I'm a woman with flaws. I won't lie about it.
I am a bad speller. I make snap judgments. I like ABBA and REO Speedwagon and I listen to "I've Got You Babe" when I'm sad. I lose my temper. I hold grudges like nobody's business. I don't eat beets. (Not even roasted.) I'm often late and I don't usually feel bad about it.
Flaws. I have them, for sure.
But one thing I'm not is a cheater. I pay my taxes. I wait in line. When the ball gets stuck in the water hazard at miniature golf, I add a stroke to my total. I hand back the extra money when the teenager at McDonald's gives me more change than he should.
Then he said if I wanted to dispute the ticket, I could go to town court. I couldn't understand why or how I'd dispute it. The whole thing seemed straightforward. He said I didn't stop. He gave me a ticket. I should pay it. But then I got curious. I'd never been to court and I wanted to see what went on. (I'm a writer. Curiosity comes with the job.) So I went to court.
Court was awesome. While there, I met a whole room of cheaters and liars and oh-my-goodness-are-you-for-real characters. I would have paid good money for this kind of entertainment.
Criminal #1: I was a little late (see list of flaws) and I sat down without signing in because I wasn't there when they read the rules. This very nice man tapped me on the shoulder and whispered that I needed to sign in. He walked me over to the registrar and showed me what to do with my papers. Then we sat down together and he made a funny little joke that set me totally at ease. I thought the people in town court must all be lovely. We might run stop signs, but we were basically decent.
My new friend got called to the front. Guess what his crime was?
That's right. I'd been amongst the criminals for less than ten minutes and I'd already befriended a stalker.
Criminal #2: Next up was a young woman dressed head to toe in hemp, carrying a hemp purse, and wearing a big, floppy sun hat. Indoors. At night. (I live in a college town. Lots of hippies.) Her crime? Being parked on the road in the state park after dark. The judge asked her what she had to say for herself.
Hippie Chick said, "Well, I was driving along and I was trying to leave the park because it was getting late and you can't be there after dark. But the moon was so beautiful, I had to get out of my car and be with it. So I went into the field and just looked at the moon and that's when I got arrested."
I thought she laid it on a bit thick, but the judge reduced the charges.
Criminal #3: The last guy called was an older man, skinny with a gray scraggly beard and long, unbrushed gray hair. He'd been nabbed for being naked in a different state park. When the judge asked him if he could explain himself, the guy said, "It wasn't me."
His charges were not reduced even though I thought that was a very good answer.
What about my case? Well, the police officer did not file his papers properly so my charges were dismissed without me having to open my mouth.Which was a good thing because I hadn't given one second of thought to what I should say.
What about all of you? What are your flaws? Do you have a crime story? Maybe you, too, have been falsely accused? I want to hear all about it.
In case any of you share my flawed taste in music, have a little bonus Sonny and Cher.