Saturday, May 10, 2008

Murphy's Law gets Empirical...

This is the story of my "interesting" life (read a sarcastic tone here). Yesterday was one of the most memorable days yet - though unfortunately it won't go down with any sweet memory.

I slept about three hours when I woke up on Friday morning; but has to rush to lab for the paper I am working on right now for the June 3 deadline (CIKM '08). I had thought of using a nice mathematical construct in my model, so was all excited to be at the lab as soon as possible. I took the bus as usual, as I have been doing all the while this semester.

By 3 pm, I was really sleepy. One of my friends at the department let me know of some free food upstairs, so ran to grab them - ice cream cake, cookies and soda. After the food, no way I was able to stay at the lab. I decided I will leave.

I took the bus back and reached Tempe Public Library where my car is usually parked. I suddenly thought I will get some Indian food from a nearby store. So started driving there.

It was a light rail inclusive road, and I had to turn left. Sleepy as I was, I did. By the moment I turned in, I saw flashing red light and the Police buzzing behind. It was a huge cop on a motor bike. Herein is the story's climax. LOL.

It was not the first time I got pulled over, so I was prepared what to do. But things were not that simple. He asked me why I made the illegal turn - obvious answer I did not notice (implicitly I was sleepy probably, but could not tell him this). This was not the end of my stupidity. He asked for my insurance, and what I realized I did not have the renewed insurance card! I told him, I have insurance, just that I don't have the card as of now. I suggested if he could look up his database using either the VIN number of my car or my license. To add salt to the already messed situation, he said he does not have access to that database.

He wrote me two tickets - one for moving violation, and the second for no proof of insurance. The first one is the first traffic offense in the past one year, so he said I could get away without getting points on my insurance by doing traffic school. And for the second, I have to go to the court within the next one month and show that I have had the insurance at that point of time - and the second ticket then goes away.

So the scene is, I have go to the court to show my insurance, and then I have to do 4.5 hours of traffic school, that costs like ~ $ 130. Very sad situation :(.

I had been a decent driver all this while - never got any tickets till this one. I always drive within speed limits and have been good at abiding rules to the best of my knowledge. Not even that sleep was a problem - I did Grand Canyon (alone drove to and fro from Tempe) on a Saturday and Las Vegas (alone drove to and fro from Tempe) the Sunday after. And nothing happened - everything was just fine, even though I was kind of tired driving some 1300 miles in two consecutive days.

But I guess sometimes life just simply follows Murphy's law - "whenever anything can go wrong, they will." I saw the empirical proof - I could have just gone home and slept and none of this would have happened!

I hate mistakes in life that I commit. And failing oneself never feels good...


Alok said...

A mistake after all is a mistake but again need not lose our heart by quoting it in blood letters :) We should make a strong point that at least we have learned from the mistake that we have done. However, life is too short to learn everything from mistakes; so most of the time we have to look around and take lessons from others mistake too … that way chance will be less where we can count more mistakes than lesson :)

Munmun said...

@ Alok
Very valuable insight ! Thanks, I agree !