Saturday, October 3, 2009

Erin's Ticket

Saw a squirrel pee in the backyard yesterday.
It wasn't shy about it either. It had been eating a coconut, which appear in our garden at times.
I had walked out there to water the garden, when I saw the little critter to my immediate left, sitting on top of a bicycle which was chained to one of the trees. The squirrel saw me too, and took a crouching position as if it was ready to spring up the tree if need be. I froze. The squirrel froze, and we starred at each other for a good ninety seconds. Then it climbed down to the ground and began gnawing on what I first thought was a large mushroom cap, but soon recognized that it was a chunk of a coconut shell, and the squirrel was feasting on the white meat. I watched it for awhile. It was taking no more notice of me and enjoying its meal, so I surreptitiously eased back into the hallway, went to my lovely case manager's office, and asked Erin if she wanted to see a squirrel eating a coconut.
Well who can resist an invitation like that. Certainly not Erin. And Paul too, it seems, as he followed us out there as well.
We stood inside the hall and looked out.
"Where is it?" Erin asked.
"Right there, behind the bush."
"Oh yeah. There he is."
"Where'd he get the coconut?" Paul asked.
"I don't know," I told him. "But coconuts have been found out here before."
The squirrel soon tired of his coconut and began wandering around the yard.
"I've never seen a squirrel walk around like that," Erin said. "It reminds me of a cat."
Then the squirrel relieved itself.
"It's peeing!" Erin exclaimed.
"Really?" Paul asked.
"Yeah, I can see it."
"Bet you've never seen a squirrel do that either," I told them.
The squirrel, done with its business, high-tailed up one of the trees and left us, and we each returned to our respective duties.
Later we watched "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," on our new flat screen TV, which worked very well, and was relatively easy to set up. We placed it on a table as the maintenance people have not mounted it on the wall yet. Erin supplied popcorn and 7 Up. I supplied double cheeseburgers from McDonalds to those who showed up, Jose, Fred, and Hardy. Erin had one to, a special "Without Onions," order, and I gave her the pickles off of mine (I don't like them. They taste too much like pickled cucumbers). Jose unapologetically ate three of the freaking things.
Erin and Paul had never seen this movie. It was released in 1977, when Erin was just minus 7 years old, but it still looks as vibrant and undated as it was when I first saw it in theaters just before I entered the navy.
It's fun to watch good movies with people who have never seen them, and Erin was suitably impressed.
"What?" she exclaimed, when the UFO's lights slowly drifted upwards behind Richard Dreyfuss's truck, in one of the early scenes.
"They used real UFOs for this movie," I explained.
I once spoke to Richard Dreyfuss on the telephone as he was filming, "Moon Over Parador," in Brazil. I was working for AT&T at the time as a long distance operator, and someone placed a person to person call to him at his hotel. They thought he might be in his room, but he wasn't there. No, he was out by the pool, but I found him.
"Hello," he answered, when I finally got to him.
"This is the AT&T operator, and I have a person to person call for Richard Dreyfuss," I told him.
"I'm Richard Dreyfuss," he told me.
"Yeah, you don't sound like Richard Dreyfuss. Prove it."
I didn't really say that. When he identified himself I released the call.
Erin told me she enjoyed the movie after it ended at four fifteen. She had to leave then to go pay her rent.
"Oh, I didn't tell you, Rick. I got pulled over yesterday..."
"Yes." We argue like this quite often.
This was very weird, as it was just yesterday that we discovered Erin had been driving around for months with a suspended license. We found that out because yesterday she forced me to go with her (for moral support as she was very stressed) to the Municipal Court, down on Hill Street, to take care of that fix-it ticket she had received a $700 bill for. After waiting in line for a half hour, we found out that the DMV had suspended her license and were given a piece of paper and told to wait in another line. After twenty minutes in that line, Erin got a hearing date for next February, and we were directed back to the first line, where Erin had to pay them ten bucks, and where she was told the DMV would most likely reinstate her license for an additional $55 bucks.
What a freaking racket! As you might recall, sweet Erin had fixed her broken tail light on time and mailed her ticket to the court. Then she got the $700 bill from a collection agency, stating the matter had not been taken care of. Apparently there was a small court fee she was supposed to pay, but was unaware of. So now she had to pay $10 bucks for a hearing date, the state gets $55 bucks to reinstate her license. The court will probably charge her her an additional $80 dollars to settle the matter in February, and on top of that she got another fix-it ticket while she was driving home for driving with an expired registration tag she hadn't gotten because of this court business. All in all that little tail light is going to cost her around $170 smackeroos. What a racket!
"I'll pretend you didn't just tell me that your driving with a suspended license," the cop told her upon issuing the ticket, and after Erin described to him in complete detail what the situation was.
At least he was nice about that, and I didn't have to go bail my poor little case manager out of the slammer.
Now she gets to look forward to a nice visit to the DMV on Monday. Perhaps she'll want me to come along as that's probably more stressful than the freaking court.
We shall see.

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