That's right, it's the game show where your stinky neighbor does something rotten to you, so you feel you have to escalate the nonsense by doing something equally or even more rotten to them! Before we start a new round, let's recap today's edition.
I was called up to one of the ritzier neighborhoods waaaaay up in the hills to cite a vehicle I was told was blocking a fire hydrant. Okay. I do this kind of thing all the time. I drove up there and turned down the cul-de-sac road and lo and behold, no blocked hydrant. I told the Desk (no, I don't talk to furniture. The Desk is what we call the place where the police dispatchers are. Wiseguy.) that the vehicle was GOA, that is, Gone On Arrival. I then drove back down the hill to resume the work I had to do. One hour later, while I was busy, I got another call from the Desk to go back up there. This time it was to assist officers who were called to the scene because of a neighbor dispute. Oh, brother. But at least there would be officers there.
I got there and I was (ta da!) by myself. No officers anywhere. The couple who had made the original complaint was standing outside their house waiting for me. Oh goody! The same vehicle was sitting there but it was way far away from the hydrant. Surely it couldn't be..... "Officer, are you going to cite this car?" "Why? It's far enough away from the hydrant." "Well, the code says it has to be fifteen feet away, right?" I hate when people quote the code to me. It tells me I'm just going to have a harder time of it. People who don't actually DO our job love to quote chapter and verse to those of us who do. "Yes," I said wearily. "Well, his car is fourteen feet from the hydrant and I want you to cite it." "But sir," I started, "there is the letter of the law and then there's the spirit. They also give us discretion and in my professional opinion this vehicle should not be cited." Then the tape measures came out. Niiiice.
When I told him I still wouldn't cite the car, he asked me to get my supervisor (She's not busy at all of course). But I had to call for her. Taxpayers, oy! This scene went on for quite a while until my boss and two (!) patrol cars arrived, but I'm giving you the abridged version. You can thank me later. Or you can thank me by making a generous donation to the old Parking Control Officer's home (I'd give you my address but I'm not crazy, you know).
When my boss got there she told them the same thing I did about that letter/spirit thing, while the cops went to talk to the jerk of a neighbor who never did make an appearance (turns out he really was acting like a creep). We all talked for a while and then I mentioned the one thing they really needed to hear: if I cite this guy, it's only going to make matters worse. This brought everyone up short (the main complaining guy was quite tall too!) and everyone calmed down. I even heard the wife say that she believed in karma and the annoying neighbor would get his someday. Whew, what a relief. Can I please go back to what I was doing before all this started? I can? Wonderful. I got on the radio and told the Desk I was now heading to lunch.