Going to Court and Lunching in the Planning Room

Today’s been one of those days.  Archie’s been summoned to Court and Alfie’s been sent to the Planning Room.  I wouldn’t mind if my boys paced themselves through their dramas but they want me living on the edge and so when a storm hits, it’s more like a hurricane where I am in the middle of the eye.

You can never have too many dogs

You can never have too many dogs

Archie’s in court because he got a speeding fine.  That he didn’t want to pay.  Because it was around $200.00.  The crime was committed around three months ago when he casually asked if he could borrow my ‘rice burner’, load it up with mates and swags and smelly bags they call ‘luggage’ and drive down to Goulburn to spend the weekend at Webb’s property.

Union Square

Union Square

‘Will you drive carefully?’ I asked.

‘Mum, when are you going to stop asking me that?  I’ve never had an accident, I’ve never had a fine, I’ve never lost my license and I’m not a hoon*’.  And off he went.  With my car keys.  And a carload of mates.


Madison Square Park

So as he was driving down a hill along an extremely straight stretch of highway, and despite the cruise-control being set at the speed limit of 110kms/hr, the rice-burner picked up speed and right at the bottom of the hill, hiding in bushes (standard) was a highway patrol car ready to menace drivers who are too young to know the tricks of the police.  Archie heard the siren and saw the flashing lights racing (at a speed much higher than my rice-burner could ever manage), towards him.

Union Squre

Union Square

The officer said he clocked Archie’s speed at 131kms/hr, 21kms over the speed limit.  As it was a public holiday, it was also double demerits so he lost eight of his 12 points.  Quite a blow.

Like a night gambling at a casino, Archie decided to not pay this fine and instead have his day in court.

Flat-Iron Building

Flat-Iron Building

This morning he was up very early for his court appearance.  Listening to his mother’s advice, (reluctantly), he put on a suit and carried a folder with all his papers then took the rice-burner to Mossvale (90-minute drive) for his court appearance.

Empire State Building

Empire State Building in the distance

He was sitting in court for hours waiting for his turn and in that time and in his mind, he rehearsed an academy award-winning speech beginning with, ‘Your Honour, I stand before you as a young man convicted at the age of 20 of a speeding offence and I am not here today to try and convince you that my speeding offence wasn’t an unlawful act however, I am here today asking for the court’s leniency as I know there is a stereotype of 20-year old male drivers but I can assure you, Your Honour, that I do not fit that stereotype.  I do not own my own vehicle, the only car I drive is my mother’s Honda Odyssey which is not a powerful car; I am not a hoon and nor, whenever I drive is it my intention to be reckless and a hazard on the roads.  But Your Honour, as I drove down to Goulburn on that fateful day, my mind was consumed with my exam timetable and a copy of that timetable is with me today, and as I was driving I was thinking of my university studies and I believe there was a momentary lapse in my concentration whereby I took my eyes off the speedometer and became unaware of the car’s increasing speed.’  Or words to that affect.

No idea but a stunning building in New York

Beautiful buildings on almost every corner

The magistrate listened intently then said that on this occasion she would quash the fine, that Archie wouldn’t have to pay the court costs and that his points would be reinstated.  Archie, all inspired by the courtroom adrenalin and theatrics said to me, ‘Mum, I don’t think I want to be an actor anymore; I think I’d like to be in courtrooms; it’s like being on stage.  A barrister is what I should be’.

Stay tuned.

Heading to the subway

Heading to the subway


Union Square

Union Square

And there’s his little brother, Alfie.  Another one of those letters all formally addressed and sealed in an envelope came home in his school bag yesterday.  Letters from schools in sealed envelopes are never good news.  It said Alfie had been disruptive in Writing Groups and as a consequence was being sent to ‘The Planning Room’.  There isn’t actually any such thing as, ‘The Planning Room’; it’s just the deputy principal’s office where he has a couple of extra chairs for naughty boys (because it’s invariably always the boys).

Walking to the park

Walking to Union Square

So Alfie was not going to be allowed to run around at lunch time and instead would be having his lunch with the deputy principal in his office, where in a seated position he would have time to reflect on his behaviour and contemplate how in the future he might try to avoid disrupting other students in Writing Groups, manage his impulsive behaviour and think serene thoughts.  It’s a highly improbable scenario.

