You know what is really great after a long, hard, often frustrating day of hard labor, mixed in liberally with the wonderful but draining job of parenthood? Parking tickets up the ass.
I have been literally inundated with parking tickets over the last few weeks. Some were my fault, some were not, maybe, but I have a new strategy. I will fight them all. I don't care. They're fucking expensive. My car just got towed, too. I need to get some of mine back. I am tired of being a personal revenue source for the fat cop pension plan. I am tired of the abuse, I need to fight back by any means necessary.
Here is a short summary of my tickets.
1. It was late at night, I had work the next day. I parked on a dark street, that had alternate side of the street parking on Wednesday. I showed up two days later, and had a ticket in my windshield. How? I was too close to a hydrant. That will be $115.
2. I had driven to the vet's early before work about two weeks ago as a friend to pick up their cats. I couldn't find a spot anywhere except on the service road we live on. My choice: either be very late for work, or get a ticket. Work is our only source of income. I took the ticket. And the cats didn't even say thank you when I dropped them off at my friend's. Also, it was raining. I'm a good friend. That will also be $115.
By the way, there is no courtesy for alternate side of the street parking on Ocean Parkway. In our old neighborhood, Park Slope, they would clean one side of the street and you would double park until the coast was clear and then move your car back. Then the people on the other side double parked when it was time for their side of the street to get cleaned. Nobody got hurt, everybody's side of the street got clean. Or at least "cleanish." Here they can't do that because the service road is too narrow, so I'm moving the car like three times a week to find spots. It's a royal, royal pain in the ass.
3. I drove into Manhattan last weekend so Randi and I could attend a trunk show from the lovely and talented Alex Pflaster for her jewelry. (I am too lazy to link right now, but go to her website if you like nice, handmade, affordable jewelry. Her blog is listed as one of my favorites, so you really have no excuse not to.) First I drove around for a half hour after dropping off Randi and Stella before finding a spot. Then once I found the spot I made sure to pay the ticketing machine and place the ticket on the dashboard.
I got back 50 minutes later--because New York city only allows parking for one hour in some places, at the cost of $2 an hour!--in order to feed the meter and guess what I found? ANOTHER gosh-damned parking ticket! This one for $65. My sin? I had put my ticket in upside down on my dashboard.
This one really sent me over the edge. "GodDAMMIT!" I screamed, kicking a light post, again and again. Right then I really hated cops, just really goddamned hated them. I started talking like a Black Panther. "Fucking pigs, fucking pigs, goddamned cops are nothing but fucking pigs, I hate goddamned cops, I just fucking hate them fucking cops ..." and so on. I am sure you can imagine. If I were a cartoon character there would have been an angry work balloon filled with exclamation points, percentage signs and asterisks hovering over my inflamed head like a rain cloud.
Of course when an actual cop walked by I toned the act down a whole lot. Let's not get too crazy here, after all. Even though the cop, a parking ticket cop!, looked like it would take him the rest of fiscal year 2009 to run the forty yard dash. So, yeah, I'm a real ramparts charging guy, aren't I? But inside I didn't care. Right then I hated cops. And, oh yeah, I'm fighting this ticket. You can bet your ass. Or even his ass.
4. Two months ago when we signed our lease we drove all over god-forsaken Brooklyn to find the office of our landlord. Once there I carefully, once again!, fed the meter and placed the ticket on the dashboard. The lease took a while, as these things do, and it was a cold rainy day, again. Once outside I noticed they had given me a ticket within five MINUTES of my ticket expiring. Another $65! When does it end?
5. Last Sunday I parked my car on the service road in front of my apartment. The sign said I had to move the car Wednesday before work. So, okay, I will. I go to get it Wednesday and my car's gone! First I think I'm having a senior moment, though I'm only 36, but then I realize my car had to have been towed. For the love of all that is holy! Can this really keep going?
I called the city, and they told me my car is in Manhattan, for some reason. I leave work early, and walk to one of the few abandoned parts of the whole city, in the rain, to get to the car-towing depot. Once there I wait on a long line, for about an hour, only to be told that my car is in Brooklyn! Ugh, it never ends! To my right some fat-assed would-be exec is yelling at the woman behind the glass about how he's waited an hour for something or another. Soon a security guard walks up to him.
"Sir, why are you yelling?"
"I'm yelling because SHE's being rude!"
"You were being rude first, now stop yelling."
The Alpha-Fat Ass then quiets up, and resorts merely to grumbling under his breath about how he just GOT THIS CAR, and his information in California, and yada, yada, yada.
Now I have a problem. I have to get to the Brooklyn Navy yards before they close, in an hour and a half. You wouldn't think this would be hard, but everything in NYC takes longer than you think it will. Except for when they ticket your car. That shit's like instantaneous.
To be continued.