It all began one quiet, cold morning. I walked out to my car with my glass half full and my stomach half empty. Everything was looking like every other day, except for a little orange ticket that was wedged under my wiper blade and frozen onto my windshield. I studied it for a bit and noticed that “Alternate Parking” was checked. I wasn’t quite sure what this meant, but I went and paid the ticket like a good little boy.
A while later, and a little farther into the winter season, I found another slip attached to my car. This wasn’t a ticket, but a notice explaining the alternate parking city ordinance. Basically, in the winter you park on the even numbered side of the street on the even days. So I began following this as well as I understood it. I soon discovered the wisdom in parking on the side where most of the cars were parked. Genius.
Needless to say, I ended up with another ticket. That was it. I was now determined to never get another parking ticket. From then on, I always checked the date and the house numbers to make sure I was on the right side of the road. This worked until I moved into a new apartment with a parking lot. Pretty sweet, until all the parking spots are taken and you’re left out on the street again. This time I drove up and down the street squinting in the dark to find which was the odd side. I compulsively checked the date several times. No worries this time.
To make a short story long, I got another ticket, was totally confused, drove up and down the street again just to check, was going to call the police to dispute, found on their website they changed the effective date without notice from before midnight to after 2am, emptied my glass to halfway, and paid the ticket like a good little boy.
I’ve now accepted that parking tickets are just a source of income for the police. They pick out random cars to ticket and reap the profits. I am merely a preferred customer.