Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Breakfast of Champions

Yesterday was one of those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. It started with a stomach ache, and ended with spilled paint on the driveway. Oh, and I got a parking ticket.

My tummy ache led me to lay in bed 15 minutes longer than I should have, I know, but I just couldn't get up yet. Really. By the time I was ready I had 6 minutes to get to campus. I've done it before. I've get a bike with wings. What I didn't account for was the rain. My bike doesn't like the rain (or is it the girl steering who doesn't like to get pelted with rain drops?)  I was stuck in a quandary.

Walk? I'll be late. That's the 20 minute I-want-to-ponder-the-mysteries-of-life-on-my-way-to-school-option. Maybe I'll see if Typewriter Grandma could give me a ride. I call, no answer. Run across the street. All is quiet. Bummer.

I decided to drive, crossing my fingers I'd get a parking spot. I thought there was a student lot where there wasn't, so I parked in thirty minute slot. I was already almost 15 minutes late to my class and I knew we'd have a break in 45 so I figured I could move it during the break and be just fine.

I sprinted to my class. I sprinted to my car during the break. And I sprinted back to class after moving to where? Another thirty minute slot. It was all I had time for.

After class I was planning to spend the afternoon in the wood shop, hoping to build 5-10 panels and get a jump on preparation for my final show. Finding the guy in charge took longer than expected, then my Signature Card didn't have enough funds to by a shop card, then I had to wait to use a campus computer to put enough funds on my card. Long story short, what should have taken 3 minutes took 15. And by the time I was nearing my car, I saw one of those dreaded parking enforcement people in his bright yellow jacket.

Why do they wear those jackets? Just so as you're walking to your car you can dread the neon green envelope under your windshield wiper marked PARKING TICKET? What ever the case I thought I beat him. He was ticketing almost every car on my row and was still 4 cars away. As I approached the driver door he looked over and said, "Is that your vehicle?"

"Yes sir."

"Why don't you wait there then."

"That sounds like a recipe for trouble, and a ticket. I think I should get in and drive away before you get me and save myself 20 bucks and the frustration." (He didn't think this was funny at all).

"Well if you do that I'll write you up for a misdemeanor."

"Okaaaaaay. I'll stand here. In the rain. Waiting for my ticket. Awesome."

I wait as he writes up another car. I sat there wondering if this was a little bit what it feels like to wait for the noose or the electric chair or the guillotine. You wait in line patiently as they chop off someone else's head and think, really, you have to chop off mine too? Isn't three heads enough for one day?

"See that chalk mark on your tire?"

"Yes I see it."

"That's what time I walked past and marked it. If you were only 10 minutes over I'd let it slide, but now I'm going to have to ticket ya."

"Well, you don't really haaaave to ticket me actually. And it's only 7 minutes past 10 minutes..." Not to mention that more than half of this parking lot is empty. Really, who am I bothering?Did I tell you I have a stomach ache? And it's raining? Can you even FEEL THE RAIN OR ARE YOU PAST FEELING?!

"Get in your car." For rude! As he's writing up my ticket he asks, "Do you know the new parking regulations for Spring and Summer?"

"No." Do you know how much I hate you, who ever you are Mr. Yellow Jacket Power Trip Man?

"Well registered students can park in any G, C, Y, or A lots numbered higher than a 17. So basically had you parked over there (he points one parking lot away) I wouldn't be writing up this ticket right now."  

Was that little tidbit just to rub it in? Well it worked. I think you must have been raised by parents who don't love you. "How the heck are students supposed to know that? Do they make some announcement and email it out to Spring/Summer students?"

"No. It's just online under parking and registration."

"Ooooh, so I'm just suppoooosed to figure that the regulations changed for Spring this year? That's ridiculous."

By this time he had finally finished writing up four people's tickets (mine included) and was fumbling to put the green envelope in the little rain-proof plastic sleeve. I snatched it out of his hands and said he didn't have to trouble himself with that. I was just getting in my car and driving straight to the traffic office to dispute my ticket anyway.

But first I had to meet Mikey and work and vent LOUDLY about this smug little parking cop. Don't worry, only one other person came into the break room. Maybe I scared everyone else off. . .

The rest of the day went something like this: discharging a fully loaded nail gun inches from my face, splitting the panel I was building with the LAST SCREW before I was done, remembering I still had to take paint to Typewriter Grandma and then watching the gallon of black paint roll out of the car (before I had time to catch it) and spill on the driveway. Perfect. Just perfect.

Today is going to be a much better day though. Especially since I'm starting it off with the Breakfast of Champions: cookie dough.


erin said...

that was the laugh I needed this morning. thank you paige. oh and I had vanilla pudding.

Anne said...

my word verification was borma--cool.
I'm sorry about your day, Alexander. Your mama loves you more than life itself.

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