I talk a lot on this blog about writing parking tickets (well, duh) but let's talk about something else, yes? Quite often us parking ticket types are asked (that's being polite - we're ordered) to block off a street if there is an emergency of one kind or another. Such as? Well, such as: a traffic accident, a fire, a bomb threat, a hostage situation, a shooting, or more desirably (although not to everyone) a parade.
Let's see what happens when this is our assignment. Typically, we are told: "Block this street (or alley or driveway access) and don't let anyone through." That's it. Pretty straightforward. This is generally for the safety of the citizenry but you'd never know that. To them it is one massive inconvenience. How, they wonder (usually aloud) am I going to get where I need to be? Which is always right in the thick of what is going on. Recently we did have a bomb scare and you'd be surprised (would you, really?) at how many people wanted to go....over there. Yes, there. Just over there. I wanted to say to them this: "Would you like to drive right into the bomb (or the fire or the shooter) or would you just like to interfere with the policemen and firemen who are dealing with it?" Believe it or not, there is a reason why buildings are evacuated. Why people are kept away from dangerous situations. This is not TV, you cannot change the channel. And yes, this WILL be on the news. Do you want to appear on the news as the one putz who insisted on getting himself blown up?
It's just as bad when it's a parade. Ah, civic pride. There's nothing like it. There's also nothing like marching bands and horses lining up on your block just when Junior has to have you take him out for pistachio ice cream right now or he's going to hold his breath again. I'll bet you'd like to take him out, wouldn't you? Anyway, the same parades are held in our town every year at the same time. Notices are sent a week or more in advance to every household that may be affected. Signs are put up on the streets days ahead warning that parking there on parade day will result in your buggy being towed away. But, I kid you not, people act as if this massive undertaking has been sprung on them in the middle of the night. I didn't know Officer. I've only been living here for 35 years. And yes, I'm a moron. How did you know?
It's pretty pathetic when we put up Street Closed signs, block the street with our vehicles, stand there waving cars away and still have someone drive up to us and ask us if they can go through. The exchange usually goes like this:
Can I go through?
But I live right there!
But I just live right there!
This could go on for a half an hour or so until the resident gets tired out or finally gets the hint that we are not budging. Is it your goal to run over the entire Pee-Wee Karate School, Ma'am? Are you harboring some kind of grudge against them that we should know about? Oh, or maybe your vehicle is really a float? The float representing the Terminally Clueless!
I tell you, it's crazy. And the sad part is, we can't write them a ticket for acting like this.