Friday, March 12, 2010

Dear Parking Nazi

I hate parking tickets. I know that most people hate parking tickets, but I hate them A LOT. Anyone living in Chicago knows what assholes the "meter maids" (and I use this term pointedly) can be. They hand tickets and boots out with an unbridled passion that seems not to fit the context. You're not researching genetically modified crops and singlehandedly feeding Africa. You're not painting the fog over London at dusk. You're handing out parking tickets. AND everybody hates you.

Despite the risk of actually egging on the issuance of a parking ticket to my plate number, I decided that I dislike being irritated by the apparent lack of discretion used when charging people what seems to be a standard $50+ for any parking violation, regardless of location or degree of severity. I've recently realized that if I make a situation funny by being an asshole, my anger appears to pretty much disappear. For instance, I temp at a Nestle` plant here in Illinois, and the woman for whom I'm filling in has her walls/desk/everything in her office short of the dust plastered with "inspirational" quotes so sappy that even the cleverest de-motivational calendar couldn't have counteracted their sickening after-school-special grade vapidness. Things like "the only job where you start at the top is digging a hole" and "when someone shares something with you and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others". She even has a bulleted list tacked onto a cork board entitled "12 Proven Ways To Get Along Better With Everyone", and from what I hear, this lady may benefit from reading her own ridiculous list. These types of things burn me up. It may seem like an insignificant thing to get so upset about, but I really think that quotes are detrimental to our culture, especially since they've become so damned popular in offices (where groupthink is mostly what you see from one end of the cubicle rows to the other). They generally offer only a fragment of a much more in-depth story, and it is therefore extremely easy to manipulate the meanings of their words. You can very effortlessly make it look like a famous and/or credible person agrees with you on an issue to which they were actually strongly opposed. "United we stand" is often chanted by politicians and... well, there's no nice way to say this, so... rednecks alike to show their distaste for political dissent directed at the moral majority. That quote (uttered by Abraham Lincoln - see what I mean about attaching a name to an idea to give it credibility?) is in no way relevant to our current situation. It's about civil fucking war. They should be shouting it IN Iraq instead of ABOUT it. Or in any of the other many many places where it's relevant, which does not include our extremely well-off, non-war-torn country. I really think quotes are for idiots most of the time.

So to save my sanity, I discreetly put up a couple of my own quotes, sort of shoved in between the ones that were already there. One was from Tom Cruise, so you probably already have an idea as to what sort of comedic value the posting of these quotes may have. It read as follows:

"You don't know placentas. I do. I've studied placentas. I know dozens of ways to prepare them. I know what wines go with them. What do you know?" -Tom Cruise

The other was from the reigning king of crazy, the great Gary Busey. It read as follows:

"...your shadow, the dark side. C.G. Hume writes about it, in terms of the fact that every one of us has a dark side. And my dark side, my shadow, my lower companion is now in the back room blowing up balloons for kids' parties." -Gary Busey.

To my surprise, my mornings improved drastically.

Now back to the parking issue. In this situation, I applied a tactic similar to the one mentioned above, and I present it to you now so that you too may enjoy in the legible and ineffectual bitch-slappery of one of the least important legal officials in the entire world. I hope reading it is as vindicating for you as writing it was for me.

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