arguably the most interesting, disappointing and inspiring day that I've had in some time. A quick rundown... but first some back-story.

A couple of months ago, an old high school buddy of mine named Jon gave me a call and said that he was starting a 'side-project' and wanted my help. At the time, he was the guitar player for a local blues-rock band. He and some other members wanted to start up a parallel project that focused more on funk-ish music than blues. Jon said that he immediately thought of me (based on my previous funk band experience). Because of the holiday season, I wasn't able to make it to any practices with the rest of the crew -- but all of that was going to change on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.!

I got up on Saturday morning with the kids. We had fun reading books and playing Mario Kart Wii (a blast). Roundabout 11:00 a.m. I packed up my trumpet and trombone and set out on the 30 minute drive to The Pajama Parents' house (they live in the same town as Jon does). I was headed to my folks place to help my pop re-install a toilet in his bathroom -- after which I would head over to Jon's house to get funky.

So, I'm cruising down the highway listening to a few songs that I'd potentially like to play with this new project, when up ahead I see John Q. Law sitting in his patrol car off of the side of road. Naturally, I slowed down, but unfortunately -- he had already tagged me.

Dang.

The State Trooper pulled out behind me and turned on those obnoxious lights -- and I knew that my proverbial goose was going to be cooked. To the guy's credit, he was really cool about it. He said that he clocked me traveling 74 miles-per-hour in a... wait for it... 45 miles-per-hour zone.

Double-dang.

In my defense, that particular stretch of highway was formerly a 55 mph zone, but had recently been changed to 45. Personally, I blame Cheryl Lynn. "Got To Be Real" was playing when I got busted -- and it's very difficult to pay attention to your speed when you are car-dancing. Yeah -- I'll admit it -- I was car-dancing (and singing). You got a problem with that? That song is sooo funky.

So, the cool officer decided to go easy on me and marked the citation as a 55 mph zone instead of the 45. Good on him for helping me out. But, I still have some complaining to do...

Look, I take full responsibility for speeding. Cheryl Lynn aside, it is my fault that I was traveling so fast -- and I look at the citation as a "stupidity tax" the same way that many people look at an unused gym membership as a "fat tax". But, I do take issue with the fine itself. Here is a breakdown:

Fine: $63.00
E.M.S.: $10.00
MCARE: $40.00
Costs: $34.50
JCP/ATJ: $10.00
----------------
Total Due: $157.50

Please do note the $94.50 difference (!) between the actual fine for speeding and the total amount that I am required to pay. What gives? Geez.

Okay, so that was the bad part of Saturday. The good part was spending time installing a toilet (read: bonding) with my pop, then heading out to Jon's house to jam with some really talented musicians. I really enjoyed playing my horns with these guys, and look forward to doing again next weekend...

... without paying nearly $160 to do so. Needless to say, I will be listening to different music and paying much closer attention to the speedometer in my car next Saturday.