I was reading an interesting post over on No Facilities about vehicle laws and scofflaws . I was brought back to an experience of mine back in the last century .
I had a friend in Hollywood in the 1980s who was from the east . Somewhere . I don’t remember where he was from , but he was going back there . He’d had enough of the west coast , enough of Los Angeles , enough of Hollywood . He asked me to take him to the airport . He was leaving on a jet plane ; didn’t know if he’d be back again . We were racing along the 110 , passing downtown L.A , on our way south toward LAX . ” Hey,” he said , ” I want to stop by the court and pay my parking tickets . ”
” No, ” I said . ” We have to make the flight. You’re gone . Forget it . ” I was pragmatic . Hey , you have a flight to catch . He persuaded me to stop , though . He wanted to do his good deed , pay his debt , clear his conscience . O.K . O.K. I admire that honest spirit . We exited the freeway and pulled up to the courthouse .
I followed my friend up to the window . ” I want to pay my tickets , ” he told the clerk .
” Wait here , ” she said . She went away and returned a few minutes later .
He thought he owed eighty-three dollars . By the time the clerk returned he owed over $300 . ” No ,” he said , ” I owe $ 83 ” . She wasn’t going for it . There were late penalties added , and who knows what else . The city needed the extra scratch . Tense moments ticked away as he quickly mulled it all over . He’s trying to do the right thing , after all , and pay what he owes . She’s stubborn, though ; wants the added cabbage .
” Let’s go “, he said to me . ” I’ve got a flight to catch . ” And so we left . As people say : No good deed goes unpunished . L.A. was out eighty-three dollars , but I suppose they’ve got it back from someone else long ago . Probably my buddy’s name was put on the naughty list .