Two topics today. First, to my sorrow, I am no longer brother to the lady at the laundromat. She has started calling me sir. What a come down! Yes, sir sounds more North-American "normal," more idiomatic, but brother was way more friendly, way cooler. I am saddened at her cultural assimilation. I am also angry. Not about the brother thing. A week ago I was stopped for not wearing a seat belt. Waiting at a stop light a block from my place, and a cop motions me over and writes me a ticket. Come on, I said. He shook his head, said nothing. Really? I said. He handed me the yellow form, told me to have a nice day. And this was not just any ticket -- this one is for 240.00 and two points on my licence. I don't have that many points to spare. Two points to me is like ten pounds to a supermodel -- the licence is getting awfully tight around my hips. I have decided to fight the ticket. It's such a big penalty for such a small infraction. I called the court house and arranged a date to talk things over with the prosecution. I wonder what my defence will be? I must think on it. PG Wodehouse, the British comic novelist, used to recommend stout denial as a defence. Maintain your innocence in the teeth of the evidence, he said. No proof, no punishment. I may try that.