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Blunt in FashionHalt Who Parks There
an emily blunt rant





You know how we all protested to our teachers about the Geometry and Algebra we were forced to learn throughout our childhood schooling? What will we ever do with this we'd all say? How will his be implemented in our everyday lives as adults - usually accented with a crashing of the fists very dramatically down on the desk atop the D graded paper?

Well, I finally figured out what to do with all this erroneously fed quazi-useful knowledge and it's only been about fifteen years…

The combo of the maths have actually been helpful in assisting my mind in the deductions and mathmatical equations one must ponder before parking. Or bettter put, to figure out the parking signs in any major city I've been forced to park streetside in. Though, some of you after reading my tale may argue quantum physics is still easier to calculate correctly.

For my story we will focus the study at the signs posted in Los Angeles for example. Let's narrow that down to my area, Beverly Hills. You pull up innocently attempting to duck in and buy some personal sundries at the Sav-on. This should not be a traumatic experience people. You note in your head there are cars parked out front and beside so, you figure mathematically, the odds are in your favor that today you are allowed to park here. Right? Oh, it's not that easy my friends...

I set the car in front of a white painted curb and read the three fold sign that has been placed about four feet down from where I sat. I didn't leave the vehicle yet. Deary no! Kind of like leaving a finger on your piece while playing Chess; it's not a completed move until you actually release. Or in this case exit the vehicle.

The top sign tells me: No Parking Wednesday 8:00am- 12:00pm Street cleaning. I take out my Official Parking Work Pad I designed from a yellow legal pad, and check the calendar day. It's Sunday, so I'm okay there. I check the box on my workpad marked Street Cleaning Clearance. I see my side note to verify the day of the week with the laptop, I forego this today. I didn't work, and slept until the dogs awoke me desperate for their walk. So it must be a weekend day at least. No need to bring in Sherlock Holmes here. These are simple deductions so far.

Next sign says: No Parking 8:00pm to 8:00 am Daily /except holidays and SMSB. Which I now know to stand for Selected Movie Star Birthdays (see Section Cf12A. Column G for applicable Movie Star names and dates on the site hosted by the Parking Authority of Beverly Hills and the Louie B Mayerwarner Memorial fund for complete details and further instructions) .

Hmm. Okay it's not night so I don't have to use the laptop here either. No need to call up my wireless Internet access the sun is out, weak, dimming, but technically I'm just plain sure it's day. The SMSB faction doesn't need exploration either since it's legally still considered day. At worst, evening or the dreaded confusing, twilight.

I check off the workpad box under the Completely Inapplicable Sign section. It has a double check so I'm not too lazy and skim the sign. It asks have you confirmed the solar set-up with the lining of Mars for the area? See in Alaska for example day could be night. And if Jupiter is aligned with Mars you could be heading into Aquarius which is just total parking mayhem! Yes, the stars too can affect the validity of the spot you've found. When I'm in doubt or fear, I glance at the top of the pad with the motto I keep etched on the top of the pad for moral support: "The spot is available; ergo WHY?" Oh, truer words have never been spoken (cept of course "that'll go right to your thighs")...

Yep, the hair on the back of my neck was erect. This could be a parking authority trick. The three signs, like the three witches of Macbeth, put there to confuse and fill me head with treacherous information! So, I decided to get out of the sanctuary of my car and take a digital Polaroid of the sign and the tree limb beside it …this photo may be my only defense. I can sumit it via a forensics specialist if I have to go to parking court later.

When the photo starts to come clear, I use my specially designed felt tip pen to note the pm and am declaration on the sign as well as take an actual leaf sample from the tree to "date" the photo for prosperity. I slip all the evidence into my work pad's slip pockets, sealed in a manila envelope and run a pen mark across the back so I can prove the evidence has not been tampered with, should the need arise.

Feeling sly and confident so far, I glance down to sign three.

The third, and thankfully last of the signs, advises I am in a Permit Only Area. Only cars with a Beverly Hills issued permit with either mauve or teal color are allowed to park here. Unless it's a weekday between Wednesday and Thursday, the car is purple, has a price tag over 75,000, or your agent works at CAA. Though in truth, the CAA part looked stenciled on. Those Beverly Hills gangs are ruthless. Then in teeny tiny painted in gloriously mundane LA County issued red paint, I see it…. You may park here for up to two hours with validation from the Sav-on.

I start to hum a bar of "Born Free" as I exit and lock up my car. But, my glee is short lived. I turn only to hear an odd sound from behind be. A cackle, no a shrill sigh. I look back and there's Lovely Rita the meter maid writing what appears to be a ticket!

I scream "WHAT?" As she calmly hands me over the 145.00 ticket (my fifth since I've moved here basically making the ticket debt higher than the car's actual blue book value!). Mz. Matronly points out it's Sunday at 6:01 an Sav-on is now closed, I don't have any properly colored permits and the white paint on the curb's edge means the section is only valid with a church parking permit (that's a semi-aqua shade) after 6:00pm on Sundays. As she points across the street to a church suddenly buzzing with religious types frowning at me like I was an inner Earth dwelling disciple of Mr. Louis Cypher himself!

She hands me the ticket between loud smattering smacks of her long- lost-its- breath freshening-power gum and gives me the cost break down; 20.00 for the permit violation, 20.00 for the Sav-on violation, 25.00 for no front plate (a law here apparently) 20.00 for the church parking violation, and 60.00 for being in a tow zone (after 6:00 pm).

As I looked up in the sky to "speak" to God I noticed the huge six-foot dayglow painted sign on the Sav-on window (that came complete with a smiley face) proudly proclaiming the Sav-on NOW has Free parking below building for the shoppers convenience! Argh.


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