Thursday, May 24, 2012

Can't Stand The land Where Nice Is Banned

        Here's one that'll steam your shorts.

        A form of spontaneous kindness has been sweeping the country.

        Meter feeding.

        Here's how it works.

        You're strolling along, probably downtown, cars lined up along the curb.

        The automobiles, bumper-to-bumper, silently pay tribute to Metal Sally, the parking meters aligned like centurions guarding prisoners.

        Something catches your eye.

        One meter is expired, flashing to signal its hunger for human suffering.

        It can't wait for a public servant to pounce, dinging some poor sap for a parking ticket which will cost the equivalent of a steak dinner at the Outback.

        I hate these damn things.

        Nothing says "Don't come downtown" like these cheap contraptions developed by cities raising revenue on the backs of those trying to patronize  local business.

        If it's broken, you're screwed.

        They never believe the barely legible "out of order" note  you scrawl on a napkin wedged into the coin slot.

        Anyway, you decide to do something nice by popping a quarter into the meter to help a complete stranger.

        Jake Gyllenhaal, star of Brokeback Mountain, is famous for this.

        The millionaire actor seeks out expired meters just for the pleasure of helping.

        He's spent thousands plunking two bits into the iron maiden.

        He says his family raised him to help others, and feeding the meter allows anonymity and it feels good.

        Enter the evil geniuses lurking in a few city halls across the nation.

        Some municipalities are prosecuting the do-gooders.

        They've actually made it a crime to feed someone else's parking meter.

        Meet Sylvia Stayton, a 63-year-old grandmother of ten.

        Granny was recently jailed for obstructing official business.

        She opened up her coin purse so some restaurant customer in downtown Cincinnati wouldn't  be greeted by a ticket after dinner.

        The Queen city considers this Queen of kindness to be a threat.

        Sylvia got off with a $500 fine in the end but I'm not going to let the local government off the hook.

        Is the thirst for parking ticket revenue so unquenchable that we prosecute those just looking to serve their neighbor?

        What will be banned next?

Opening the door for shoppers loaded with packages?

        How about a fine for letting someone go ahead of you in the checkout line?

        I saw you picking up trash at the neighborhood park the other night.

        Cut it out.

        There must be something illegal about that.

        Mayor Jackson, don't even think about it.

        I know you love those red light cameras.

        But if you start prosecuting meter feeders in Cleveland, I'll launch a protest.

        In the meantime, I'm headed to Cincinnati on a mission.

        I've got 10 rolls of quarters and I'm really fast.

        I'll feed the meter and then run like hell.

        And if they start to catch up to me, I got a place to hide.

        Grandma Sylvia says she's ready to harbor a fugitive.

        And I also understand that she bakes chocolate chip cookies that can't be beat.

        Happy parking.





1 comment:

  1. LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Love this blog. Makes one think: What in the world is going on??? Let's plea bargin to release DUI's, but prosecute Granny for helping out?