So today I walked out to my car and found, in a little plastic baggie tucked under my windshield wiper, a parking citation. Such fun. In fact, it’s the douchebaggiest thing I’ve seen in a long time, not because I didn’t do something wrong (I did, although I didn’t know it was illegal, more on that shortly) but because the ticket is, well, just finished off with a touch of douche.
Here’s the ticket:
Notice that part at the bottom where it says I park this way “consistently”? I do. I realize this means I’ll probably have to pay the ticket, but let’s be real here, I park exactly like that. Almost daily.
A Brief Sojourn into the History of Me
I grew up in Helena, and got my first driver’s license at age 15 in Helena, and I knew all the driving and parking laws applicable to my life at the time. At that time, in East Helena, you could do two things you couldn’t do in Helena – U-turns and park facing the opposite of traffic. I distinctly remember this, and thought it was odd, but it seems somehow normal, especially now that Helena has a cell phone ordinance, while East Helena still does not. The towns share part of the school district, so it’s all sorts of screwy here, but given that screwiness, presuming that something true in Helena may not be true in East Helena, or vice versa, is reasonable. Crazy, yes, but still reasonable.
I moved away after high school, and only moved back to the area in 2006, and, well, my bad, I haven’t spent the time to relearn all the intricacies of madness of what is and isn’t legal in the mostly mottled rulebooks of madness in our little bergs. Who has? No one. No. Fucking. One.
Back to the here and now
Why would you? If you have any sense at all you can figure out what is acceptable versus what isn’t acceptable by looking at the world around you. Which is what any adult who has a life does. It’s what I did. In this case, tho, I was apparently misled.
Misled by a ton of fuckers who do exactly, precisely, what I did. Which isn’t an excuse, I’m not trying to get out of this ticket. I’ll pay the fine, which will annoy me for years, and I’ll park the right way, which will also annoy me for years, but I will ask that as
punishment for being a douchebag he’s pointed out a systemic, endemic problem in the city of East Helena, he should be tasked with ticketing every single other car that is violating this particular point of the city ordinances. By my count this morning, and providing that the ticket costs $20, we’re talking nearly $400 for the city in the pics of what I found below alone. In these times, maybe that’s needed. (I didn’t make these pics big enough for the police to use them to create tickets, but if you don’t move your car to the correct direction, you may get one. This officer does, obviously, have a ticket book and a bit of free time.)
Given that he had to call in and get the ownership details for my car and write those details in by hand because apparently we don’t have computers in East Helena that connect to printers and it must have taken him at least 20 minutes to complete the ticket, I don’t know that this is a good use of his time. But I’m not in charge of the police in East Helena. Anyone who is might want to think about this, tho.
Regardless, given the number of cars I found in violation in the 10 minutes of driving around my neighborhood on my way to City Hall, no less, the problem is definitely out of control. Perhaps East Helena is the Mos Eisley of Earth? A more wretched hive of scum and villainy might be out there, but I bet wherever that is, those fuckers park their cars right.
Here are the pics. None of these is more than a mile from my house, and all pics were taken between 9 am and noon today. My house and City Hall are about half a mile apart.
I will point out that I pulled over to the side and stopped my car to take all these pictures. I’m unable to take pics while driving, so don’t worry that I’m doing that.
Also, and this I love more than I can say; the black Subaru parked in front of the closed NAPA Auto Parts store is on Main Street, and can be seen from the steps of City Hall quite clearly. Did I mention that the police station is also City Hall? It’s on Main Street? No? Well, it is and it is. So the fact that this Subaru has been there all day, ticketless, is obviously a Christmas Miracle.