The other day I heard that the small Texas town of Round Rock, which is outside of Austin, is going to start enabling volunteers (!) to give out overtime parking tickets in their downtown. Wow. I think this is a baaaaaad idea. It's tough enough on those of us who do this job in uniform in connection with some city police department, with police radios and pepper spray, etc. I can't imagine this is going to go well. The store owners are upset because they can't help but notice the cars that sit out in front of their businesses in the two-hour zone all day long. In our little town it's slightly different. Here it's mostly the business owners that sit all day in the two-hour zones in front of their businesses. They just hate it when we come by. As I write the ticket I love telling them, "You may own this business, but I own the street."
Anyway, what's going to happen in Texas? Here's a sample of the dialogue I think might occur:
Billy Bob: Earl, just what in the world do you think you're doing?
Earl: Well Billy Bob, you've been sittin' in this here two-hour parkin' zone for three and a half hours. I'm writin' you a parkin' ticket.
BB: Like hell you are.
E: Nah, it's true. And you gotta pay it too.
BB: Like hell I will. Earl, I fixed your lawnmower. How can you do this?
E: Watch me. And by the way, I think you overcharged me for fixin' that darned thing.
BB: My wife and yours play bridge together!
E: Well, your wife better start winnin' then, so she can pay this here ticket for ya.
BB: Earl, don't make me have to kick your ass.
E: Like hell you will!
It, of course, gets worse from there. One lady in the news story I heard about this said if she got one of these tickets she'd just rip it up and throw it away. I wonder what one of these volunteers will do when that happens. Fine her for littering too? This simply cannot end well and I urge the Round Rock City Council and the Mayor to stop and reconsider this foolish course of action. Of course, it could make for another great installment of the "Tuna" play series.