Okay, about that parking ticket…
One of the other tenants in our arcade comes screaming in, flapping about everyone getting booked out the back. (Did you know they take PHOTOS of your car??? No, neither did I. A bit freakishly Big Brother.)
So out I go, fully prepared to do battle, because even though the spaces are marked ‘loading zone’, the landlord has said we can park there. I survey the scene; gentle reader, this parking ranger is a HUNK, and there he is surrounded by furious women who want his balls for- well, not for what one might usually use a hunk’s balls for, anyway. He’s holding his own, though. (No, not holding his balls, you fool…)
Sure enough, there’s a ticket on my windscreen requesting that I support the Mayor’s retirement fund to the tune of $128. I approach Hunk, armed with my usual artillary of inarguable reason, but without much hope. I mean, JEEEzuz, he works for Gosford Council… not an organisation that either employs nuclear physicists or responds to logic, in my experience. These are people who try to tell you that you have to pave your (300m) driveway to erect a dual occupancy, despite the fact that you’re living on a dirt road 40km from town… and take furious exception to you writing ’3%’ instead of ’0.03′ on your house plans, because they can’t work out the conversion. But I digress.
Hunk has just trumped one female’s ace by fining her 200 quid on top of the 128 smackeroos, for dropping her butt on the ground in disgust. (No, not that butt. The one that belonged to her cigarette.) While she implodes in the background, I put on my best puzzled smile and start eating away at Hunk’s defences.
A little frown. Excuse me, is there a problem?
Hunk girds his slinky loins and hits me with the rule book. (No, not literally.) It’s a loading zone. You can only park there if you have a truck, ute or van.
I look innocently surprised. What, not a station wagon? I load from my car all the time. I’m a tenant in the arcade, and I’ve got no storage space.
Hunk resorts to the recorded message approach. You can only park there if you have a truck, ute or van. He quotes some reference number from the RTA statutes, just in case I want to look it up; considerate little Hunky. (Did you know you can’t park a station wagon in a loading zone? No, neither did I.) And elaborates, and you can only park there for five minutes and you need to be within three metres of the vehicle at all times.
I bite back the instinctive sarcasm, counter with my own recorded message and move in for the kill. I’m a tenant in the arcade. The landlord told me I could park there. And who am I inconveniencing, anyway?
Hunky hesitates. Almost smiles; there’s a little twitch of the mouth. And volunteers, I got told to come down and book everyone here. I don’t make the rules.
I smile and raise an eyebrow. Yeah, well, I’m not going to shoot the messenger.
The grin emerges at last. Why not? Everyone else does.
I smile sweetly back. The loading zone’s for the shops in the arcade, and I’m using it to load for one of those shops.I’m not inconveniencing anyone. This is just revenue raising, isn’t it?
Another grin. I’m not allowed to agree. And then, Can you get the landlord to write to Council? Or you can challenge it in court.
Gentle reader, did you also know that Council has no jurisdiction over parking on private property? The landlord doesn’t even need to write; later on he brings over an aerial map of the arcade which shows that the parking area isn’t on public land, makes one phone call, and next day we have Hunky in the arcade cheerfully collecting the tickets from anyone who hasn’t been foolish enough to pay or tear them up in disgust yet.
I love doing this, says he. It costs Council 20 bucks every time I tear one of these up.
I blow him a kiss. Miracles do happen…