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Dear Mahatma: I hope you will continue to write about the consequences of drag racing -- cost of tickets, impound fees, job prospects, court costs and especially insurance costs. -- Retired Health Teacher

Dear Retired: Did you know retired is just another word for unemployed?

Ha-ha!

Enough humor. Humor in this space is hereby eschewed.

We wondered about the effect of a drag-racing ticket on auto insurance. We asked our agent. He sent us to the regional mother office in Nashville. Someone there sent us to the Insurance Information Institute.

Many factors determine the cost of auto insurance, says the institute. Right at the very top of the list is "Your driving record."

Well, duh.

"The better your record, the lower your premium. If you've had accidents or serious traffic violations, it's likely you'll pay more than if you have a clean driving record."

Drag racing is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

The institute says a driving record that is "ridiculously crappy" may result in cancellation. It's completely clear to us that people at the institute would never use such language, so we did it for them. Their language was "unacceptably bad."

Dear Mahatma: I mow my mother-in-law's yard. It fronts a state highway that's a main route to Greers Ferry Lake. The grass keeps coming back, and so does the trash. Pick up a box of chicken? Toss it out the window when empty. Beer to wash it down? Same answer. Is this what you do at home, toss your trash out the window and find it when you mow? -- Randy

Dear Randy: You have made us seriously sad. Because you have sent out a reminder that a lot of people are slobs who should be put into stocks on the village green.

Unfortunately, Puritanism is out of fashion.

Instead, call the state litter hot line at (866) 811-1222. Provide information such as the date the littering occurred, the location, a description of the vehicle including the license plate number, a description of the litter, and the side of the vehicle from which the trash was tossed.

A letter will be sent to the vehicle's owner to warn him of the consequences. A first offense of littering could mean a fine of between $100 and $1,000, and eight hours of community service -- if a law enforcement officer sees the littering and writes a ticket.

Otherwise, yeah, this tiger is toothless.

Dear Mahatma: The Markham Street/Cantrell Road exit into Little Rock is full of trash. It is a poor welcome to the Capital City. Who is responsible for cleaning freeway exits? -- Dinah

Dear Dinah: Cleaning up interstate exits falls to the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

Best thing to do is to go to idrivearkansas.com, find the Report a Problem button and do it.

Vanity plate on a Fiat: I FIATED.

[email protected]

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