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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

I May Never Park the Damned Car Again

Fuck da po-lice.

(I say that fairly regularly, but I suppose I should explain. Most of you don’t know me well, and I don’t want you getting the wrong idea. Or even the right idea, but one I’m trying to hide. Really, it’s best if you just have no ideas whatsoever, okay? That way there can’t be any misunderstandings, plus there’ll be more ideas left over for me. And I need all the ideas my little itty bitty brain can handle.)

Anyway, let me explain. Usually when I say, ‘Fuck da po-lice‘, I don’t mean it literally.

(Well, okay, actually I never mean it entirely literally, of course. Nobody means it literally — no one’s going around suggesting that we ‘wax flagpoles’ with our local law enforcement officers. Nobody around here, anyway. Most cops around Boston are big burly Irish guys, or butchy hulking mullet chicks. So there’s really not much public outcry to show these folks the sweaty love. Maybe in your town, but not here. Just so we’re clear on that.)

What I mean to say, though, is that I don’t mean ‘Fuck da po-lice‘ the way that most people might mean it. Really. I’ve got no beef with cops, and they don’t seem to have any particular problem with me, either. We generally stay out of each others’ way, and I keep my nose more or less clean, in the legal sense. So I’m not generally coming down on the boys and girls in blue, like you might think.

No, usually I use ‘Fuck da po-lice‘ in one of two situations. I say it to mean either:

Oh, my word, look how da man has screwed me again

or

I know this ain’t smart… but fuck it, I’m doin’ it anyway

So, just as a for-instance, say that the boss tells me I’ve got to stay late. There’s ‘da man’ again. So, under my breath, ‘Aw, man, fuck da po-lice‘.

Or say I’m on a two-lane highway behind some swervy old bluehair bitch, and I’m late (as usual) to get somewhere across town. I’m not supposed to be passing with a double yellow line, but if the coast is clear, I might just say, ‘Shit, man, fuck da po-lice‘ and go for it.

So. I hope that’s clear. Hopefully, you can see that I don’t generally go around really bashing the police, or bitching about them. These folks do a good, tough, brave job, and I have a healthy amount of respect for each and every one of them. Especially the ones with guns. I respect anyone with a loaded gun, at least to their face. It’s that whole ‘survival instinct’ thing.

Anyway, all of that said, I’d just like to repeat:

Fuck da po-lice! And I mean ‘da po-lice’.’

Not all da po-lice… ahem, ‘the police’, that is. Just the Boston metro traffic police. The car cops. The meter maids. The blood-sucking clock-watching anal dickheads who’ve screwed me not once, but twice in the past week. Let me tell you about my parking experiences over the last several days. Hell, it even starts out pretty good. But it’s all downhill into the toilet from there. Watch and see —

Last Wednesday, just before nine-thirty am: I agreed to sit in on a meeting at my new job, even though I don’t technically start until this coming Tuesday. Fine. Parking around my new office is a bitch on steroids, so I circled the block a couple of times looking for a spot. Finally, I found a one-hour meter a block or so away, and took it. Now, I had no idea how long this meeting was supposed to last, or when the hell I’d get out of there. So I plopped two quarters in the slot, got my hour on the meter, and took my chances. I was pretty sure I might end up with a ticket, and that would be okay. I was taking a risk. I understand what can happen.

So, I come out of the building at eleven-thirty (just a shade over two hours later, if you’re keeping track of such things), and found… nothing. Well, not ‘nothing‘, of course; my car was there. But no tickets, or notes, or warnings. I walked the tightrope and survived. A full hour-plus of unprotected time, free of charge. Yeah, muthafuckahs! I got away with one!

Little did I know my luck was about to spoil. Or curdle, or get moldy, or whatever the fuck luck does when it goes bad. How the hell should I know; I don’t just sit around all day watching luck, fer Chrissakes!

This Wednesday, at nine-thirty: Like a dumbass, I agreed to come back for the same group meeting, even though I still wasn’t ‘official’ yet.

(So I’m technically unemployed, and getting up at eight o’clock to make some meeting. I didn’t do that shit back when I had a job… though I suppose I will from now on. Bitches!)

Anyway, I showed up right on time, if not a couple of minutes late. So I threw two more quarters in a one-hour meter, and hoped for the best. I wasn’t terribly thrilled about poking Fate in the eye over and over again like that, but I didn’t have a lot of choice. I said I’d go to the meeting, and that was the only meter I could find. Life is hard, right?

So, you can imagine my relief when this meeting let out at a reasonable time.

