With all the parking and unparking and reparking that I've done today, it's a miracle that I only earned one (1) parking ticket. And with all the cussing and blaming and rationalizing that I did upon seeing said ticket, it's amazing that I finally just shut up and paid the fine. In fact, believe it or not, the check really is in the mail.
First I picked up Mike at his house (and parked, of course). Then I brought him to the whole Bayfront Blah Blah Medical Thing downtown (and parked). I was slightly familiar with the complex because we'd made a trip to the Emergency Room the day before. In fact, every three hours yesterday, I went back outside with my pocket full of purposeful quarters and fed the machine. Perhaps I expected to be rewarded today for yesterday's vigilance.
As I gazed down on Sixth Street this morning from the doctor's waiting room, I could see block-long lines of cars parked on both sides. Only one car had a ticket on it. I found myself coming back again and again to the car with the ticket. Then I felt I was giving it too much power. I was inadvertently invoking the Law of Attraction, so I made myself think Pleasant Thoughts to negate the negativity of that ticket.
It didn't work.
Still, after receiving the ticket, I drove back home (and parked) to put Mo in a box and bring him to his chemo therapy (where I parked).
Headed back home, I stopped at Subway (and parked) because it was just after noon and I still hadn't had morning coffee or breakfast, so a five-dollar footlong sounded great, even though I can't agree with the lack of a hyphen in "footlong."
Well, my car wouldn't start, so I walked the ten blocks to Mike's house, hoping to use his car. It started to rain on the way, but it was only drizzle, so I just walked faster. Olga passed me and honked merrily. She just saw me striding along, finally doing that exercise I'd been talking about. I could have flagged her down, of course, but the walking actually felt good. It was helping to stamp out the building aggravation.
I got Mike's car and went back to Subway (and parked). My car started. That wasn't a complete surprise. It's been misbehaving that way for months and months. The mechanic has replaced fuses and a fuel pump, and those have helped, but nothing has solved the problem. It's intermittent, which just makes everything worse.
So there I was with two cars and a footlong. It began to feel like the riddle with a goose, a fox, and a bag of corn.
I drove home in Mike's car (and parked). Liz came and brought me to my car at Subway and I brought it home (and parked). Then it was time to pick up Mo, so there I was, parked at the animal hospital again. Let's stop and count, shall we? Let's see ... counting reparking back at home now, that's ten. There will be one more when I pick him up, another when I bring him to his place, and another when I return The Rainmaker to Blockbuster. And then home again for the night, yes? Good.
I'd like to know who wrote the parking ticket -- I mean, who wrote the words to be printed on the ticket. On the side giving my car's information -- including that it's "red," which is always amusing -- there's a ten-digit Issue No. That's the only number given on the ticket. Still, on the front of the envelope, under the spaces for my return address, they require my Case No. And on the back, as a mailing instruction, they insist that I put the Citation No. on my check.
Whenever I've had a multiple-choice question, I've assumed someone's toying with me. I expect there to be some evil twist, some loophole, some punctuation left out that's going to affect the answer. I don't expect the multiple-choice question to be straightforward.
Well, I have the same suspicions of anything government-related, no matter how small the government. I actually think that a Case No. is printed on my ticket somewhere, possibly in invisible ink, and that my inserting the Issue No. will hold up payment to such an extent that I'll have to pay the late fine of $40.00 instead of the timely fine of $25.00.
Furthermore, why is this thing even called a ticket? You get tickets to a movie, tickets to the ballgame, to the concert. Yay! I have tickets!
And no, I'm not going to tell you what happened to Mike. You'll have to read his blog to find that out. Suffice it to say that his medical insurance does not cover parking fines.