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An Original Tales From The Copy Center story.


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You Won't Believe What's Illegal
Friday, January 15, 1999   By: Br'er Juan

Illegal to warm up your car in cold weather? It is in The Bold New City of the South.

Angie blew into the copy center propelled by a tornado of rage. Her eyes burned red as the coals in the firebox of the old Southern Crescent as it pulled the final hill into High Point, North Carolina.

 "I want 435 copies of this. I'm writing every congressman."

 "This" was a traffic ticket. I asked what she had done to get it.

 "I just did what Mike Miller said I should do - I didn't know it would make me a criminal."

 Now Mike Miller is host of a morning radio talk show. He was born in Illinois and seems to believe that fact makes him Jacksonville's expert on cold weather, such as the low-20s mornings we had last week. This despite his having lived in Jacksonville and Miami for the past 20 years.

 During the cold snap, Miller told his radio audience they should thoroughly warm up their cars before driving off to work.

 So one morning when it was 18 degrees on the Westside where she lives, Angie cranked her car, put it in park, and went inside to finish dressing.

 20 minutes later she walked out her door to find a police officer putting a ticket on her nicely warmed car.

 The policeman told her it's illegal to leave your keys in the ignition if you're not inside the car. She threw a fit. He threatened to add thirty-dollars to the ticket for obstruction. She shut up. He drove up the street putting more tickets on other cars.

 A call to the Police Memorial Building reveals there is such an ordinance. The lady on the other end of the phone line says the ordinance is designed to protect you from becoming a car theft victim. Besides it's only forty-five dollars - what's all the fuss about?

 Angie says she didn't realize "To Serve - To Protect" referred to protecting us from ourselves.


Tales and Humor  

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