A few cardinal rules:
Don’t drink and drive.
Don’t drive and dial.
Don’t drink and dial.
Add to the list: Don’t drive and daydream about candied walnuts.
I was driving along a local road, thinking about dinner. Specifically, I was picturing a salad with baby greens, homemade vinagrette, grape tomatoes, carrots, and candied walnuts. I was in the middle of contemplating whether to make the candied walnuts or buy them, when I realized I ran a stop sign. It’s a very quiet road, and the only reason it even has stop signs is because it’s one of the few through streets that doesn’t have the pesky road barriers that are so common in my neighborhood.
I came to a rolling stop in the middle of the intersection. Then, realizing that it was probably safer for me to clear the intersection to make a belated stop, I mosied along sheepishly. Two seconds later, I saw flashing lights.
I haven’t gotten a ticket in 10 years, and never in such ridiculous circumstances. I also hadn’t realized that California issues very high fines for traffic violations. When they give you a ticket in Berkeley, they don’t tell you how much it costs. You have to wait for a month for them to mail you the official ticket. I asked around and the consensus suggested that the fine would be approximately $300. What?!
You might imagine my “relief” that when I finally received the ticket, it was only for $159. Those were some mighty expensive candied walnuts.