Dear Parking Services

Dear Parking Services,

Hello. My name is Sam. In fact, we’ve met before; I was the one on the phone with you just a minute ago. Since I wasn’t articulating my feelings that well, I thought I’d write you, just to clear the air.

You see, I don’t hate you. I just want to know why you are the way you are: the exterminator of good times, the crusader against happiness, the perpetuator of technicality. I don’t question your duty, either – keeping parking lots free of unlawful parkers and other miscreants is of utmost priority – and I’m well aware that I was parked illegally. But why must you go to the extreme with your occupation? You’ve clearly found that writing parking tickets is your calling in life, and for that I applaud you, but the fervent nature in which you execute said calling is slightly baffling to me. For instance, was it really necessary to give me three consecutive tickets for the same parking violation? Wouldn’t one, or even two have sufficed? I gladly would’ve paid two, since I am a good American who understands commerce and likes to make a deal. But sadly, your policies were without leeway. Very well, three it is.

But why the excess of pictures taken? I understand you need photo evidence, so as to safeguard against disgruntled offenders who think they can talk their way out of these things – which, believe me, I would’ve tried, so props to you – but were 10 photos really called for? I admit, despite my car’s age, I do keep it looking good, so I can see how you might want to admire it later from the comfort of your own home, but I assure you three or four pictures would’ve done the trick.

And finally, let’s discuss the late fee. This one really befuddles a common man like myself, so bear with me: since the vehicle in question was parked behind a locked chain-linked fence (which would seem like a place out-of-the-way and obsolete enough not to cause trouble, and that was really my intent, but I digress), you were not able to reach the car and serve the tickets on its windshield, in traditional parking cadet fashion. Instead, you mailed them, and let me first just say I appreciate your support of the United States Postal Service. They’re really hurting right now, so your patriotism is admirable. But then, dear parking people, the citations did not reach me until after the arbitrary and much-sooner-than-reasonable deadline for payment, and thus you asked for a late fee. This seems odd, for a small-minded Midwesterner like me cannot know to pay a citation before I am notified that the citation exists, but my arguments to that point didn’t seem to resonate with you. Those are the rules, I was told, and the rules are rigid.

I would fight you on this, but the excess of photo proof and diligent note-taking done by your office would make that an exercise in futility, and plus I’m not much of a fighter anyway. Instead, I just want to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry, parking people, that life has been so unkind to you. Clearly you’ve been beaten down and pushed in the proverbial mud since childhood, for that is the only logical scenario that would breed a creature so bitter and intent on others’ unhappiness that they would actually willfully work for a branch of government that’s sole purpose is to ruin people’s days. It must be very tough for you.

In high school you were the fat kid with acne, and you spent most of your days trying to stop your peers from bombarding you with corn nuts and other small projectiles in the hallways. This, for some reason, you were unable to get past as you matured, and now your mission each morning is to get back at those bastards for what they’ve done. I would tell you that, at 30 years of age or so, it’s time to forgive and move on, but I don’t think it would do much good. Or perhaps you were a goth, with the black clothes and dog collars and face paint and Manson shirts, and while the wardrobe is gone, the attitude on life inexplicably remains. If that is the case, go ahead and keep writing parking tickets, but please stop performing sacrifices on your neighbors’ cats, okay? Or maybe you’re just a person with a natural inclination towards bitterness and power trips, but you failed out of the police academy. In that scenario, I’d suggest you just go and die somewhere.

Okay, I’m not serious about the dying part. That seems a little extreme, and extremity is the very thing I’m speaking out against, isn’t it? But something must be done, and since the overwhelming amount of evidence you’ve compiled prohibits me from contesting the parking tickets, I’ll just have to fuck up your world instead. Yes, miserable loner, I have a plan. I’m not going to hurt you, but I’d like you to feel a similar level of irritation as I did when dealing with you. So I’m going to break into your place of residence one night. You’ll be sleeping, probably on the couch with an empty bag of Doritos on your chest, with the TV left on. This is fine – I work quietly, so I won’t wake you. My first order of business is finding your collection of Star Wars figurines and cutting limbs off each of them. I know how much they mean to you, and I feel this is a good place to start the sabotage. After that, I will locate your Xbox live headset and piss on it. This way, the next time you’re pwning noobs on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 in an online skirmish, you will smell my urine. I might even eat some asparagus first just to amplify things. Finally, I will enter your room and draw mustaches on all of your Jonathan Taylor Thomas posters. It’s kind of weird that you like him so much, especially at your age (and, you know…you’re a guy. And Home Improvement was like 20 years ago), but any defamation of J.T.T. will surely bring you to your knees. This, I’m afraid to say, will bring a smile to my face.

After I exit, I plan on finding your car in the driveway and attaching the boot I bought off Craigslist to one of the tires. Then, and only then, you will finally understand: that kinda sucks, doesn’t it?

Sam Neumann | sam@samneumann.com | Boulder, CO