Friday, February 09, 2007

Court Case and Pizza Base

The court date was set and my only hope was that Ms. Purple doesn’t show up as I had quite an excellent alibi. I had pictures of her bumper in close-up. I deleted forensic evidence of my car’s past. I took Google Earth print outs of the intersection and charted out a 10 minute monologue on the unsafe geometry of the intersection (my Transportation Engineer background finally comes of some use). I prepared a report on capacity constraints and operational deficiencies and created a proposal on improving the intersection and the cost report read 1 million dollars. Weather report of that particular day suggested ice-rain that made roads potentially unsafe. A phone conversation between me and Pi where Pi asked me to come home or he would finish up the kheer in the fridge was deleted.

Pi decided to come with me to the court for moral support and took a day off from work. By adopting my life, I feel it is his way of adding some drama in his. While I was busy preparing the case, he was busy checking out the location of the Garden-of-Eating pizza place. ‘Guess what? It’s on the way to the court. We could get it on our way back!’

‘Get what?’ I asked preoccupied.

‘That only.’

‘Oh, ok.’

On the way, he spotted the pizza joint and jumped up and down with glee. I nodded still wondering if the woman were to show up, I might have to run her over.

No purple cars in the parking lot. So there we were, the Judge, the officer, Pi and I swearing to speak the truth and nothing but the truth.

The officer presented his case. I was surprised that he dragged the part where she followed me to my apartment.

The judge was perplexed. Alpha rear ended her. So how was Ms.Purple following her?

I was squirming now. Jeesus officer, stick to the case man!

Anyway, when my turn came, I performed to the best of my potential and judge was amused with my thorough research and material but still wanted to know why she followed me to my apartment. I explained. He was even more amused.

He asked the cop if she seemed that sort of person when she stormed in with her purple jacket and purple hair band and one look at her the judge passed his verdict.

Not guilty.

Ahh, joy! Raptures! Jingilala Jum Jingilala Jum! Hoohaa hoohaa!

A slight smirk and snigger at Ms Purple and we got up to leave. Pi pulled up to the pizza place and ordered the pizza. Take out. He asked me which topping I would like and I said onions.

‘Why the heck she did show up to the court? Hope she didn’t have to travel far and wide. But thank God she came late. Whatever, she deserved it. The look on her face was priceless. Haha! You think the judge took a liking to me? Do you think if I called him ‘your honor’, he would have been happier? You think they might take up my proposal and rebuild that intersection. My office just needs a project like that.’

The pizza was brought into the car and I kept rambling about this all the way home. The pizza was placed on the dining table and the almost drooling Pi dug into the box and was about to sink his grinning teeth into the cheese laden slice.

‘ARRRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!’ I screeched.

Dropping the piece, he was shocked. ‘What happened sweetie?’

‘What is this pizza doing in the house?!’

‘We just brought it.’

‘What nonsense?! Why did you get it? Look at that cheese. It’ll send the clot waiting near your heart straight to the brain. Aiyooo! It’s so huge; it covers the whole dining table. Keep off from it.’

‘I am eating it. To hell with you!’ he was obviously shaken.

‘Dammit! Eat and Die! I don’t care. I am having dal rice.’ So to prove a point, I did have dal rice while the aroma of the pizza under my nose was too much to bear.

I was so pissed about this pizza appearing from nowhere that I cursed a little more. Pi yelled back saying I had gotten arrogant after winning the case.

‘Bah! I will show you real arrogance!’

So when he went upstairs to take a break, I loaded the rest of the pizza in the car and took off to my office and laid it in the kitchen for my office folks like a kind hearted Annadata (food providing Goddess). Let others get fatter and clog themselves. I have saved my hubby.

I got a phone call. All I heard was abuses that would have put Ms Purple and the whole of Bihar to shame. Taking away food from under Pi’s nose has the worst consequences and I was not prepared for this. There were a lot of deals that had to be made and promises that need to be kept. Basically, I am a goner!

The next day, I opened the fridge in the office kitchen to bring out my lunch of dal rice and reheat it in the microwave oven when I was confronted with a huge familiar cardboard box and demons in my head.

Guilty as charged.

PS- It was yummy.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Plead ‘Not Guilty’. Check.

Things you should know before you read this post.

I am addicted to car bumpers. The minute I see one in a vulnerable position (like parked in front of my car), I make sure I show my excitement by crashing into it. It happened once, twice, thrice before and now I am convinced that God is telling me something in Swahili.

