Thursday, December 09, 2004

To Serve and Protect... and Write $20 Parking Tickets

Thursday nights are when Fate, Bad Luck, and Poor Timing have their weekly card game. They huddle around a small table, puff on their expensive cigars, and gamble with people's misfortunes like poker chips and pink slips. I, apparently, am the ace of spades up all of these guys' sleeves, and they keep playing me and playing me and playing me...

Everything started when I left school tonight. It was about 6:00 and pitch black. Shuttle buses were patiently humming, emitting noxious fumes, the potency of which was magnified 100 times by the biting cold air. A let out a sharp cough, hopped in my car, and took off towards home. The drive is usually about 30 minutes, but this was significantly extended tonight by some surprise road construction. Suprise! I crept to a halt in my car, stuck between two semis (which I have been known to abhor vehemently), and didn't accelerate beyond idling for twenty more minutes. "It's nothing," I thought, "I'll be home soon, and then I can simply enjoy the delightfully warm Christmas decorations and perhaps indulge in a delicious supper of BBQ pork Hot Pockets and Ben & Jerry's ice cream." After a lengthy voyage home (I use the word "voyage" there for its laborious connotations), I finally settled in my apartment and coddled myself with the aforementioned foods. Feeling a bit better, I got an idea.

Amy has had a very difficult week, fighting off the flu and pressing through thousands of 3-5 page final papers for various classes. Knowing this, I thought it would be nice of me to make her a batch of cookies from scratch (and by "from scratch" I mean I scratched open the Toll House pre-made cookie dough package). However, I needed to hustle because I planned on doing laundary at Li'l Bro's place, and in order to gain entrance to his apartment, I had to meet him at the Student Center before 8:00 to grab his keys. So, I made haste and gathered all my squalid garments into the basket and shoved it into the back seat of my car. I was almost ready to go when I smelled the blasphemous smell of burnt cookies. Not only was that the last of my cookies, but now I'm also pushing the limits of meeting my brother on time. My key turned in the ignition and I hit the "hover" button on my dash. My car then converted into a small plane, and I was on my way to Kyle's traveling at speeds approaching the speed of sound.

Okay, so maybe that didn't happen, but I got to the Student Center QUICKLY to meet Li'l Bro, but there was no parking spaces available. Not a single one. Frustrated and rushed, I simply parked on the border of a parking zone and a no-parking zone and flicked on my hazards, hoping to signal "I'll be right back" to whomever might need to know. I run in, grab my keys, and run back out, only to find a police van the size of a third-world country parked behind my poor, defensless '97 Chevy Cavalier. From it emerged an unpretentious man resembling a hobbit with down syndrome, waving a small yellow sheet of paper at me as I tired to enter my car unnoticed.

"Excuse me, Sir. I'm writing you a ticket," he said with a lisp. I'm not making this up. I thought it more appropriate if he were to drive a police-clad short-bus. Regardless, I asked him if he really thought 180 seconds in a restricted zone was worth a ticket. As assertively as he could with that ridiculous speech imediment, he said, "We receieved a call about ten minutes ago R-E a vehicle parked at this very position. Someone was really THAT concerned that they felt the need to call the proper authorities and notify them accordingly." He had to be kidding. "I was only in there for three minutes," I pleaded. Heartlessly, he responded: "Yeeeaaah, welp... I usually wait about five before taking any serious action, but I felt the need to move in considering the nature of the concerned citizen's report." At this point I was just frustrated and annoyed, and I knew that Gomer Pyle wasn't letting me off the hook, so I gave up, but not without the last word.

"I guess I'm just lucky enough to be the guy who you wait TWO minutes for. Unbelievable. I get a ticket for a 'concerned citizens' call when it wasn't even my car in the first place. Well, you have a wonderful night (I'm using this thing called sarcasm; it's very effective). Glad to see the perimeter's secure."

So I get back in the car, bring Amy the two Mrs. Field's cookies I bought in replacement of the ones I accidentally torched, and ended up back here at my Li'l Bro's place doing laundary. I'm waiting for one of these dryers to rip a hole through my favorite pair of jeans or to throw up my BBQ pork Hot Pockets because they had bird flu in them or something. I've still got a couple hours before I hit the mattress for slumber time, so a plethora of unfortunate happenings could still easily occur.

I need a hug.

***

Quote of the Day

Kandace, noticing a hole in the backside of one of her classmates' jeans: "Hey Jarrid, you've got a hole in your butt."
Zach: "Don't we ALL have holes in our butts?"

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