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Alice Yang
Yang is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star.
She is a student at Stephen F. Austin High School-FBISD.

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.
Confessions of a teenage criminal  

I admit, I’ve broken the law, plenty of times. I’ve pocketed Jelly Bellies from those clear plastic containers at the grocery store and snuck into R-rated movies when I was clearly underage. But those were things of the past, back when I was still six and wobbling and when I didn’t reach the momentous age of seventeen.

However, quite recently, I’ve had a not-so-subtle brush with the law. There were witnesses, in fact, hundreds of witnesses who can testify to my misdemeanor. But no one has reported me, not yet anyway.

A few weeks back, I was driving home from downtown, alone. It was five in the afternoon on a weekday, when highway 59 became an immobile heap of cars all the way from Lousiana to Williams Trace. Just as I was about to enter the highway, I realized I was on the HOV lane, the lane that was going to be sectioned off with huge gray boulders and was well, invitingly empty.

I swear I didn’t do it on purpose. I frantically attempted to change lanes but received several loud blares from the cars beside me. So you see, I had no choice; I approached the ramps and zoomed away.

The lane was elevated from the regular highway, so I could see everyone else snaking along. I felt a stab of guilt then, knowing that I was going at 60mph while others were at 15. But as the guilt wore off with the wind through my windows, I felt secretly pleased. I’ve bypassed just about an hour of traffic, and God knows how I’m supposed to survive that with a stick shift.

So I turned my radio up real loud, pleased by the unexpected outcome of the unavoidable situation, singing along quite smugly with a grin on my face. But suddenly up ahead, I read an overarching sign.

“Please report misuses of HOV lane now.”

I stopped singing, and my pleasure was replaced by fear. I slowly looked back at the snaking traffic and saw that hundreds of drivers were looking in my direction! With nothing else to do, the people who weren’t moving were looking at the people who were.

I hit the gas hard to avoid anyone knowing I was the only person in the car. Maybe they could think I had a kid in the back or something, since the passenger’s seat was dismally empty.

As I sped along, my mind took on a criminal’s cunning mentality. I made sure to keep equidistance between the car in front of me and behind. That way, no one can read my license plate clearly. I turned down the radio to avoid attention and wished vehemently for stronger-tinted windows. Finally, my lane merged with the rest of the highway some twenty minutes later. I moved as far as I could from the HOV lane and gave a sigh of relief.

That night, I kept on waiting for the phone to ring: “police department calling for the owner of a grey Toyota” or “you’ve received a $200 fine for misuse of the HOV lane.”

But no one called or has called since. Maybe, just maybe, I got away with it like all my other ‘crimes.’

Mwhahaha. I certainly hope so.

Yang is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star. She is a student in FBISD.

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   Last Update:  November 01, 2006