Friday, June 29, 2007

Straw Poll

No pictures today, sorry.

However, I do have a question for all of you. (At least, I'm assuming there's an all of you, because unless the hit counter is completely wrong, or unless one person keeps refreshing my blog, at least a few people have read this. I'm not saying anyone has liked it, but at this point, readership is readership.)

(Warning: while the background story does not appear to be about knitting, the ultimate question is, in point of fact, knitting related. Stick with me, and have faith.) Several months ago, I got a ticket. It was actually my first ticket in a long number of years, and I have to confess to being a bit surprised and grumpy about the whole thing. See, I was driving a little over 40 in a 35 zone. I had apparently caught up to the car in front of me, which annoyed the officer who pulled me over (he told me so), and, worse yet, I didn't at first notice his lights in my rear-view mirror, which also annoyed him considerably (he told me this as well). Of course, I couldn't share with him the reason why I was distracted, which was that I was listening to a story on NPR about how Colorado had chosen to make John Denver's Rocky Mountain High a state song. And they played the song. And me, I am a sucker for touching stories about folk singers being recognized for their work, and about the deep and abiding love some people have for particular places in the world (I feel much the same way about certain places in California, I just can't sing well enough to tell the world about it, for which the world should be grateful).

So, there I was, listening to John Denver singing Rocky Mountain High, getting all misty-eyed, and I lost track of the speedometer. Alas.

Now, there were a couple of reasons why I couldn't tell the officer who pulled me over the reason for my distraction. First (and I'm sure you all see this coming), how embarrassing is it to confess to getting misty-eyed over John Denver? I mean, really. There was no way I could do that.

The second reason involves politics. I live in North County San Diego. It's a conservative part of the state. Being distracted by a story about a tree-hugging, guitar-playing, hippie singer on a station which is known for its raging liberal bias was unlikely to garner much in the way of sympathy from the sheriff standing outside my car. The fact that I was driving a hybrid whilst being distracted by the abovementioned freaky longhair would also probably not help matters any. All I can say is that it's a good thing that this car came along after the 2000 elections, or I would have had a Gore bumper sticker on it, and that is the kind of thing that can get you into trouble with some folks in this part of the state (when we had a handyman come over once to work on our kitchen, he took one look at our bumper sticker and said, "Y'know. That bumper sticker's gonna cost you extra." I don't think he was joking).

So, suffice it to say that I was ticketed. The entire experience was made worse by the fact that, as the officer pulled away from behind me, I picked up my coffee cup to have a nerve-soothing sip, and the darned thing spilled all down my front. Some days are just not made to go well.

Now for the knitting question. Since I have managed to avoid a ticket for a while now, I am eligible for traffic school (spending a day locked in a small dark room being quizzed about state traffic codes means that your insurance doesn't go up, so I'll do it). The question is this: would you knit during traffic school? I mean, I regularly knit in faculty meetings, and committee meetings, but usually the other folks in those meetings know me, and know that I can pay attention while knitting (far better than the folks who keep checking their email on their laptops and blackberries), so that's fine. Do you think that the traffic school instructor will tell me I can't? Publicly and embarrassingly? If I choose to go to comedy traffic school (hey, anything to get through the day), do you think I'm likely to be mocked (or, more likely than is already the case?)? What say ye, do I start planning the perfect traffic school project now, or do I hang my head in despair and suck it up?

Thank you for your input.


Fiberjoy said...

I'd take the risk. The worst they could do is tell you to put it away.

Take a small ball of yarn for a small pair of plain rib socks. Tuck it into your bag/purse.

gearncniht said...

hi! my boyf pointed me to your site... i am also a knitting linguist! what is(are) your area(s) of interest?

as for your question, i agree with fiberjoy. try it and see. if you don't want to risk public humiliation, you could go up to the instructor before the class starts and ask what s/he thinks...

Tracy said...

I've been through traffic school--both the comedy and the non-comedy types. With the non-comedy types, you definitely need something to keep you awake, so if I were you, I'd bring the knitting along. If you're going to a comedy traffic school, and if you don't mind some potential jokes at your own expense, I'd say bring the knitting, too. Heck, just bring the knitting.