The Amateur Parker
Fake parking tickets: illegal, and hilarious
Melissa Bean Sterzick
There’s a line in a song I’ve heard a lot recently. It goes like this: “Sometimes revenge is a choice you gotta make.” In general, I am not in favor of acting out in search of revenge. Like anyone who’s been alive more than six years, there are people I’d like to throw some eggs at: Jerks I used to date, bosses I learned to hate.
I try to take the high road – and that’s easy most of the time, except at 3 a.m. when I wake up and all kinds of crazy things seem reasonable.
There is revenge, and then there’s going off the rails and disarming your common sense in favor of a little renegade action that feels good at first, but then escalates in a way that could land you in jail.
People do that kind of thing all the time. They chase down a speeding driver to tell him he’s a dangerous scumbag who’s going to kill someone someday. Or they don’t like the way somebody else’s kid is acting at the playground, so they start a fistfight with his parents.
I read about one of these misguided souls online. Some smart-aleck in northern Idaho has been leaving fake parking tickets on car windshields. I know this is illegal, but I can’t say I’d never do it, because I think it’s hilarious. The tickets don’t list fines, but they are specific about the car owner’s failures as a person and as a parker. One of the tickets read
“Because of your Bull Headed, inconsiderate, feeble attempt at parking, you have taken enough room for a 20 mule team, 2 elephants, 1 goat and a safari of pygmies from the African interior.”As it turns out, various Internet vendors sell packs of fake parking tickets – you can get a pad of 25 of the “bull-headed” version for only $2.45. The product description reads like this:
“Fake Parking Tickets Fix That Jerk Who Is Always Stealing Your Parking Spot! Pad of 25 parking tickets is for those jerks who take up more space than they are entitled to, or they always feel entitled to park wherever they please. Full of hilarious advice and threats. ...”
Another fake parking ticket option goes like this:
“Having received this traffic offense [sic] is evidence of your complete and total disregard for proper parking procedures. You may not appeal this case, as you are probably too dumb to understand that word. You must not appear in court, as you would probably just smell up the court house. You may not consult an attorney as you definitely cannot afford one.
You are a menace to society, and a real loser. I hope you eat rotten fish
for dinner tonight. Failure to laugh over this is further indication of
For me, I’d leave out the animals and insults and just go for the obvious. If I were to make up fake parking tickets, hypothetically speaking, they’d say things such as: “Those lines are there for a reason – try to get your car between them next time.” Or, “The curb is that faraway place where your car belongs.”
I’d carry around special tickets for people who can’t parallel park, and extra-harsh special tickets for the many women I know who say they have to call their husbands for help when they need to parallel park.
I find that upsetting. No wonder we’ve never had a female president. Maybe my extra-harsh ticket should say something about that. “Women have been seeking equality for billions of years, and your damsel-in-distress act is not helping.”
I think it would ease some tension for a lot of people if they could express their frustration, in a nonviolent way, on the road and in the parking lot.
When I was a kid, my father had a fake “grenade launch” switch on the dashboard of his truck that he flipped when another driver ticked him off – it made him feel better.
Still, we can’t all go around leaving fake tickets and nasty notes for people who bother us. Society would disintegrate – we’d spend all our time writing notes.
Melissa Bean Sterzick is Parking Today’s proofreader, occasional writer and amateur parker. She can be reached
Article Abstract from May, 2013