Parking Invalidated

March 25, 2010

Taking my trash and recycling to the curb the other night, I noticed a little white car parked outside the house, smack dab in front of a fire hydrant. I might not have even given it a second thought had the same car not been in that exact spot a few hours earlier upon my return home from the daily excursion to the market. Now, I suppose it could’ve gone and come back, finding the same spot open, what with it being next to a fire hydrant, and I just so happened to be outside both times. Or it could be a different car of the same make and model. I guess.

But if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

I bring this up because it follows on the heels of a parking enforcement officer getting punched in the face after giving a driver a ticket over the past weekend. It strikes me that drivers in this city have such an extraordinary sense of entitlement. They own a car therefore the roads are theirs; rules and bylaws apply to suckers and amount to nothing more than a government cash grab. In a letter to the editor of a local weekly newspaper, I read the indignation of a driver who received a ticket while waiting to pick up his wife from church. In a no parking/stopping zone but he was in the car, waiting which isn’t really stopping or parking. For his wife to finish up at church no less.

People, like the greatest ever TV detective was fond of saying: don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. We’ve all got a thousand reasons why we need to stop right here, right now to run a little errand. It’ll just be a minute. There’s hardly any traffic. It’s not like there’s a bike using the bike lane at the moment.

Rationalize it anyway you want but if you get nailed, suck it up. You tooks yer chances, nows ye pays the piper. And hey, if you’re in the right, fight the power. Yeah, it’s a pain in the ass and very likely not worth the time and effort aside from the principle of the thing. But the alternative? Punching the dude who hands out tickets? That’s going to be a lot more expensive, time consuming and complicated to explain away in court.

How be you drive less? I think there’s probably a direct relationship between the amount one drives and the number of tickets one receives. Or, if you insist on driving, park where you’re supposed to and pay what you have to. That way chances are the tickets you receive will be few and far between.

And that’s the name of that tune.

Barettaly submitted by Urban Sophisticat