Tag Archives: parking tickets

The Misadventures of an Unromantic Man

13 Jun

June 13, 2017

It was all because of New York City, really.

We’ve got alternate side parking here. That means that once a week you can’t park on one side of the street while nothing happens and they don’t clean the street and on another day you can’t park on the other side of the street while nothing happens and they don’t clean the street. They call these rules “Street Cleaning Regulations” but all they really do is regulate the police to ticket you if you don’t move your car. Then something happens.

Around here, the no-parking regulations are No Parking Thursday from 8:30 to 10:00 and on the other side of the street No Parking Friday from 8:30 to 10:00. Those are AM hours so in order to find a spot to park my car for that hour and a half I need to start looking around 4:15 AM the week before. Hey, this is Brooklyn (“Home of the New Towering Condominium Being Built in Your Neighborhood, All the Time”) so parking is tight. And when I say “tight” I mean “1,478 people fighting for 1 spot” tight. And that’s on light days.

So on this particular Thursday I got up early and, bleary-eyed and foggy of mind, I got into the elevator. I was doing pretty well, considering that I might have had as much as 45 minutes of sleep. Not only did both my sneakers match, and not only were they on my feet, but they were on the correct feet. I haven’t always accomplished that so I was off to a rollicking start. I was looking at my phone, which was off, when I entered the elevator. That was intentional. I was too thick with sleep to manage to turn on my phone but I wanted an excuse to not talk to anyone, or even make eye contact. Hey, I’m a seasoned New Yorker, I know the deal.

On the elevator I go, and yup, there was already someone in there. Did she live in the building? I don’t know. I do not care to know my neighbors. After all, they are, by and large, people. And my motto at times like that (and this) is “People? Who needs them?” Anyway, this woman I was ignoring was about as old as Carol Channing (96 years old as of this writing and, yes, alive) and very honesty looked very much like her.

Kind of like Hans Moleman in drag, no?

I will now recreate the sterling conversation we had.

ME: (nothing at all)
HER: Good morning!!!!!!
ME: (indistinct mumble resembling “grum numble”)
HER: Or maybe it’s “good day.” Do you think this will be a good day?
ME: Wha?

But there was more, too much more. This semi-mummified woman was wearing a spangley black velvet outfit, like if Swarovski designed a gym outfit for people who want to be as far from the gym as possible.  There were little glittery crystals all over it, and in her hair she wore something that I did not get much of a look at because I was still trying to concentrate on my blank cellphone screen.

There I am, trying to ignore the burning question of whether or not it will be a good day when she touched me.

Yeah, I don’t care to be touched. This goes back to an experience I had with an uncle, an old Hercules movie, and basement door that locked from the wrong side. I… I’d rather not talk about it….

Well she touched me lightly on the arm. Stroked me lightly on the arm, actually. Sensually. Flirtatiously. In a way I was stroked on the arm by a construction worker when I was 21. That’s very true, it really happened, and I… I’d rather not talk about it…

To say I was taken aback is to be very literal about it. I reflexively took a step back and thudded into the back wall of the elevator.

HER: Ha ha (stroke stroke on the arm)

Now bear in mind that I got on at the fourth floor and the trip down to the first only takes less than a minute. But it felt a whole lot longer than that.

I can’t exactly call myself a ladies man. I can’t inexactly call myself that either. But this was the second time that week that an, um, odd woman had taken interest in me. Just the other day I was walking Saarah back to her place when we passed a girl in the doorway of the house right next door. I’d seen her around once or twice before. She’s hard to miss. Imagine an elf from The Lord of The Rings. Add random green streaks and highlights to her hair, as if she had seaweed tangled in her unwashed tresses. Now get her hooked on drugs and strung out on crack. Dress her in messy and stained clothes. That’s her.

Would you believe I have a four-year graphic arts degree?

