Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
This spring, I heard on the radio that one of mu favourite bands, the Barenaked Ladies, was coming to town. I was so excited that I bought four tickets that very day. Elena and I took some friends and we had an amazing night. The Barenaked Ladies exceeded all my expectations by playing all my old favourites. We sang along to "If I Had a Million Dollars", "Lovers in a Dangerous Time", "Testing, 1, 2, 3", and "One Week".
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Today I discovered that there is a warrant for my arrest.
It all started back in my second week of work. It was still May, and my U of C bus pass ran out at the end of April. I didn’t want to buy a May bus pass when I’d only be using it for a week and a half of work, so I found some bus tickets around the house, and when those ran out after a day or two, I bought another book. I had exactly enough to get me through to the end of the month, when I’d buy a June bus pass. It was all organized and perfect. Then, unexpectedly, I had to use two of my bus tickets on the weekend and didn’t give it much thought. BIG MISTAKE.
On May 31, I was running to the ticket validation machine and scrambling through my pockets when I realized—I had no tickets left. Running quickly through my options left me no better off than before. Since I also had no money on me, my only choice would have been to take an extra 5 minutes to run to the bank across the street. But wait, unless I wanted to pay $20 for a single ticket worth $2.75 (the ticket machines don’t give change) I would have to find a store willing to give me change for a twenty. Did I mention that this is all taking place at 7:20 am? I’d have to walk quite a way to get change.
This all puts me in quite the dilemma. You see, I’m an honest person. I don’t like riding the train without a ticket. In fact, on the days where I’ve forgotten my ticket, I’ve been known to buy an extra ticket on the way home to pay for the morning’s free ride. One time I even got to my destination, bought a ticket, and threw it in the garbage. Today, my choice is either take half an hour to somehow get a stupid ticket and be late on my 5th day of work, or else ride without one, get some cash at lunch, and buy two tickets for the way home. I naively picked the latter option.
Just as I passed University station, three ticket-inspectors revealed themselves and started making their way down the train. They came in from all the entrances and I was trapped. Dang. They gave me a ticket despite all my protestations.
Now, foolishly, I totally forgot about the ticket until I saw it in my wallet early this week. It was due on Tuesday. I read over the back of that smug little pink piece of paper and I saw the words “deadline”, “court appearance”, “overdue” and “warrant for arrest”. Dang, dang, dang! All I could picture was transit cops busting in to my office, looking like the characters from Flashpoint (although I wouldn’t mind Spike or Sam coming to visit…) yelling things like, “Everyone on the ground! Nobody move!” I was suddenly glad that I haven’t officially changed my address yet. If they tried to bust me at home, they’d find Mum and Dad but I’d have flown the coop to my new place. I decided that it was high time I paid my fine and so I headed over to the courthouse at lunchtime. It was surprisingly easy, they didn’t even blink when I handed them my late and unpaid ticket. Perhaps the real surprise and/or miracle, though, was that they didn’t even slap on a late fee. It was still just the original $150 (still a difficult sum to part with). Feeling a little gypped and let down (why weren’t they reading me my Miranda rights and slapping on the cuffs?) I asked about this warrant. “Oh, there’s probably one” the girl replied. “It’ll take 2-3 months for this payment to show up in the police and RCMP databases, though, so keep this proof of payment on you at all times in case you get arrested.” That’s what I’m talking about!
Then the thought occurred to me, “Wait a second… I’m leaving the country in just a few weeks. When they scan my passport, I’ll come up as a wanted fugitive.” I’ve been planning my trip to
Ten minutes later, and thanks to the nice semi-retired cop who mans the front desk at the Police administration building (apparently where the police go to do union stuff, not issue arrest warrants) I was eventually on my way to the right spot. The kind man acting as both receptionist and security guard wrote me the information I’d need: “
The Arrest Process Unit was decidedly less intimidating than it sounds. I showed up, talked to a lady behind glass, showed her my ID and the receipt of payment from the courthouse, and then she delivered the verdict: the warrant hasn’t even been officially issued yet! Here I was cowering in fear that the Flashpoint team would be busting into my office any second, and I’m not even officially a wanted person! Unfortunately, she tells me, the warrant is in the process of being issued, so if I don’t want to get arrested whilst returning from vacation, I’ll have to come back when the warrant actually exists to get it cancelled. Until then, she says, “Hold on to that proof of payment for dear life.” Apparently, if I don’t have it on me and I get pulled over for speeding or something, the cops can take me in.
Guess I’ll be driving carefully the next few weeks.
Overall, my brush with the law was exciting, but not everything I ever imagined. I probably watch too much Flashpoint, CSI, Law and Order, Criminal Minds, and Monk for my own good—be warned: real crime is not like tv!