cautionary taleTake it from me, no matter how much your knees might hurt do not succumb to the temptation of using your husband’s handicap placard to save a long walk across the parking lot to get to the grocery store if he isn’t in the car with you. Even if there are 7 or 8 handicap spaces available, resist! Yes, I admit it. That’s exactly what I did. Yes, I know that’s a big no-no. Now I want to share with you how big a no-no it turned out to be.

I got caught and was given a ticket and an order to appear in court. No chance of just paying the fine. I had to show up. In Criminal Court! In Napa County! At 8:30am.

The courthouse is 12 miles from where I live. I left one hour early because I knew traffic would be fierce and I would rather wait around than risk being late. I arrived in the court room about 2 minutes before the judge (Commissioner) walked in. Did I mention the traffic was fierce?

The first case heard – hit and run. Fine $1000 (and 8 days in jail)

Second case – petty theft. Fine $220 and he can’t shop at any Walmart in Napa County for a year. If he is a good boy and doesn’t get caught doing it again in the next 12 months the fine is waived.

My case – misuse of DP placard. Fine $1099 (plus fees so it’s really $1289). At least there’s no jail time.

The morals of this story:

  1. If you want to shop at Walmart, don’t get caught shoplifting there.
  2. If you don’t want to spend time in jail, don’t run from an accident.
  3. DO NOT park in a handicap space using someone else’s placard. That mistake will really cost you.

It’s way cheaper and a lot more fun to grab a cart and try to ride it to the door. Did I do that? Nooooo, I forgot to practice what I preach in my programs about turning “ho hum” into “Whoo Hoo!” I went for fast and efficient (and illegal) instead, passing up a chance to add a little playfulness to my shopping excursion.

You might not pay this high a price for taking the fast and efficient way, but missing a chance to do “Whoo Hoo” over “ho hum”  has a price too.