I’m Not Seeing Red, and That’s the Problem

I got a ticket yesterday and not a cool ticket, either (like a moving violation.) A super-lame ticket: a parking ticket.

I really do think that there are gradients in the kinds of tickets you can get. For instance, concert tickets are way cooler than the little number ticket you get at the DMV…Just kidding. In all seriousness, though, doesn’t a speeding ticket seem much more appealing than a parking ticket?

When I think of someone speeding I conjure up an image of someone rocketing down the freeway in a convertible. The sun on their face, their hair in the wind, and their speed in the 80’s. When the police officer pulls them over, he acts all stern but on the inside he’s thinking that speeding in a convertible on a sunny day is a mighty fine idea indeed.

When I think of someone getting a parking ticket, I imagine some poor schmuck running late for a meeting, parking distractedly, and running into a building. A police officer notices that the car is parked illegally, snickers in a nerdy and entirely unbecoming way, and leaves the ticket. When the schmuck sees the ticket, he hurls his briefcase to the ground and sobs inconsolably.

Do you see? There are very definite gradients of cool on the ticket hierarchy.

Questions of coolness aside, I did get a parking ticket. It was a really dumb error: I parked in front of a fire hydrant. Yup, there’s nothing cool about that. When you consider the fact that the hydrant was painted green, settled in the depths of some green bushes, and behind a grey curb, you understand how I could have missed it.

I am now the proud recipient of a $38 ticket for essentially being a moron. I have requested a mitigation hearing and hopefully the magistrate will take pity on my poor first-time-offender’s head. I’ll let you know how that goes.

In the meantime, I’m thinking seriously about reviving the brightly colored fire hydrant. Honestly, what chance do firemen have if we’re hiding our hydrants with camoflage and discreet shrubbery? Someone has to speak up for our men and women in yellow!

I say we go whole-hog and paint the fire hydrants yellow and the curbs in front of them red. Sure, it will look like an elementary school-kid vomited his finger-painting project all over suburbia but I think it will greatly decrease the number of camoflage-related parking violations around the country. Really, wouldn’t that be worth it?

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