VKF got off easy. By the next morning, my bold but unlaminated note regarding his obnoxious parking was buried under a foot of heavy, wet snow. Soon after he disappeared into the ether, increasing both my parking opportunities and questions about the viability of long-term romantic relationships.
If two people with optimum parking opportunities couldn’t make it work, what hope was there for me?
Approaching my car one bright Saturday morning, I remembered I’d been gifted the most coveted spot on the block. Absent were the jagged inhalations and incipient blisters that marked my frequent treks to spaces atop the hill. That morning I smiled, slid blithely behind the wheel, and eased my way to a Mega Shoe outlet sale at Marshall’s.
To my delight, when I returned home, the prime spot was still available.
How long was I gone? I’m not sure, but it was nighttime when I returned. Which confirms that: A) shoe shopping is best left to those sounder of mind, and B) against a dark sky, and partly obscured by a tree, a sign was likely to go unnoticed.
I admit, two new pairs of kitten heels shouldn’t distract one from the laws of the land, even in the dark. Still, how many people pull up to their homes or apartments and check to make sure their parking spot is still legal?
The next day I discovered the ticket: Illegally parked in a handicapped zone. $200 fine. Mandatory court appearance. While I was combing Marshall’s for hot, bargain shoes, a handicapped woman had been moving into apartment 2B. As the sun sunk below the horizon, the sign marking her space had been planted.
I called my mother to rant and whine. Then I marched to City Hall. I detailed my plight to a woman in zoning, who had clearly never had a sign switched on her when she blinked. Bland of expression and tone, she informed me that my fate was sealed. I was advised to appear in court as directed, a check for $236 ($36 court fee) in hand. I muttered “Have a good day,” turned on my heel, and stormed back to my apartment.
Two days later, I regaled the building super with my tale. “That’s too bad,” he said. “Mrs. Murphy would gladly have written you a note saying you didn’t inconvenience her. Unfortunately, she died last night.”
So. Mrs. Murphy had lived in the building just long enough to leave me with a $236 fine and a mandatory stint before the most abrasive judge in town. Worse, she had been pleasant and kind.
Try as I might, I couldn’t even hate her.Resentment | Sacked and Then Some →
If I continue this way, I’ll have to invest in a black, hooded sweatsuit and a mask, like the ones in “Scream” or “A Clockwork Orange.”
Don’t misunderstand. I want to handle the issue head-on (to wit: to catch the perps red-handed). I’ve simply been denied the opportunity. Parkers claiming two spaces are as elusive as a faint whiff of dog manure under a pile of leaves. And so, yes. I’ve become “that person.”
A handful of times, I’ve left unsavory notes under inconsiderate parkers’ windshield wipers.
Here’s my defense. One, I have no other recourse. Two, I limit my notes to chronic offenders. Three, I limit my notes to chronic offenders.
Defenses two and three coalesce, creating the necessity to keep close track of license plates.
This is how VKF 521 came to my attention.
VKF 521 arrived early Friday afternoons, when there were spaces to be had, and planted his car smack-dab in the middle of two. There his vehicle remained, unmoved, until late Monday mornings.
Given this pattern, I gleaned that VKF was a weekend visitor.
So while I was lugging my handbag, overnight bag, gym bag, briefcase, groceries, and laundry a block-and-a-half to my apartment, he was probably getting laid.
One day, lurching past VKF’s car, it was more than I could bear. I stopped, dropped my bags and groped for a scrap of paper. Surreptitiously looking left and right, I scrawled, “Park more considerately!!” and tucked the note securely under his windshield wiper. This was a trial; my wrist was still numb from the weight of a cat litter bag. But I wanted to be proactive — even if it was in a low-down, sneaky way.
As I left the scene of my crime, pride and shame asserted themselves in equal measure. I’d done a dirty job, one calling for misguided assertiveness skills, a prickly disposition, and a ready scrap of paper.
However I chose to feel about it, I’d been perfect for the job.
I wonder if Macy’s sells cute hoods and masks.The Parking Chronicles II |