Dear Disgruntled 14th Street Parking Officer

Dear Disgruntled 14th Street Parking Officer,

First of all, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. I hope your 2008 was awesome and that 2009 brings you everything of your heart’s desire.

Times are tough, Officer, and I understand that this particular holiday season wasn’t the most joyous of them all, remember Christmas 1977? Now that was a coke-line of holiday cheer if I’ve ever sniffed one. But this year, not many of us heard the angles harken, nor did the wise men come around, because 2 of them got laid off, and replaced by a website, with a call center overseas. 

I want to give back! I wanna give money to the city, but how? I thought, let me incur a SUMMONS! Some sort of ticket or moving violation! That will ensure the flow of money from my pocket to the City of New York.

But the question is, how can I get an expensive enough ticket, where my contribution can help save the city, but not accrue points on my license? You see the predicament I’m in? At first I thought about leaving my car parked at a fire-hydrant, but I didn’t want to endanger any lives in case a fire did erupt on 14th street, so I scratched that idea… THEN i thought maybe I could double park perpendicular to the street, in between the two lanes of opposing traffic, but that might cause more damage than good, I mean after all, we want to HELP OUT right? 

I decided to sit on it for a while, and park my car legally. As I pulled into the spot in perfect form, that would make any driver’s ed instructor’s heart skip a beat, I found myself the leader in a line of cars, in single-file. At the muni-meter, I was stoked to find out I was able to pay 2 dollars for only an hour of parking. When I was a kid, a quarter could buy you and hour. We were getting away with murder then. I still think the quarter for 7 1/2 minutes is a little too generous, but there’s always next year. 

As I walked back from the muni-meter, only 1 minute after I parked the car, as it took 60 seconds to walk down the block, put in the quarters, print the receipt, and walk back to my car… as I walked back, I was shocked to see you standing next to my car. I greeted you and you greeted me back, and let me know that you were giving me a parking ticket. It’s as if you had read my mind! I didn’t even need to endanger the lives of other people, be an obstruction to traffic, prevent a snapple truck from making a delivery, nor even be discourteous by leaving my car unattended and unpaid for in a spot that someone else would gladly shell out a few coins for… I didn’t have to do any of those things, it was as if the universe brought you to me. In a way, it made me believe in the spirit of Christmas once again! Don’t tell me its not a miracle, to get an expensive parking ticket even though I was actually obeying the law. Oh, Tiny Tim, there is a Santa Claus.

I thought it was too good to be true, and I decided to test you. I asked if you saw me only a few feet away, at the muni-meter, and you just replied “when I looked there was no one standing there.” Maybe it was the glare off of your sunglasses, or my chameleon-like camouflaging abilities made me blend in with the environment, or maybe.. JUST MAYBE… for a moment, a supernatural force made me invisible, so you could charge me with a violation with a clear conscience. I was blown away. 

I do have to say, I wasn’t thrilled that you rationalized this christmas miracle by saying I had gone shopping and left the car unattended. You don’t have to undermine the supernatural act that occurred. Based on the timestamp of the parking receipt, and the ticket you wrote me, there is no way I would have been able to go shopping. Not even superman can dig for quarters, feed a muni-meter, go shopping, and come back in 60 seconds. But you were convinced I had gone into a store to look at some clothes. Not all of us have the kind of faith in the supernatural, so I don’t mind your skepticism. We all have our way of dealing with the amazing things of life.

I have friends and family members in law-enforcement, in fact, part of the NYPD as well, and they are people who work hard at being just and fair, and they put themselves on the line to keep the city safe, but you officer, are one of a kind. Because deep down, I know you saw me, because I saw you look at me, and maybe it was just something you felt you could do, because you had the ability to do it. Maybe you had a bad day. Or maybe you mistook my dented up, mid-90s nissan, for a pimped out luxury car, and maybe you thought I had $150.00 I could just throw away. I mean, I did throw $150.00 on the iPhone I had in my hand, what’s another $150.00 during a severe recession where our collective economic security is not totally certain. 

In the spirit of today’s actions, I have some ideas for you, to help generate more income, or maybe more ways you can pat yourself on the back. You can give tickets for the following things

1) Crossing the street at the cross-walk, when the white “walk” sign is illuminated

2) Parking at a parking meter with 45 minutes left on the clock

3) Urinating in a toilet. Great opportunity… everyone pees.

I hope you didn’t mistake my raised voice for anger, I was just really excited to see you. I appreciate the advice you gave me about being able to “fight” the ticket. The days ahead in the immediate future where I”ll have to commute back to NY on a specified date that the courts will assign to me, i order to wait for countless hours waiting to meet before a judge… I can’t think of another way to spend a day. I also hope you didn’t mind me letting you know that you should spend your time writing summons for people who actually are violating some rule. And please forgive the fact that I told you, I was gonna leave my car there all day, as I took the ticket out of your hand and placed it on my windshield. I knew you felt that was a good idea, because I didn’t see another ticket after that.

Well, officer, while this is such a minor thing in the grand scheme of things, there are other things to worry about. I just wanted to write you this letter thanking you for creating for me an opportunity to give back. American citizens, especially NYC residents, do not pay enough dues. I’m glad you’re around to help settle the score.

Happy New Year,

Apathetic Auto Driver

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