Yeah, that's the ticket.

Let's talk about parking tickets, shall we?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Taste of My Own Medicine

Well, it has finally happened. Today I got a parking ticket! Here’s what happened:

My wife and I went to have lunch in the beautiful and always crowded beach town that I will call Santa Moronica. We parked at a dreaded parking meter. I used my credit card to pay (my how far we’ve come. No more fishing for coins out of my over-laden pockets). The meter would only take one pass of the card and gave us fifty-three minutes to walk to a restaurant, use the rest rooms, order, eat, pay and leave a tip. Fortunately we didn’t have time for that last item.

We couldn’t understand the behavior of the meter. Neither did the lovely couple parked in front of us. We looked at the two signs posted on the stubby pole (nowhere near the North Pole for your information), and we all felt confused. The bottom one said that we had two hour parking there from 10AM to 2PM Daily. But the meter only gave us less than an hour. Maybe the uppermost sign would explain everything. We examined it. Nope. It said that the area would be a No Stopping/Tow Away zone daily (!) except for the restriction posted below. To quote the kids today, WTF?

Both we and the other couple spotted a motorcycle cop riding by. They flagged him down (he wouldn’t stop for me, the jerk) and we asked him why the meter would not take any more of our hard-earned money. He grunted: “It stops at two.” He meant 2PM, the Neanderthal. But he didn’t explain to us what would happen AFTER 2PM, the jaded doofus.

So, off we went to eat. I don’t know where the other couple went as we didn’t promise to keep in touch. We returned to the car with five minutes to spare. Whew! However, my wife wanted to go into the camping supply store across the street. We only needed one thing and it wouldn’t take long, which turned out to be true.

As we came out of the store, we saw a police car, overhead lights on, stopped behind my car. I ran over. The parking control officer didn’t care that I worked at the same job, although in a much nicer and more considerate city with much less confusing signage, and would not entertain taking the ticket back. In fact, she wasn’t entertaining at all.

Now I ask you, why would any city place such a bizarre restriction on parking in a shopping district on a Sunday!!! It makes no sense. But you must know that Santa Moronica is not a friendly town. Parking there is a nightmare, as everyone will tell you whether they have been ticketed or not. I have determined not to ever spend any money there again. But, sadly I must say that like every resolution around this time of year, I’m sure I will have to break this one at some point too.

But now I sure know how the rest of you feel when I ticket you. Sorry.