Happy birthday to our little traffic ticket


Dear Reese— On the impending celebration of the first year of your birth on Monday, I thought it might be fun to let you know the circumstances of your arrival. Something you might enjoy and appreciate long after I have shuffled off this mortal coil, seeing how it will be several years before you will actually be able to read.

Now most babies are afforded the serenity of a normal birth—in a hospital, with doctors, nurses and loved ones present.

You hear stories all the time about babies being born in the back seats of taxi cabs, on sidewalks, at the post office and one extreme case at the circus.

Now you were certainly granted that same privilege of normalcy—it was what happened before and afterwards that makes your birth interesting.

The ex-cheerleader, your grandmo... (let’s call her Lulu for now) and I got the call at about 3 a.m. from your mama Katie that it was time.

What’s the lion say? Rrrrrrrrrr What’s the lion say? Rrrrrrrrrr There had been a false alarm the night before, but this was the real deal.

We scooped you both up in the Silver Bullet (our nickname for our Rendezvous) and off we sped into the night.

As soon as we got in the car, you were letting your mama know in no uncertain terms that you were ready to make your debut in the world.

I can tell you right now, the first music you ever heard was Led Zeppelin, cranked up pretty good.

Your mama loves Zeppelin as do the ex-cheerleader and I, and despite the heaviness of the music, it provided a calming vibe. I believe it was “Kashmir” that did the trick.

Now at four in the morning, we were the only vehicle on the road and as I glanced into the rear view mirror, I could tell by the look in Lulu’s eyes that we needed to get a move on.

So I safely and cautiously ran every red light from here to Round Rock, where the hospital was. I even took the loop in Taylor, which I never do.

All went well and Lulu awakened me from my slumber on a love seat in the lobby and you entered this world around 9 a.m. and a few hours later, the place started filling up with friends and family members, eager to see the latest addition to the world.

It was a special date for me, because my grandmother Viola was also born on January 31.

About two weeks later, I received an interesting letter in the mail.

It informed me that I had run a red light and was being issued a citation for the morning of January 31.

Funny, I don’t remember being pulled over. With a pregnant lady about to give birth riding shotgun, I think I could recall that.

Near the intersection by the high school, Hutto has one of those “big brother is watching” traffic cameras and they nabbed me running the light.

As I contacted the company that operates the big brother camera (which is actually in Arizona) I informed them that I wanted to go before the judge for a trial.

In turn, they informed me that they had an actual video of me running said red light and they had even sent me a lovely 8x10 photo of me running the light.

When I admitted to them that I did indeed run the red light, they seemed confused. “If you say you ran the red light, why do you need to appear before the judge?”

“Because I have an excuse.”

“Well, we hear excuses all the time.”

“Not like mine.”

Four months later, my trial date was set and I didn’t need a lawyer or representation. I had someone on my side more powerful and influential than any officer of the court.

Johnnie Cochran or F. Lee Bailey had nothing on this guy— your mama showed up with you in tow.

When we walked in the building, you immediately began to use your boyish charm, smiling at the two girls working at the front desk. They were under your spell.

I may be biased, but you have a million dollar smile. I my own self have fallen victim to that two-tooth grin many times.

It turns out, most of the police officers were out on a call and these two women would decide my fate.

As they shuffled around to find my snippet of video for evidence, I informed them time and again that it wasn’t necessary— I admit I ran the light. Guilty!

They finally relented and asked me what my reason was. I pointed at you. You smiled. Case closed.

“We’ve never heard that one before.”

I’m a free man! Attica-Attica- Attica!

So there’s your birth-day story. You call me Ah-ba, but then again you call the dog Ahba, the car Ah-ba, the couch Ah-ba. I’m still hoping for Clint or Lance.

Happy Birthday to the littlest lion, from Ah-ba and your grandmo... Lulu!

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2011-01-27 digital edition

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