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Mr. Wrong

Green Matter Moving at the Speed of Light

By Joe MacLeod | Posted 10/7/2009

I try really hard to be a law-abiding citizen of Baltimore, USA, and even though I have racked up more than my share of tickets for speeding, running stop signs and red lights, not having money for the tunnel, parking bad, etc., I still totally Believe in and wholeheartedly Endorse the speed-cams currently infesting Our Fair City for the purposes of making people drive according to the Speed Limit.

If you have some Internets on you, please to go ahead right now and use it to see where all the speed-cams are supposed to be, according to The City of Baltimore, Sheila Dixon, Mayor. You could also look at this map the Baltimore Sun went and made out of some Google, and man, I bet that eastbound one at Orleans and Linwood streets is gonna pay off like a busted slot machine, or actually better, since we don't actually have any fucking slot machines yet.

Maybe ever since they invented Vehicular Traffic, there have been these speed limit signs all over the place made outta metal with numbers painted on 'em, and what you are supposed to do, if you are operating a motor vehicle (or you're really fucking bossy to whoever is driving you around) is while you're driving, look at the numbers on the speed limit signs (the numbers can change from sign to sign, so it's a little tricky) and then match that with the number on the speed-o-meter in the motor vehicle under your control, and as long as you keep it pretty close, you generally don't have to worry about a ticket. If you get a ticket, you have my deepest sympathies, because it totally sucks; you gotta cough up ridiculous amounts of cash money to clear your name, as it were, and it makes your Insurance rate go up, and if you wanna try to beat the ticket, it takes a lot of time out of Your Busy Day to go to one of those hellish Traffic Court places, where you show up and hope maybe the cop who wrote you up won't be there so you can skate out on paying it, or else you make up some sorta "if it Please The Court, I, the Alleged, am Guilty With an Explanation"-type bullshit about how you were looking at the metric part of your speed-o-meter and got confused, or some other really convincing Story or Lie about how your speed-o-meter was broken or you were trying to get around a big truck that was speeding, so you had to temporarily speed more to get around it so you would not be bothered by the big truck anymore. Why should I be behind the goddamn truck if it's bothering me, right? Trucks make me nervous, man. Yeah, that one really didn't work.

Anyway, there isn't anybody out there right now in Our Uncertain Economy who is more sensitive to having dollars sucked out of their pocket by The Man more than me; along with a lotta other people I gots the Furlough, and then on top of that, I am enjoying a side order of the loss of my already marginal every-other-week columning of my marginal column, which has now degenerated into once every three weeks, so one fucking speed-cam Robot could wipe out one-seventeenth of my "Mr. Wrong" dough, which is like stealing something and then getting it stolen, but still!

And look, I know the speed-cams are also supposed to be a really good way to make money for The City (like the stupid Slot Machines We No Have are supposed to), but unless you are somehow being tricked into speeding or framed or something, you can't argue with this shit, it is a side effect of the Justice Machine, like the late entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. sang in his No. 1 hit single "Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow (Baretta's Theme)," don't do the Time if you can't do the Crime, right? So like, "don't do the Speed if you can't take the Bleed (outta your wallet)," or something way better, and like I've been saying every five minutes for about a year now, I, like many US Americans, currently have Less Money and can't afford cable teevee anymore, so I'm watching a lot of the Law & Order, and lotsa times they find clues and stuff because of security cams and bank-machine cams and stuff like that, so speed cams are gonna be doubleplus helpful to our Law Enforcement Professionals when they are solving crimes and stuff, right? All those cameras looking at the road? Nobody would be mad if all of a sudden there were 50 more Human Polices standing around on the side of the road, and if you knew they were gonna be busting everybody they saw speeding, then you would slow down and Obey, right? How can you argue with the speed limit? It's like arguing with the Temperature. And hey, check this out, from Mayor Sheila Dixon, Baltimore City Department of Transportation Director Al Foxx, and Police Commissioner Fred Bealefeld:

That means the Robot speed-cams will let you speed, 11 mph over the limit, plus, for the next 30 days, if you do get caught driving 12 miles over the speed limit by a Robot speed-cam, all you're gonna get is a letter. Hey, maybe somebody will organize a contest to see who gets the most letters, eh?

theawl.com, mrwrong.tumblr.com, wrongcolumn@gmail.com

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