To the editor:

It’s late at night and I’m desperately looking for something, anything, to read.

Reading can be a blessing. It can be a bane.

For example, in reading the U.S. Constitution, it’s well if you read it slowly, haltingly, searchingly, to absorb the awesome wisdom displayed by our founding fathers. A wisdom of human nature displayed by the likes of one Williams Shakespeare.

If you’re a President Donald Trump fan, when you get to the emoluments clause, reading it could be a bane.

Reading can also be soporific. Broadly speaking, this means sleep-inducing. It’s another word for a slow-down basketball game. If you’re reading this, youv’e learned a new word. If not, you haven’t.

In the not too distant past, I attempted to read “Reaganomics” by William A. Niskanen, a former member of the council of economic advisors in the President Ronald Reagan administration.

Niskanen’s purpose in writing the book was to prove Reaganomics would never work. The books was so full of numbers, dates, picayunish detail, it had to be the most soporific book ever. I darn near read myself into a permanent coma.

James Michener and John Steinbeck books were doubly full of detail, but they were not soporific.

My Saturday Evening Post must have reneged on our subscription — only one issue in five months. I’ve already digested the Reader’s Digest. And Time. And AARP. And my grandson wanted our National Geographic for an article concerning his school major. So I’m left with one of my favorite sources of news, the local paper.

It seems like today’s news is getting to be the same ol’ same ol’. Just the names are changed to protect the guilty.

Then, tucked down in the bottom left corner, there were three columns of Portland City Court with Judge Donald Gillespie.

Speeding, of course, led all charges. There were nine different fines levied for speeding, ranging from $35.50 to $160.50. The $160.50 amount was by far the most frequent fine.

Seat belt violations were your best bargain at only $25 a pop. Failures to stop, false registration, dog at large, minor in possession of tobacco were all just run-of-the-mill charges. One fellow from Bryant was not fined at all for speeding.

To me, the worst offense was G.C.V. — golf cart violation. What kind of sicko would violate a golf cart?

One gentleman from Dunkirk was by far the wackiest of all. He was fined $148.50 for going 43 in a 30 mile per hour zone. He was then fined $35.50 for speeding 91 in a 55 zone. Would it have cost him more to slow down?

Behind speeding as the most numbered violation, G.C.V. was next with 13.

Total fines for the session amounted to $7,176, with $33 via the 50-cent levee. The average fine amounted to $94.42105263.

Anyone sleepy yet?


Larry Chittum