The Library

The Library

I had to sign the letter and return it to the school’s office.  This morning, while Archie was driving to his court appearance in my rice burner, I walked into the office and held up the letter and said, ‘I have something for the ‘naughty boys’ file’.

Bryant Park

Bryant Park

Like I said, it’s been one of those days.  And I’m ready for something soothing so I’m looking at images of happier times during a summer in New York City with my daughter.  I tell myself, ‘Boys will be boys’.

*  Hoon is a term used in Australia and New Zealand, to refer to anyone who engages in loutish, anti-social behaviour. In particular, it is used to refer to one who drives a car in a manner which is anti-social, i.e. too fast, too noisily or too dangerously.

Good to bring your drum kit on the train

Good to bring your drum kit on the train

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  1. G’day! They say things happen in threes Charlie, so I guess you future is clear of drama and tragedy!
    Things happen for a reason I always say!
    Glad everything worked out in their own unique way!
    Cheers! Joanne

  2. The odds of your boys going through drama at the same time is rare but you (and they) survived to fight another day.

    Best of luck.

  3. Good update Charlotte! When is our next CBD lunch? It’s time for a catch up!


  4. oh this was a funny post charlie but i guess not for you:) hope all gets better soon.

  5. I didn’t know is was double demerit points on a bank holiday! Or is that a NSW thing? Archie’s performance must have been Oscar-worthy to have the slate wiped clean – he’s a lucky hoon 🙂

  6. I had to laugh… sorry! 🙂 personally I think instead of them sitting in a room they should make them run around the oval 20 times to help them get rid of their excess energy! Liz x

  7. No way to law. Court is fun but it is only once small part of an otherwise completely over rated profession.

    BTW you can get out of your first fine by writing to your local state polly and pleading all the same facts. Much easier that running the gauntlet to Moss Vale and risking another ticket. This cops are brutal around Goulburn.

  8. Oh my, that is definitely drama. Our little ones are just going back to school on Tuesday!
    I’m glad to hear Archie got off, our demerit points are linked to insurance so that little lapse in judgement would have likely increased his insurance by 30-40%!
    Those pics of NYC look great.

  9. Glad to hear you have had a few drama- filled days too. It’s nice to know we’re not the only ones – one car broken-down on Saturday (which turns out to be permanent), another car written off in a car crash the next day and then one child voicing their independence by announcing they are withdrawing from uni. Fun and games!

  10. Charlie,
    Nice to know kids are the same in America.

    If I were the judge, I’d be very tempted to let your adorable son off. I’d say, “Use that 200 dollars to bring your mama out for a nice dinner!”


  11. It never pours it rains – hope you had a nice stiff drink at the end of the day – just before you collapsed 🙂

  12. The dramas made for a great post. And I am most impressed with Archie’s court performance. Good for him.

  13. At least you can see the humor in the drama…

  14. Whew…drama drama drama. Kids will be kids. Just think, in a few years they will be grown and gone and your days will be dreadfully boring! One can only hope… 😉 xo

  15. Never a dull moment at your place! Both boys are out of the house now, so any trouble is out of my sight…maybe that’s a good thing! Don’t think my nerves could take it! xo

  16. Goodness, your days are always full of adventures! I hope things have started to calm down now. Sending hugs, Terra

  17. I have to agree with some of the other comments! 🙂

  18. What a series of events! I don’t know how you do it sometimes Charlie. I would be beside myself with all the drama. When my kids hit the teen years, I may be looking to you for advice. 🙂

  19. Archie would be wasted in a Court room, to have enough charm and silver-tongue abilities to get out of a legitimate fine is a rare skill indeed and definitely worthy of the big screen! Alfie will probably enjoy eating his lunch with the other ‘naughty boys’, they’ll become friends, start making mischief together and the Planning Room will become the scene of many enjoyable afternoons. The poor vice principal will be shaking in his boots!
    Yesterday was one of those days for me too- doctors, dramas and cats… I wonder if it’s too early for a gin and tonic? Xox

  20. Wow your life seems like one in the TV dramas/movies which sounds impossible in real life. You write such great stories that I’m always craving for more stories from you. Your talk/story is so smooth. I get into your story by the time I read a couple of paragraphs. With all these things happening, how do you maintain your blog? I suddenly feel like my hectic life became not so bad. 😀

  21. Look at it this way Charlie, better to get these over in one single day than stretching them out into 3 days.
    Love your NYC photos, you are a great photographer.

