Mom, I know your name isn’t ‘mom’!
The reason my grandfather wouldn’t pay his parking ticket
Writer’s note: This post was first published on Medium’s “Tickled” on July 2, 2020 and will now be permanently housed on Substack’s new “Tickled” column.
My grandfather got a speeding ticket. That sentence isn’t particularly funny, but the way my mother tells the story of why he got the ticket amused me. When he was pulled over for speeding on the highway, the cop asked him, “Why were you going so fast?” And my grandfather (according to my mother) said with his utmost don’t-ask-me-dumb-questions tone, “I’m going to see my granddaughter.”
According to her, he looked at the cop like he should’ve handed him his license back immediately and apologized. Clearly, that cop had no love for their duo visit to see me in undergrad and gave him a ticket anyway. (My grandfather balled it up and threw it in the backseat. I have absolutely no idea if he ever paid it. I just know my grandfather told me on several occasions, “I already went to war and I already served in the army. I’m not snoring through anybody’s jury duty and I don’t care about speeding tickets. Let ’em send me to jail. They’ll get so tired of me and my medications that they’ll let this old man out.”)
I always hoped he was kidding. (I genuinely cannot tell you if he was, and he passed away several years ago. But this is also a man who couldn’t stop cracking jokes even when he was on hospital medication. If there’s a wisecrack to be made, he has it locked and loaded.) But the story of him and the speeding ticket came to mind today for a different reason.