Many of you may recall that speeding ticket I got on Ygnacio Valley Road. You know, the one where the cop came into court and railroaded me. And lied. Because no 2001 525i BMW can go from 0-64 in 300 yards. Not possible. Well, I didn’t necessarily remember the part where I was supposed to pay the ticket. Last Wednesday I spent three hours of my life that I will never get back standing in line, getting chased around and appearing before the judge again. He’s kind of a nudge. He gave me 38 hours of community service and then until August 19th the finish it. Mathematically that’s pretty challenging when you work six or seven days a week. I went back to the clerk of the court the next day and got a list of where I could do the work. The choices are pretty interesting. Last time I did community service it was in Santa Barbara and they made me do some paperwork with parking tickets. Then they lost my paperwork and that ticket never showed up on my record. This time was a list of places to go and do your community services. I saw a place called Heritage Trails in there, I called them. The lady called me back a couple of days later and was pretty gruff, but I agreed to show up at 9am today. I also chose to break it off into six hour chunks. As it turns out she has six hour shifts, because that’s how long horse camp goes. Seriously, my job today was to be an assistant at horse camp. Do you know horses? Well, I know animals. If you tell me what not to do, I won’t do that and I can read an animal. OK, you’ll be fine. And I was. I can read horses. They are amazing animals with the patience of Job. I spent the morning leading a pony or a horse around the arena with a child astride her. Mine were all girls. I learned that horses have itches and they’ll use you to scratch it. You best not be between them and the rail while they’re choosing their itching post.
This is Winnie. She was excellent. She scratched her forehead on me. We played Red Light Green Light with the horses, which for the record teaches the children to control the animals. I taught several kids that if you want the horse to stop you have to tell it like you mean it. That was a pretty cute lesson. Don’t ask it to “ho”, tell it. It’s not a question it’s a command. In the afternoon the children painted the horses with some sort of washable paint. And then all the horses got baths. Horses are like Dobermans when it comes to baths. My job was to make sure no child got hurt today. I spent a lot of time saying “stay back from the creek”, “don’t climb on the fence” and “don’t stand behind the horse”. At one point the kids all wanted to be in the bath bays with the horses and the horses weren’t having it. I raised my voice just enough to sound stern and said “Everybody sit on the steps for me”. To my surprise there were sixteen little butts perched on the steps in seconds. I thought “Shit, now what am I going to do with these kids, I can’t leave them there on the steps”. So I brought them out a couple at a time and gave them little tasks. Who knew that they’d listen to me. I have 32 hours of community service to go. For all the crap the cop and the judge and the court put me through, I hope I continue to have this much fun doing community service. You can suck it judge.