  22. Oh Charlie. I can’t believe Archie got out of the speeding fine. The magistrate must have thought it was a creative excuse. I hope he thanked you for the suit and folder tip!

  23. I wondered what Archie was up to. If anyone could talk himself out of a fine, he’s the one to do it. What a busy family you have this week. 🙂

  24. I’d have a stiff neck not being able to resist looking at amazing architecture, LOL. Thanks for taking us with you, Charlie!

    Gourmet Getaways

  25. Oh goodness! Like you say, it never rains but it pours. I really do feel for you but you’ve certainly provided your readers with a dose of amusement, so there is some upside to your children’s challenging antics 🙂 I am quite amazed at Archie’s courage and success with challenging the fine – I didn’t know such outcomes could happen!

  26. Now that you’ve ticked off three dramas you can kick back and relax until the next onslaught. Very funny post 🙂

  27. Well it sounds like the boys saved up their drama for when you came back home! :O I bet you miss the NY days 😉

  28. Well apparently when it rains it pours! But good job to Archie for getting out of that ticket!

  29. Well that was a very eventful day for Mom. Very creative way that Archie got out of the ticket, but then I don’t think it was a fair ticket in the first place. Catching people at the bottom of a hill? What car doesn’t speed up going down hill even in cruise control?! UGH! It just sounds like Alphie is a normal kid with lots of energy. 🙂 Sounds like mom needs a cup of tea with a little bit of hard stuff. Enjoyed the pics of NYC.

  30. My goodness, what a crazy day. I have to say, it’s funny that you think of New York, of all places, in order to relax. You must be REALLY stressed out!

  31. Oh goodness, Charlie! I don’t know, I think Archie would make a fine actor! Can’t believe he got off scott free! Haha!

  32. I’m glad you included the definition of hoon! It’s easy enough to figure out from context, but always good to have a bit more info. Sounds like you’ve been busy. And your children even busier. 😉 Fun read — thanks.

  33. OMG! You sure have your hands full with three kids…so interesting to find out what Archie will do.
    Nice pictures Charlie…thanks for sharing.
    Have a great week dear 😀

  34. Well the judge must have been really charmed by Archie because they dont let people off very often. A beautiful story with twists and turns as only you can tell dear Charlie. Love the pictures of happier times. Police / public servants ( thank God for them) but they dont really have the same idea of time us us do they?

  35. You survived the drama really well my friend, I can’t believe Archie was able to get off his speeding fine! Wow!

    Choc Chip Uru

  36. Maybe Archie does have a future in law — after all, acting would come in handy in the courtroom, I imagine! Poor Alfie. He always looks so sweet; I can’t believe he was really being very naughty.

  37. Never a dull moment! 😉

  38. An actor or a lawyer…it doesn’t sound that different. Rising boys can be very entertaining, that is when it isn’t “our” boys. Wishing you peaceful times ahead. 😀

  39. I remember when I got a speeding ticket when I was 16! Boy I will never forget that day, haha!

  40. The story of your boys brings back some memories of my own. And as you mention, it is always the boys. My son spent many a day in the equivalent of “The Planning Room,” and there were times I wasn’t sure I was going to survive. He’s now a very fine attorney! I am glad that something good came out of all those “injustices” he feels he suffered! Archie’s ability to get the “sentence” turned around is strong evidence he’d do well with a career in law. I will stay tuned!

  41. Never a moment of peace!
    P.S. That picture of the 72nd St. subaway is literally 10 steps from my house!

  42. Thanks 63 for the explanation of ‘hoon’ and no matter what Archie may have been through or mislabeled in the past,I can see that he has turned out brilliantly!
    Good luck in the hurricane; they blow here at my house, too

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