Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Saturday, April 09, 2005

El Capitan's No-Good Horrible Very Bad Day

Some days, you get the bear. Some days, the bear gnaws half your ass off.

So, while I spray Bactine on the holes in my posterior, I'll sum up.

I went to a public forum yesteday where people were supposed to provide testimony to a Fed. agency on a certain Federal law, and how it has affected their lives for good or ill. I was immediately reminded of how petty, venal and whiny most of humanity is when 80% of testimony consisted of either people asking for handouts, crying because the guv'mint won't provide for 100% of their needs from cradle to grave, or else they used the opportunity to shamelessly plug their business. The best (or worst) example was the asshole who sat on the front row yammering into his cellphone, in between his frequent whines that no one would give him the necessary funding so that he could run for Mayor.

Compounding the misery was the bush-league organization running the event. When getting valid testimonials is the primary purpose of the event, having all your staff disappear and not be available for moderation and crowd control means the mob quickly overwhelmed the facilitator, and quite a few people left in disgust after 4 or 5 professional agitators took over the event. The staff actually departed the event with 3 hours still left to go, leaving no one to maintain control over the wireless microphones, except the facilitator who was behind the table up front.

I thought I would be there all day, but it kind of disintegrated into chaos about 3 pm, and broke up shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, I now had to go into the office since I had 3 hours left on the clock, and I'm still on probationary status in my first year. This time next year, you better believe I'll skip out the last three hours!

So I drive as slowly as possible into downtown. Parking's gonna suck. The lot next to the building charges $16.50 for 90+ minutes. Fuck that. The underground garage will involve a long hike, and it's $9 for 2 hours. Damn. I can do better. I finally find an open parking meter. They only allow 2 hours max at 25 cents per 10 minutes, but I got a pocketful of quarters, and it's now 3:45 pm. No problemo.

I pull up to the meter, see the sign that allows parking from 7a-6p unless otherwise marked. Ok, good to go. I see a "No Parking" Sticker on the pole, but it says 7a-9a. We're still OK!

So, get out of the Caddy, pump in $3 worth of quarters, and I'm off. I return with 10 minutes to spare on the meter, but wait! There's a little white envelope tucked under my windshield wiper! WTF?!?!?

Sho 'nuff, El Cap's got a parking ticket. It seems that if you were to look all around the meter pole, you would see a very small sticker saying "NO PARKING 4p-6p TOW AWAY ZONE". That sticker is not visible from your car when you pull up to the meter, and when you're out of your car, it's so far down on the pole you don't notice it when you're feeding the meter. Bastards. Well, at least they didn't tow the Caddy.

Sigh. $65 ticket. Now, $16.50 for 90 minutes seems like a pretty damned good bargain.