To start with, it's my first traffic ticket in about 15 years and it's for the most picayune thing: a rolling stop at a 4 way stop, with no traffic anywhere, at about 11 o'clock in the depths of suburban Palo Alto. The cop must have been truly desperate to make quota. But a ticket's a ticket, so I show up Thursday at PA Superior court to pay it. To find that it's closed with no explanation. I find out later it was Cesar Chavez Day, which is nice and all, but I don't normally expect court to be closed on a random Thursday in March.
So today I show up again. And the guy says the ticket's not showing up in a system. Now, if I'd been smart, I would have said 'great!' grabbed my ticket copy and zoomed away. But no, I'm paranoid, and I've got visions of it showing up in the computer system later, and years later I get stopped for something else and find myself in cuffs for failure to appear. So I ask if he can note something on my copy about how I did show up to pay it, so I have something to show later. And he decides if he does that, he should pull the original ticket, and having done so decides it's a data entry failure and puts it in the system. So I get to pay $179 I could have avoided, and I'm a poor college student.