• Richard Scrimger

Me and Martha


I feel like Martha Stewart -- not a line I get to use very often since I am casually dressed, underdecorated and generally happy in my imperfections. But I too know what it is to be spanked by the law. For the next week I am without a car.


Let me paint the picture. Yesterday afternoon was sunny and warmish -- almost glorious for Southern Ontario this winter. I was tooling along the backroads going, yes, a bit too fast -- over 100 kms/hr in an 80 zone. And in the middle of a long straight stretch the posted speed limit dropped to 50 kms/hr because a small town was coming up (I never saw the sign, but they assured me it was there), and the cops were waiting with the radar gun that said I was suddenly doing over 100 in a 50 zone.


I've never liked guns of any kind.


50 kms over the speed limit means I am guilty of what they call stunt driving (sounds cool, eh? Don't be fooled). They took my car and licence for a week, and gave me a court date for next month. I had to wait an hour by the side of the road, while the tow truck hauled away the other cars caught in this sting, but that didn't matter since I was no longer going anywhere.


So here I sit, in a small town without public transport, thinking of all the things I used to need a car for. The biggest is driving my kids around. My Dad job for the last few years has been Chauffeur. (You can track your kids' development by your job title. I've spent time as a Diaper Changer, Playtime Supervisor, Paymaster, Dictionary, and Jailer. I am still a sitting judge in the court of Not fair!) My kids who can't drive need me to drive them, and those who can need my car to drive. And for the next week they can't have either.


I'm lucky I don't have to drive to work. My commute is about forty feet -- down the hall and upstairs to my office. I'm supposed to make a speech at a school next week, but I can put them off. For most of my movement needs I can count on trains, cabs and friends. But I am letting down my kids, and that hurts.


I understand that Martha raises miniature donkeys. I wonder if she worried about them when she went to jail? More on this tomorrow -- Day 2 of my sentence.

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Richard Scrimger | scrimgerr@gmail.com | Toronto, ON, Canada