Reporter Chris Ayres of the Times of London was on Mulholland Drive when he got to experience another Los Angeles rite of passage.
After four years of broken speed limits, illegal lane changes and missed Stop signs, it was about time I got into trouble with the police.
I always imagined my first Los Angeles speeding ticket to be a traumatic event. Friends had often shared horror stories about LAPD officers ripping up their UK driving licences, or issuing tickets that made their monthly insurance premiums resemble the mortgage on the Playboy Mansion. Not to mention the ones invited to spend the night behind steel bars.
Hence the profanity I shouted after speeding past a lay-by on Mulholland Drive — the twisting mountain highway that follows the rim of the Santa Monica Mountains from Burbank to Malibu — where a white Jeep was parked. Sure enough, after a few more S-curves and hairpins, the Jeep reappeared in my rear-view mirror, its roof lit up in blues and reds like a 1970s dance floor. There was nowhere to stop, so I attempted to drive under the speed limit — not that I knew exactly what the speed limit was — and do the motoring equivalent of Bart Simpson’s “Who, me?” stroll, performed with both hands in pockets, while whistling tunelessly.
It didn’t work.
Ayres has some Oscars party observations at his blog, So L.A.