Friday, Mar 23, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Mary Alice Powell

Calculating the cost of a heavy foot

Now let's see, what could I be doing with the $85 I sent for the speeding fee to the Maumee court?

Only $15 shy of $100, that's considerable cash once you think about it.

To the gambler, it could mean 85 lottery tickets or 340 pulls in a quarter slot machine.

To the benevolent, it could be handing a $5 bill to 17 needy people; you know the ones who stand on the corner holding the sign “Need work to feed my family.”

The newspaper reader who shouldn't live without the Sunday Blade could buy it for 56 weeks.

Beauty shop visits are commonly $15 for a wash and style. The $85 would be enough for five visits; no tips. Pedicures, always twice as much, would narrow it to two visits with $15 left over. Do they ever just do one foot for half price?

While writing the check I drooled thinking of the $70 weeping birch tree I long for. It's a markdown from $129. I believe that you can never have too many trees and am unhappy with people who don't have trees because they don't want to rake leaves in the fall.

At the car wash where the lowest fee is $5 for seniors, the $85 would mean 15 trips through the wash and almost dry system, but for the $15 super wash with interior cleaning, it would only pay for five trips with money left for tips. Don't you get tired of tipping? I do.

Now that I am house hunting I ignore those that are treeless. It's OK for young buyers, but I don't have time to wait. By the way, do you remember the maple tree that sprouted from a seed that fell through the hole in a plant container? It continues to flourish with the main “trunk “ still in the pot. This fall a professional will have to be hired to move it properly.

And back to the traffic fine and the $85. It would nicely pay a one-way Amtrak ticket to Chicago and have money left for lunch. Or, to be more practical, it would almost pay the electric bill.

With all of that said, forget it. I exercised a heavy foot pedal and had to pay the price. How easy it is to wonder why the cars that passed yours don't get stopped or why the pickup trucks that roar down the country road at frightening speeds are never stopped.

My excuse is Irene, the red car that is definitely a high-speed vehicle. She wants to go fast, and day dreamer that I am, I too often let her. Only days after a cousin who spent his professional life as a General Motors automotive engineer made me promise I would always use cruise control, I forgot.

Honestly I was totally sur- prised when the state trooper motioned for me to pull over on U.S. 24 near Whitehouse. I thought it was probably a safety check until he held up a hand gun that showed a 70-mile-an-hour reading. Of course it was a 55-mph zone, and to me 55 is like standing still.

Fortunately I had all of the right papers in the glove box. The officer was so pleasant I had the nerve to ask him if he had a quota of speeding tickets to issue. He said no, but that in the hour he had been on duty in that particular speed trap in Monclova Township, he had stopped three.

I was wrong; 15 miles an hour wrong. Back home I patted Gladys' hood. In our 197,000 miles together we have never been stopped.

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