My hubby, Pi, is addicted to any food that can potentially deposit itself in wrong places. The gleam in his eye when he sees a blueberry pie is only matched by the excitement he shows towards nacho cheese. I normally don’t seek such fast means to a heart failure, but have no control over myself when he is munching in front of me. They end up in my stomach without a fuss (the only fuss happens when I try to wrestle a chip out of Pi's hand) and show up later in my weighing scale. So it is in my extreme benefit to make sure Pi doesn’t walk around in the dessert aisle. One of the reasons why I was hiding this 'Free Pizza from Eating-Garden' coupon from him. (I won that coupon during an unlucky draw.)

Yes, these two aspects of my life are related. Read on.

On this rainy day (slippery road and all), I had an accident with the most benevolent soul this hemisphere could produce. She got out of her purple Volvo, with a purple jacket and purple hair band and started hurling the kind of language you’d only hear in remote Bihar or some shady parts of UP. Knowing very well (gauging by the color of her skin and jacket) that she wasn’t from these respectable parts of India, I came to realize that I was being spoken to in English. I said a quick ‘sorry’ and acted the part of innocent-foreigner-not-knowing-why-her-read end-jutted-out-so-much. I examined the situation from my car and my microscopic eyes concluded there was no damage to her car and her exalted self. Much ado about nothing! She stormed around her car and walked in. I assumed things were fine and that she would put her revolver away and maybe use it on migratory birds instead. But no, she was pissed that I wasn’t showing enough remorse, she jumped out of the car again and screamed, ‘Pull over Bitch!’ I felt bad for the amount of stress she was under. Maybe she got some horrid Christmas present from her boyfriend. I do not want to speculate the reason for her trauma, but I sure wished I had created a nice dent on her car. I would rather take abuses for something substantial.

So I followed her like Marry’s little lamb all the time seething in rage about someone with a purple hair band creating a dent in my perfect day. All the while, I was staring at her bumper looking for a scratch of some sort. After making me follow her for a mile, she pulled over in a parking lot near my apartment complex. I decided to spare her more agony of yelling at me and saw an opportunity to put her out of misery. I fled. Don’t ever do this unless you plan on fleeing this country too. I parked my car next to my apartment complex and ran inside only to be confronted with Pi who panicked on the prospect of giving refuge to a convict and he urged me to go find her and exchange information in the rightful way. Bah! Whatever! I hate these plesantaries.

I didn’t have to go far as Ms.Purple was right there, stomping about angrily around my car.

‘Hi’, I said amicably.

‘What is this apartment name?’, she asked not so amicably.

‘Jicamma Muniamma,’ I replied.

‘She lives in Jicamma Muniamma. I see her car parked here. She must have ran into her apartment. We’ll find her.’ she blasted to someone on a phone.

‘I am her,’ I tried to explain.

‘Oh its you!’, dumbfounded at first, she suddenly became indignant. ’Talk to the cops. I don’t want to waste time talking to you.’

I felt like hugging her for not putting me through the torture of talking to her.

It was pouring now. She sat inside her car waiting for the cops to arrive while I sat in my toasty apartment sipping tea wanting to pack and leave to India for good. It's too cold here.

For what took almost an hour, the cops came. She screamed, huffed and puffed, pointing fingers at me.

‘Which intersection was it ma’am?’ the cop asked after having to hold his breath for 10 minutes while she spewed venom.

‘Kalthappa Ave and Muthanna Rd’, she hissed.

‘That will be under Gooseyland Jurisdiction. You may have to call them.’

So after three sets of cops arrived in the scene, they couldn’t still ascertain which jurisdiction that particular intersection would come under.

Needless to say, I was enjoying inefficiency for the first time. Very sadly the right cops came to the scene and were taken by the woman’s story, especially the fact that she was standing in the rain for two and a half hours straight. They asked for my story. They called her the victim and me a criminal. The way I was being talked to, any passer-by (that included three guys in the apartment complex who moved out last week) would think I lopped off a few people and dashed away.

I told them that the so called victim used foul language so I panicked as I wasn’t used to hearing such bad words in the protected world I live in (which isn’t entirely false as I find Tom and Jerry violent). I wanted to deal with such a character in familiar surroundings (actually I didn’t want to deal with her at all. I was hoping she would give up) with my husband by my side (extra brownie points for pativrata stree angle). Who knew, she could have shot me. I didn’t have my cell phone (which was true) to alert the cops.

After much debate and rants, from a criminal offense of fleeing the accident scene, I was given a lesser charge of careless driving. I got my traffic violation ticket by mail.

I contested that.

Stay tuned for ‘Court case and Pizza base'