No More Honors, Please!


          I was merrily weaving down the road when a representative of the local constabulary appeared behind me flashing his lights. Thinking he might be in trouble, I pulled over to see if I could help. I am civic-minded.

Still humming "Some Enchanted Evening", I invited him to join in. I always hum happy tunes (sad ones are better on xylophone). He refused. There was no telling whether an aversion to music was his problem, or if he was just not comfortable a cappella.

          “I’m giving you a citation,” he shouted suddenly.

          “Not at all,” I replied, nonplused. “Any citizen would have done the same.”

The very thought of a Citation Award for merely stopping had my head spinning even more than it already was. Reward without merit is the bane of society. Besides, I have always felt guilty in the face of unwarranted praise. (I blush the color of apple pie when it is offered from the side.)

“Here’s your speeding ticket,” he said, breaking into my reverie.

Whatever to do with a pass to the races? I wanted to get involved in this falderal even less than I wanted a citation.

Maybe the poor man suffered from Shermerhorn’s Syndrome, a disorder that compels people to fling pieces of paper at strangers without a thought for the public good (78% of the cases are found in civil servants and lawyers). Data on Shermerhorn’s is sketchy, as I just made it up, but funding is expected soon.

 “Okay,” he said poking at the small print, “this is your court date.”

“Thank you,” I answered not wanting to rile him further, yet befuddled by how we’d gotten from awards to racing to tennis. At that point (there must be some point), I asked what was troubling him, but he paid me no attention and drove away.

          When I got home I handed the ticket to my husband and told him he could have it. He didn’t want the silly thing, either, and suggested I call his brother, Fred.

“I didn’t know Fred was into that,” I said, astounded that he, too, might suffer from Schermerhorn’s. Not knowing what to think, I stopped thinking and went to sleep.

Now, I’ve already told you that citations lead to no good. In this instance, Citation #79H3887 led to traffic court where the judge didn’t want to deal with Fred, or the ticket, and dismissed them both.

I would rather have handled the matter myself by telling the judge that I never speed, and any wrongdoing on my part occurred during the brief moment I must have lost consciousness, but my family was determined to keep me out of the courtroom. There was no use fighting; I am an only child and they had me outnumbered.

This business (certified checks or cash only) left me limp or maybe it’s the lumbago. In any case, I am off citations. I don’t care what the citation is for— it is not for me!