You Have to Pay to Play

Opening Thoughts

Do you know Harley L. Lutz? I didn’t either. Well, more on him in a minute.

get your ez pass

Do you know what an EZ Pass is?  For those unfamiliar with toll roads, an EZ Pass is an electronic toll-collection system. It’s a small device that sticks to your windshield and “connects” to a transponder each time you drive through a toll booth. It allows you to maintain speed verses waiting in long, slow moving lines to pay in cash. The system works by charging your credit or debit card.

But here’s the thing. Your card has to be current and active. 

How Real Life Works

My EZ Pass account is linked to my debit card, or it was, I lost it about ten days ago. I called the bank to freeze the card and ordered a replacement. Meanwhile, my wife and I, who also has an EZ Pass, continued to happily drive Houston’s toll roads. That is until we got a notice from the EZ Pass people. They were not happy.

toll violation
It turns out you can’t use Houston’s toll roads without paying. In addition to all of the toll charges, we also ran up $165 in fines. There were some additional fees piled on to the fines for a grand total of $212.00. The new card is now active, but the damage was done.


Life Lessons

Back to Harley Lutz. Mr. Lutz was an economist who in 1942 was quoted in the Oelwein Daily Register as saying, “There is no free lunch.” He is credited for saying it first, at least publicly. There is no free lunch. Huh, go figure. 

If you want to play, you have to pay. If you want to eat, you have to pay. If you want it, you gotta pay for it. The city of Houston takes a dim view of using their toll roads without paying. Some cities are funny that way.

In Closing

Good, honest, God fearing people pay their bills on time, they have integrity in their financial commitments, and take responsibility if mistakes are made. I’m trying. 

Can you believe it, $212.00.

I guess Mr. Lutz was right. 

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