Sunday, June 20, 2010

The All time Worst Parking Tickets # 2

          Another very qualified candidate for worst ticket is a little hard to believe. The police didn’t. On a scale of slightly to most extreme, this was way beyond that. One night I had been working late and I drove home to look for a space, prepared for the worst, but, by the grace of the parking gods, I found one right across from my building. Many of us in the human race have experienced an incredibly unusual event, a relative overcoming a fatal diagnosis, a solar eclipse, the immaculate conception, but, after a long hard day’s night of work, this was truly wondrous!
          Late the next morning when I came out on my stoop, ready to bask in the miracle of the night before, my car was missing (have that T-shirt!). Then just as I was leaping from the strategies of theft to the strategies of tow, I saw it. It was right there in front of me only not where I had left it, but one space back. It had a ticket on it. I looked at the sign towering ominously over the hood of the car and saw that instead of the legal space in front of that sign my car was now behind the sign and in a school zone. I walked disbelievingly to the car and saw something that if the possibility had ever even occurred to me I would have been absolutely positive that it would never happen.
          The vent window had been smashed! Someone broke into my car, put it in neutral, and pushed it back so that they could take my space. This was possibly the most heinous parking crime ever committed. This could only have been the work of the Dark Lord himself, but actually he was not even in office then. Now, I had a broken window and a ticket. For those of you who are shaking their heads that there must be some other explanation, I assure you one look into my car would have discouraged any common thief. Nothing was taken (from inside anyway), nothing rummaged. Why else would they go to the trouble of moving the car back? They simply took my space, probably knew my schedule, and were gone by the time I woke up.
          By a lucky coincidence a police car came down my block. I flagged the two officers and told them what had happened. They didn’t believe me, thought I was trying to get out of a parking ticket, REALLY didn’t want to do any paper work. I pointed out to the driver that my window was smashed, why would I want to do that, at the very least it was my right to report a break in, but he wasn’t interested and told me to report it to the prescint, but they weren’t going to believe it either. I showed him where my broken glass was forward, where it was legal to park. He started to pull away.
          Just when I was starting to believe that all the negative publicity about New York is true, his partner spoke up and the driver stopped. His partner said why don’t they just write it up now and save me, the victim of a break in after all, the trouble of going into the station. (They really do take this Good Cop/Bad Cop thing seriously.) So the driver wrote it up and gave me a complaint number. The Good Cop told me to contest the ticket by using the complaint number and, as if two miracles weren’t enough, I beat the ticket. Anybody still want to claim that New York is not the toughest parking city in this country?

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