As Saarah and I passed her, she leaned over close and said hello to me. Not to us, just to me. So I said what has become my trademark: indistinct mumble resembling “grum numble”

I… I’d rather not talk about it.





Donut Munching Cops And Their Ticket Quotas!

23 Sep

September 23, 2015

Before I begin, et’s enjoy some fine malt lyrics from House of Pain and their hit Jump Around.

Feelin, funky, amps in the trunk and I got more rhymes
than there’s cops at a Dunkin’ Donuts shop
Sho’ nuff, I got props
From the kids on the Hill plus my mom and my pops

Ah, pure musical genius! So why the musical interlude? (And is it really an interlude if you begin with it? But I digress.) Well, this post is about cops at a Dunkin’ Donuts shop. And of course I got mad props from the kids on the Hill, plus my mom and my pops, yo.

I rarely have run-ins with the po-po. Except for the time I was accused of dealing drugs and run out of Farmingdale I’ve never had a bad police experience. (BTW, that’s a true story. Click here to read my semi-harrowing tale of police intimidation.) But even then, ass-hats that the police were, at least they were doing their jobs. In this case, they were lazy and deliberately gave me a bad ticket to fill a quota and justify their dereliction of duty.

(But I still love you, NYPD! Don’t read this and think I am anti-police! I’m not! It’s just Mayor de Blassio I hate. #onetermmayor)

It was a Saturday a couple of weeks ago. I met Saarah for a quick breakfast at Dunkin’ Donuts. Yup, that’s me, the Big Spender. When I pulled up, there was a police car parked right in from of the store. I know, hard to believe, isn’t it? A cop car in front of a donut shop. The only thing that would have made it more perfect would have been if the cops were these guys:

I am a big Sir Stewart Wallace fan

I am a big Sir Stewart Wallace fan

They also happened be parked right next to the muni-meter. I parked right in front of them. I got out of the car and, being the total paranoid kook that I am, glanced at the cops to make sure they were not running my plates to see how many parking tickets I still hadn’t paid. (BTW, the answer is “none.” See how paranoid I am?) But they were just sitting there. One was reading a newspaper, the other was sipping coffee. I didn’t see any donuts but I guarantee the box was sitting on the seat between them and their uniforms were covered with cruller crumbs.

So I saw them, and since I saw them I know they saw me, since I saw them seeing me (I am writing this at 3am, can you tell?) and they saw me put money in the meter and walk back to my car and put the receipt on the dash. I paid for 45 minutes.

I will skip the details of my Dunkin’ Donuts snack, except to mention that I had neither coffee nor donuts.

We went back to the car and the cops were still sitting there. Saarah made a joke about cops and ticket quotas and how hard it is to fill them when you sit around parked eating donuts all day. (I will now take a dramatic pause while you say “Hey! That’s ironic!”)

We walked back to the car with almost ten minutes still left on the meter. I got in the car and almost, but not quite, turned the key when I saw something orange and evil under one of the wiper blades. It was a $35 ticket for not posting the receipt on my dashboard. With a single muttered “%$^&!” (Yes, I said it just like that) I grabbed the receipt off the dashboard, right where the officer claimed it was not, and took two steps toward the still parked police car-

-which pulled away from the curb and drove away.

They saw me. I was right directly in front of them the whole time. They saw me take the ticket off the window. They saw me grab the receipt. They saw me walk toward them. They saw me look like an idiot as I watched them drive away with, I am sure, mocking laughter.

The two officers sat in front of the donut shop for at least 45 minutes doing nothing. They had to show some activity, I guess, so instead of saying that they were sitting around goofing off, they made it look like they were giving out parking tickets. And they were smart about it too. They couldn’t give me a ticket for not paying the meter or running out of time, which the receipt would easily prove false. They gave me a ticket for not displaying it, so it really comes down to my word against theirs.

I already pled not guilty online, and if I have to, I will sit in traffic court all day and make those lazy SOBs appear so I can call them liars to their faces.

Unless I can’t make it that day.


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