Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Little Chat With a Policeman

Okay. I've calmed down enough to write this. But let's just say I'm still simmering. A little.

I arrived home from WalMart (where I go only when desperate) this morning around 9 and left the car in the driveway since Tom would need it to run errands shortly. I parked back a bit from the garage door because I needed the extra space so to remove a huge bag of peat moss with a dolly from the garage. So after changing clothes, I removed not only the peat moss, but three bags of garden soil from the car. Then I went about mixing and spreading that new soil. 

As I did so, I noticed a patrol car pull up to our neighbors' house across the street (idling on the wrong side of the road, I might add) and I thought, "Uh-oh! He must have noticed how our neighbors' truck doesn't have a licence plate." I could tell he was writing a report of some type, then he left, but turned around at the end of the street, perhaps when he saw me in his rear view mirror (I'd been behind our hedges all this time).

Well. Mr. Patrol Man pulled over, rolled down his window and asked me (politely, ok) if that was my car in our driveway. I said yes and then he said he'd received a complaint that our car and our neighbors' were blocking the sidewalk and he had to write us up.

Good grief. I saw red. I explained to him that I'd had to back away from the garage door a bit so to remove bags of garden soil with a dolly and the bags were still beside the house if he'd like to look and I'd only been parked there just ten minutes (in actuality, it was probably a tad more, but hey...) and ---

A couple times he said, "I understand, ma'am. I understand." I think they're told at the police academy to say those words when they see wild-eyed women about to go ballistic.

Man, our car is almost never even in the driveway. Usually it's inside the garage or Tom has it at work. But the one time I leave it there, some &^%*&^ neighbor (with no life, Tom added, more calmly than I felt) calls the police. 

I mean, hey--for one thing, I've walked a thousand miles in my life probably around a thousand cards blocking the sidewalk. But have I ever even thought of calling the police on them? Uh, no. And too, it's not like anybody even had to walk on any grass or anything! They could just step upon the blacktop on the other side of the sidewalk then continue on the sidewalk past our house.


Anyway, I didn't say a whole lot to the patrol man, but I did defend my actions and the poor guy looked at me and probably thought, "I hate my job. This part of it anyway."

 He said he wouldn't write a ticket, but because of the complaint, I'd need to park farther up the driveway (our car hangs over about a foot when the nose touches the garage door, so we'll have to leave the garage door open and park the nose in the there so to be totally off the sidewalk. Grr.). And he said, if it happens again, he will have to write a ticket.

This is just a test.... this is just a test.... 

Well, I'll be taking another test like this one soon. How do I know? Because I failed this one. Oh, I got mad. Really mad. And you know where that kind of mad comes from, right? It comes from pride. Ugly, ugly pride. "Somebody complained about something I did? Sweet, innocent, salt-of-the-earth moi??? Me who only every day tries to make this world a better place? Just who would dare come along and call the cops on meeee?!!

Yep. Since you can't flunk out of God's school, but must retake tests until you pass, I'm betting I'll be taking this test again. Probably soon. 

Sigh. Hopefully I'll do better next time. Maybe I'll be good and get at least a C+.


Please don't leave comments listing why the back ends of cars should never block sidewalks, ok? I know, I know already......... :) Sometimes a person just needs to vent in her blog.......


"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."  ... Proverbs 16:18



K.E. said...

Boy, somone sure had some tome on their hands to be monitoring the sidewalk!
Do you know who it might be? Maybe some cookies or a cake is in order - to heap fiery coals on their head. ;)

Debra said...

Kim--heh. I *wish* I knew who called, but I only am pretty sure who *didn't*. At first I was mad at just about the whole neighborhood, heck, the whole town. Another of the many ways I failed that test. sigh. (Thanks for commenting and your cake idea is a good one. heh.) ...Debra

Judy said...

Boy do I know that feeling!
Sometimes I wish those tests came with that buzzing sound like on TV "BZZBZZBZZ this has been a test of the emergency broadcasting system BZZBZZBZZ this is only a test BZZBZZBZZ"

Debra said...

Judy--actually, I think I heard that bzzzzing sound in my head and I *know* I heard "This Is Just a Test!" But I blasted right through all that and let myself get all hot and bothered and prideful. Sigh. Thanks for understanding.... Debra

K.E. said...

