I pooped my pants at Safety Town

There have been a few times in my life that I have pooped my pants. I will tell you right now that it was not always as a child. As an adult, my poopy pants stories revolve around “Smooth Move” tea. My advice to you is to NEVER drink it. It is like a laxative that you cannot get out of your system… for days. Anyways, this is not about adult poopy pants. I was young, before elementary school, but I do not remember exactly how old I was. I am sure my sister can remember.

We were at Safety Town with the local Parks District. I do not remember if my sister was there for Safety Town or if she was my chaperone. Regardless, I vaguely remember that she did not want to be there in the least. Generally speaking I got very excited about Safety Town. They turned tennis courts into regular streets and sidewalks. There were stop signs, traffic lights, and bike lanes. We had a mini city all to ourselves from behind the daring excitement of our tricycles. For whatever reason I thought it was the coolest thing. Almost as though my tricycle was a car, and we got to be adults. There were even awards and trophies. Who knows why, but I LOVED Safety Town.

Except for the time when I pooped my pants.

You would have thought it was a regular I-have-to-go-to-the-bathroom moment. Yet, it wasn’t. I pooped my pants from absolute fear. This specific day was when the police, ambulance, and firefighters were coming to visit. They would take us onto the trucks and teach us about the apparatus. Except for me. I was scared shitless. There was always something eerie to me about an ambulance (scariest vehicle) and a fire truck (next scariest). In my mind they were going to help someone who was hurt, sick, or dead, or something was on fire. I did not like thinking about the number of sirens I heard daily and how many people needed help. I also thought that if I went inside the ambulance that I might not be allowed to leave. I have no idea where I got that idea. The Safety Town folks did their best to assure me, as well as my sister, but I was definitely not going into those vehicles. I got so scared, I pooped my pants.

My sister was not thrilled. I do not remember what happened after that and if I got into trouble for my scared-shitless actions. I am almost positive my parents did not ever understand my predicament, or even talk to me about it. I think they just thought I had an accident. Yet, I still remember it so clearly. Regardless, I continued to go to Safety Town and enjoyed the make-believe world of our tricycle town.

And, I still have a moment of pause when I hear an ambulance or firetruck. No, I don’t pee or poop myself, but I do think about those in need of help and hope all is well.

Photo Cops Suck.

Ugh. Yes. I started my blog out with ugh. Photo cops. Vans with computerized radar guns. They sit in camouflaged areas in hopes of nailing speeders. I drove past one over the weekend, and my mind started to wonder, why do we have photo cops? A few years ago I got a speeding ticket while going over a bridge in Portland. It is hard to explain my side of the story because it was on a bridge where the speed limit changes three times while on the bridge. I never noticed the photo cop, and other than an address on the ticket that does not really exist (it is a bridge) it is hard to know where they took a photo of my car. The ticket showed I was speeding at the start of the bridge, and my 6 mph over the speed limit came out to a $200 ticket. All taken by a van with a radar camera.

Here is what I found out: The photo radar van can take two photos every second. There is an uniformed officer stationed in the van. I always thought they parked the vans and came back later. If there is an officer in the van, why not put the lights on and come after the offender? $200 seems like a hefty fine for 6 mph over the speed limit, which made me think it was another way for Portland to make more money, but their website states that any money from paid speeding tickets goes back to the photo radar program.

My frustration with photo cops: If you are going to give me a speeding ticket, follow me in a cop car, pull me over and give me a ticket. Do not rely on a van with a computer. It feels like calling a company and being repeatedly sent through the automated prompts on their phone line, over and over again. I want the personal interaction of the cop that pulls me over, let him yell at me, or let me explain where my head was, or about the signs, or let me just admit I was speeding. I would take that any day to receiving an envelope in the mail days or weeks later with a high price tag. A ticket in the mail seems more passive aggressive. Right?

I know they are supposed to deter drivers from speeding, but it feels like getting caught sneaking out at night by a robot rather than your parents. What do you think?