Friday, March 21, 2014

Encounter with Parking Enforcement

2pm, no one parked for 100 feet from the entrance to the post office, I needed a stamp. One damn stamp. No customers in the post office, I even had the exact change. 60 seconds, max.

The area directly in front of the entrance is marked with a blue strip, meaning disabled parking only. I know that, I'm not stupid, or even all that evil. I'll help a little old lady cross the street, if I think there's a possibility of a tip.

So I pull up into the space you see in the photo below with the other law-breaking truck sitting.

Photo courtesy of Montana Historical Archives




I hop out, change in hand, leave the engine running and rush in, get my stamp, toss the letter in the bin and hurry out. That's when things went south.

As I sit and fasten my seat belt (law-abiding) I look up and see a parking enforcement person walking towards the front of the truck in the street. I've seen her before, we only have two after all. Mid-forties, blonde frizzy hair, with an orange vest that says "Parking Enforcement". I sigh inwardly and roll down the driver side window.

"Hi!" I say with a winning smile. She looks pointedly at the handicapped parking sign.

"I know" in my best winsome voice. "I swear, I wasn't in there even a minute, there were no other cars around...." my voice trails off under her accusatory look.

Finally she speaks. "I really should give you a ticket." she says. I sigh, thinking of my civic duty.

Then she leans against the driver side door and looks at me, arms folded on the top of the lowered window.

"Will you be sure not to park here again?" I nod alertly.

"Yes, it'll never happen again." I vow.

"Are you sure?" I nod quickly.

"Never."

"Do you promise?" I may have frowned slightly, thinking this was venturing into the slightly-weird territory.

"Um, absolutely."

"Are you sure?" she repeats in a coy voice. I now realize I'm in odd terrain indeed.

"What do you want from me?" I ask in what might have been an exasperated voice.

This is when she takes a step back, and in a rush of words uses some expressions not often heard outside Marine Boot Camp. I believe the phrase 'asshole', 'fucking jerk' were some of the milder ones.

At this point I'm making a mental note to congratulate the local police for not arming the parking people.

"Do you often talk to the public like this?" I asked mildly. She turns on her heel and walks away.

Last night I checked twice to see the doors were locked before I retired.

20 comments:

  1. She's one bad mama. Are the police tougher?

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    1. I'm friends with a Lt. on the force, he say's she's crazy as a loon.

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  2. What is this magnetism, cowboy?

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    1. Aw shucks, ma'am. I jes reckon they see sumthin' in me.

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  3. Well, she could've given you a ticket. Down here in these parts that's about $250. But of course, down here in these parts every other driver has a handicap sticker!

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    1. Don't know what the handicapped violations are, but the few parking meters garner a $2 fine if time's up.

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  4. Never know what will happen when you use up a capper.

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    1. Ok, I've thought about it, and I still don't know what you mean. A bit slow today perhaps.

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    2. Colloquialism for a handicap spot. "Roller derby," I've heard, too. Probably many more. I have a placard, but don't use it if I see a relatively close place. I don't like to see them misused, however, and I also doubt no policeman would be happy to come round to issue a ticket for illegal parking in a handicap space.

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    3. Ah, now I get it. 'capped'....'handicapped'. Thanks.

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  5. Ooo creepy........ I'd lock my doors too. On the other hand she mightnt have acted that way to me. Here in London they're less interesting than in your part of the world. They are on commission for how many people they can book. So they just go rushing around seeing how many ambulances and police cars they can nick in no parking zone and they are absolutely ruthless about the slightest infringement.

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    1. I got a overlimit ticket for a 2 hour zone here a year or so ago, went to the courthouse and argued with the clerk who tore it up. Rather less formal than you Islanders.

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  6. One time in Boston I noticed a meter maid standing by someone's car waiting for the timer to run down. On my way past I stopped just long enough to put a quarter in the slot and turn the dial. It was well worth hearing her shout at me as I continued walking down the street.

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    1. Ha! Done that myself a couple times, in Portland. Good goin'.

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  7. Wow. Talk about having a bad day......

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  8. If that was flirting on her part, she has an odd way of doing it.

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    1. Y'know, I think she might have been doing that, right up to the point I didn't go along, then the switch flipped.

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