How I got a ticket and did some story research

The intersection is COMPLETELY EMPTY, and it’s a bright sunny day and I can see far enough that I know I can make it across the street before a car comes. There’s no car in sight in either direction, just one motorcycle right on the top of the bridge a quarter-mile away as I reach the middle of the road. It occurs to me as I’m walking across in front of it that it would be really bad if it were a cop, and so of course it is.

So I got a ticket for jaywalking–even if I’d stopped midway, he still would’ve seen me going across the road against the light. And he as much as said “what you did isn’t unsafe, but people have been just walking out into traffic and we have to be fair about enforcement and a guy got killed RIGHT HERE AT THIS INTERSECTION (at night, he adds in a grudging footnote).” Anyway, I didn’t try hard to talk him out of the ticket, though I could’ve pleaded the “I’m being safe and I’ll learn my lesson” angle; I mean, I ran in front of a cop against the light. It’s on me.

But I didn’t want it to just be a crappy encounter ending with the shame (deserved or no) of getting caught by the police. I’d had a couple questions I wanted to ask police about a novel I’m working on this year, so when he was done writing up the ticket, I asked if I could ask him an unrelated question. So I asked, and he was actually happy to talk to me for about ten minutes to give me the answer. I ended up shaking his hand and then he had to call after me as I walked away because he’d forgotten to actually give me the ticket. :D

Anyway, I was pleased that I managed to take a little bit of control of the situation and get something useful out of it. Kit now says I can write the ticket off on my taxes. :D

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