Yeah, that's the ticket.

Let's talk about parking tickets, shall we?

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Hello citizens,

Occasionally a strange day will just sneak up on you. Last week I had such a day and only now, after a few hearty meals, some good nights of rest, and more than one cold shower, am I ready to write about it.

It all started when I was doing my morning sweeper route. The very last car on my route was from out of state. I won't say where so as to save that state, a state I've been to and admire, a lot of embarrassment. The vehicle in question was TEN YEARS out of registration. I didn't mean to shout back there, but in my ten years of doing this job, I've never seen a vehicle that delinquent. Now obviously, this person drove the car here to California recently with the full intention of registering it here and being a good citizen. Either that or they were just trying to get over on the system. Either way, after pushing my eyeballs back into my head, I had the vehicle towed away. The mind reels (well, mine does anyway - and frequently) at the cost in penalties, towing, fines, and other charges this person has racked up because they made the mistake of leaving their car where it shouldn't have been. After all, if it had been on the other side of the street, I would have driven by and not even noticed it. Mistakes can be costly as we can see.

After that, the day got weirder. I heard a call go out to the police about a pig (yes, a real one - be careful now) that was running amok in the street. This type of call is most unusual as we don't get a lot of pigs doing this. Most of our pigs are quite well-behaved, thank you very much. Listening to the police chatter about it on the radio was amusing, but I'm just glad the pig was not illegally parked or I might have been called to the scene. I can only handle a pig if it is sliced into bacon and put on a cheeseburger.

Later in the day, another strange call came in. This time I happened to be in the office doing some paperwork (oh, the drudgery of it all), and a blind woman called to complain about loud squirrels that were at her window taunting her. .... I'm going to let you sit with that last sentence for a while. ........

Okay, we're back. I don't know what she expected the police to do about this. The last squirrel arrest on record was way back in '42 and that wasn't for taunting, it was for nut stealing. Make your own joke, if you must. I suppose there were many ways for this woman to handle what was for her, obviously, a difficult situation, all of them better than calling the cops.

You would think that I was through with animals for the day but it was not to be. I got a call from my wife in the afternoon. She was at a clothing boutique with her daughter (my step-daughter) and wanted me to come by right away. Thinking there was some kind of clothing choice emergency, I sped there as only a police vehicle can speed through town. When I went inside, they just wanted to show me that the proprietors of the place had kittens for adoption. A cruel trick. Kittens are hard to resist, but I was forceful (you should have seen me). I put my foot down. Thankfully not on one of the kittens. What a day, what a day.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Have A Nice Day

Hello fellow citizens,

Today, as the title of this post implies, I actually had a nice day. I guess I just woke up on the right side of the bed, or maybe it was because the dog and cat slept in their kennel and not with my wife and me (if you have pets you just might understand how good a night's sleep you can get this way). Whatever the reason, and who am I to argue?, I had a good day. Pardon me if I relish this feeling a bit longer. It's just so rare.

It started out as I was doing my morning sweeper route. I was going along and I got onto a main artery in a quiet neighborhood. I was citing a car when from across the street I heard a voice. I don't generally hear voices, you should know. A kind, elderly lady was standing at her front door waving to me. I finished the ticket and headed a little bit her way (I like to get out of there as soon as possible to avoid any unpleasant confrontations, as you can imagine, but I didn't want to be rude). She started telling me how much she appreciated me being there and how she knew how difficult my job was, etc. Then she asked me about my vehicle (we got new ones a year or so ago) and we chatted about that briefly. Then, she said goodbye and before she went in, she threw me a kiss. Now, we're not used to getting kisses thrown at us in this job. I've had invectives thrown at me, I've had the finger (you know which one, don't be coy) thrown at me. I even had an egg thrown at my vehicle (that wasn't nice), but never a kiss. Now, it's true that I'm a devastatingly handsome guy in my mid fifties (a "silver fox" I think we're called) but I really didn't expect this. Of course I couldn't act on it for several reasons: She was way too old, I'm married, and I just couldn't take that much time out of my morning sweeper route. I do have a work ethic, you know.

But wait, there's more!

Later on that morning, I rolled up on a vehicle in a red zone. A woman was dropping off what looked to be an aging hippie. I stopped behind them, shooed her out of the red and she quickly drove away. The guy beckoned to me so I opened my window (I generally hate doing as it lets the A/C out and who wants to talk to the citizens anyway?). He was in fact an aging hippie. He tried to tell me that she was just dropping him off because he was the handyman at the business we were in front of. I told him she shouldn't have dropped him off in the red though, that she could have let him off in their lot which was right there. He hesitated and I told him, "When I see red, I see Red!" He laughed. I assured him that I did not write his friend a ticket. He said, "Hey, I love you, brother," and then he shook my hand. I don't get too many, "I love you's" on this job either.

I helped a few people today, answered a few of their questions, let a few people go...

Yep, it was all in all a very nice day. It's rare and I'm still enjoying it as I write this. I should be in bed by now. Honey, let's put the pets in their kennel again tonight. Okay?