Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I consider myself a pioneer—I’m not the type to follow the path of those who've come before me. One might say I take the road less traveled.. This afternoon, I encountered two men who sought to curb my zest for living.

I was cornered by the New York Police Department after crossing 86th Street, approximately one-half way between 3rd Avenue and Lexington. I was confused at first. Was it the elderly woman I had accosted the week prior? The handicapped gentleman who’s wheelchair I had stolen? Was I just being paranoid?

Officer Willie Matos (he'll remain nameless) was the first to speak. It soon became clear that I was being charged with jaywalking (I prefer to call it “trailblazing”) He asked for my identification and if I was indeed, "Douglas Cress".

“Yes,” I said. “I am Douglas Cress. Perhaps you’ve heard of me?” I breathed a sigh of relief. How could they give Douglas Cress, of, a citation for jaywalking?!

As luck would have it, they weren’t fans.

While they wrote up the ticket I suggested they move their base of operations closer to the Papaya King down the street.

“Why not give tickets to fat people leaving with hot dogs?” After all, heart disease kills far more people than jaywalking. Officer Matos' portly partner was not amused.

They handed me the citation and I shuffled off, defeated. On June 20th, I will spend much of my day in court and depart $50 poorer. Does the punishment fit the crime?

In 1998 (the most recent year for which I could find data) there were a total of 99 jaywalking tickets issued in NYC. If every native New Yorker jaywalks once per day (a conservative estimate) the likelihood of getting ticketed for this offense is less than one in thirty million.

I won the jaywalking lottery.


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