(Really, go ahead, imagine it. Here, I’ll help you — it was somewhere between the relief of remembering that you actually did turn the stove off before you left the house and the relief of seeing a negative result on a pregnancy test. It’s in that range.)

And perhaps you can also imagine my apoplectic fury (If not, you may need to look up ‘apoplectic’. It’s okay; this is how we learn.) when I reached the car and noticed a parking ticket, with a timestamp of exactly ten-thirty. The fuckin’ guy must have been leaning against my damned car writing the thing just as I was leaving the office. Fucknuggets! Fifteen dollars down the tubes because Officer Dingleprick was — presumably — standing at my meter as it wound down, counting off the final seconds like it was New Year’s Fuckin’ Eve. Asswipe.

But of course, that’s not the end of the saga. Oh, no — it gets better. Have a look…

Today, ten forty-five am: Another day, another meeting that I’m unofficially roped into. Which is fine — I’m eager to start, and I’ve got nothing to do at home but write and clean house and lose staring contests to the frigging dog.

(Doesn’t that bitch ever blink? I owe her like seventy-three Snausages now. Damn!)

So, I got there early this time (because eleven is actually a reasonable time to be awake and functional), and found a two-hour meter. Score! But I didn’t know how long this meeting was gonna last, either, so I decided to while away a few more minutes in the car before feeding the meter. I had a book with me, so I read a bit. Twitchily, of course. Nervously. Every six words, I whipped my head around like some fricking lemur on acid to make sure Mr. Slappy McHappyTicket wasn’t creeping up behind my bumper and writing me another damned citation. The seconds crept by, but no one busted me. I’m gonna have to go over those three pages all over again, dammit, because I can’t remember a stupid word I read, but at least I didn’t get a ticket. I fed my last three quarters — that’s important, kids; remember that — into the meter for an hour-and-a-half window, and went into the office.

And found — get this — that the meeting had been cancelled. It seems the woman who’d called it was out sick, and let everyone invited know that it wasn’t going to happen. (Except me, of course. I’m not ‘official’ yet, remember? Somewhere in all of this, I’m sure there’s some delicious irony, but I’m afraid I’m too busy choking on the bile to taste it properly. So sorry.) So now I’ve got an hour and twenty minutes on the meter, and no reason to be there. Just fricking peachy. Where was that shit on Wednesday, dammit?

Anyway, I scooted out of there, and decided to try picking up my new contact lenses, over in another part of town. I had made an afternoon appointment to get them — I thought I had an eleven o’clock meeting, you see — but if I could take care of it earlier, then I wouldn’t have to go back out. So I rambled over there, and cruised around, looking for a spot.

A block from the place, I found a two-hour spot and pulled in. Perfect. Plenty of time to either get in and out, or find out that I couldn’t move the appointment up. Either way, I’d just plop in a couple of hours’ worth of quarters and be on my way.

Except.

I ran out of quarters. My last three quarters were, at that very moment, merrily ticking time away in a meter across town, letting some jackoff park near my office for a free hour or more. Bullshit!

As luck would have it, though, I was parked right outside a convenience store. And I had three dollars in my pocket. Sweet! I’d just hop in, buy some water or something, and come back with the quarterage. No problem. So, I slid in, found a bottle of that pretentious Evian crap at a buck-oh-nine, and hustled my change outside to feed the meter.

That’s when I saw the fucking ticket on my windshield. And the meter ‘munch halfway down the block, casting her evil eye on more cars down there. ‘Oh no you didn’t‘, was all I could think. Bitch must have been right fucking behind me when I parked, and wrote the damned ticket in the thirty-eight seconds it took me to buy that stupid bottle of yuppie water and get back out. What, do these bastards have fucking spy cameras on me or something? How the hell do they do that?!

So, anyway, that’s my sad little bitchy story. I’m disgusted, and I’m forty-one dollars and nine cents poorer, and all I’ve got to show for it is three hours spent in meetings and a bottle of water I don’t want. (I didn’t even get to pick up my contacts, as the doctor didn’t like the fit.) Where’s the love, man?

And so, again I say, ‘Fuck da po-lice‘. And for once — just this once — I really mean it. Those traffic cops can suck my monkey and come back for seconds, man. I think I deserve at least that for forty bucks and change, don’t I? What? No?

Man, fuck da po-lice.’

Permalink  |  1 Comment



One Response to “I May Never Park the Damned Car Again”

  1. Zoot says:

    Could be worse. You could be living in New York and pay the $110 parking ticket everytime you take a chance and miss. Every cloud has a silver lining.

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