Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Next Stop, Willoughby?


I had just gotten off the train after work a few weeks ago, and had returned to my car. I wasn't prepared for what I saw.

My car was parked in a Handicapped Accessible spot, and on my windshield was a ticket that said I must pay $180.00 for this infraction. And I was, indeed, parked in this well marked Handicapped Accessible spot. Blue painted lines, zebra stripes and a sign planted into the asphalt that could leave no doubt that this spot was reserved for cars that had the proper hang tag visible from the rearview mirror.

The only thing was, when I parked the car that morning, the spot was not marked as a Handicapped Accessible spot! Was I losing my mind? Gone off the deep end? Lost my marbles? 

I expected to see Rod Serling step out from behind my car, smoking a cigarette, saying, "Submitted for your approval...".

I thought back to the morning. I remembered parking in this specific spot, and it was unmarked in any way. But, the blue paint seemed dry, the sign planted in the asphalt was solidly in place.


I looked at the parking ticket. It was written at 9:24 AM. I remembered parking at this spot at about 7:30 that morning. Could it possibly be that the spot was painted while my car was parked in it? In less than two hours?? 

I had no other explanation. It had to be! In the space of less than two hours, the spot my car was parked in was painted and marked with signage as a Handicapped Accessible spot, and I received a ticket!

I knew that this explanation would not play well with the traffic court judge, but I was innocent. I'd fight this ticket!

A few days later, I had an idea. Who was responsible for installing Handicapped Accessible spots in my village? I live in the land of Joey Buttafuocco, and I have little confidence in the local yokel government, but maybe I'd get lucky. I got the address of the Department of Public Works for the Village, and I went down to the Town Hall to investigate.

I spoke to the gentleman from the village, and explained my plight. I asked if any records were kept that would show when Handicapped Accessible spots were installed. I thought I imagined an ever so slight glimmer in his eye, when he didn't dismiss me outright as a lunatic. He took a copy of my summons and phone number, and said he would "look into it" and get back to me if he found out anything.

About a week later, I received a letter from the Village in the mail. SWEET JUSTICE! They revoked the summons!

I wondered about the traffic enforcement agent that originally ticketed me. He had to have seen the installation of the spot around my defenseless car. He had to be aware of the situation, yet he gave me the ticket anyway, in a spot that minutes earlier was a "legal" spot!  My anger was tempered by my relief that I wasn't losing my mind.

Over this, anyway.

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