We have the grass mowing police in our neighborhood, in the form of an HOA.
I get annoyed at the language they use in the letters. Heh.
They said something to my neighbor, whose father is dying of a brain tumor. I told her to send them to me if they ever said anything again. There's more going on in people's lives than people can know.

Debra said...

Kim--that is so true. We all have stuff going on that nobody else knows about and would probably make them pause before making those kinds of calls and judgements if they did. If I ever find out who called the police on us, I'll send them to you, too. hee.... (I'd love to see you in action!) :) ...Debra

Anonymous said...

Oh that's horrible. We had a similar incident here. Hubby was repainting a car and had blocked it all in to avoid fumes escaping. However some friendly neighbour, whom we always thought were nice called the Council. I was fuming, really at boiling point. It's just a really mean thing to do inside of politely asking him to stop. As the same in your case, they could have confronted you, except they took they cowards way. Mind you the joke was on them because the paint my hubby used was actually regulated and legal to use on home properties. (Can you tell I'm still not over it, even though its been two years.)

Your post has enlightened me and I think I need to forgive and forget.


Terra said...

I very much sympathize with you and that is nasty that your neighbor called the police IMHO.
You are wise to end with a Bible verse, which verse I read today while preparing for a Beth Moore study group with a women's group at church.
There is opportunity for growth all around us, even with annoying neighbors and ever more laws to confine and annoy us.

Bonnie said...

Well, at least he didn't give you a ticket. *shrug* Eventually you'll probably discover who in the neighborhood is the one who calls the police when they're bugged. Do you really know many of your neighbors yet?

Anonymous said...

Ah oh! I have failed and now have to go in the corner and try again too. I have a hard time not getting upset with two of my upsetting people living right by me. I see them and property every time I walk out the door and feel bad. I try to keep a pray full thought for them as I walk out the door to stop any negative thinking. I almost wish I could put up very high walls to keep my thoughts in better. Every time I walk out the door I feel I am being graded. I am. Yikes! Tomorrow is another class. I want to pass this test! Sarah

Anonymous said...

Oh I forgot to ask...which type of worms do you buy to add to your soil and where do you get them. I know places sell fishing worms but they are not the same are they? One of my compost bins is now a tumbler type and since it is off the ground no worms get in. :( and I have less worms now to add to the garden. Aren't they just such good little workers! Thanks. Sarah

Robin in New Jersey said...

Oh my goodness! Do you live on a busy street where people use the sidewalk all the time? So now you have to leave your garage door open all the time to keep the tail end of your car off the sidewalk? Bummer!

We have a couple situations here that are really annoying. People are not supposed to park their boats in the front or side of the house. They can be in the driveway or in the back. Well, our neighbor parks his in front of his house because he has a small space that is paved for a driveway for his car in the wintertime because he has a very steep driveway. So he gets around that one. But part of the boat is on the sidewalk and when we take a walk, we have to step down into the street. The neighbor on the other side of us had his boat parked on the side of his house, but it wasn't a "driveway" so he had a spot made and stones put down so he could park his boat there.

We also have an ordinance that we have to shovel what ever sidewalk is around our house or get a fine. Our neighbor across the street, NEVER shovels the sidewalk. The people on the corner of our road, NEVER shovel the corner. Two winters ago, when my husband was away on a trip, We had a policeman come to our door and hand us "letter" stating the sidewalks had to be shoveled. I told him it was the first time we hadn't shoveled and what about the guy across the street?! He said they were giving letters to everyone. That guy still doesn't shovel! We break our backs shoveling that sidewalk after the plows go by and push all the snow onto the sidewalk.

Ok, sorry, I am using your blog to rant!

Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Used to be that neighbors might come over and offer to HELP especially a woman heaving heavy stuff around by herself!! Well, some things we mostly have to wait for in the world to come I think!! Tests, tests, tests...

Anonymous said...

Yes I just read the rest of the posts. Yes when we grew up the neighbors actually raced to be the first to shovel the Other Neighbors walk for them!! You knew some day you would be repaid by them doing something for you and if not..oh well. It was such fun to hope they looked out thinking they had that chore to do yet and it was already done!!! When I think of the old fashioned graces that abounded all around us back,.. we had it made didn't we... Neighborhoods were neighborhoods and not just our street but many streets around us. Everyone knew everyone and kids or adults felt safe and welcome all over. No one had money but they had manners and Christian love. A touch of heaven. Sarah