(Just Not in Front of My
Summer is almost here, which means the advent of over-the-top
spectacles with lots of special effects. No, not blockbuster
movies. The presidential conventions.
The candidates will make speeches about matters of great importance
to the citizenry, such as the economy and foreign affairs, and
sorry, dozed off. But if it's votes they're seeking,
they'll tackle the real issue on the minds of Americans:
I live in the Washington, D.C., area, where parking is a blood
sport. They have signs, several paragraphs long, detailing the
disjointed hours you are permitted to park and the various
consequences for breaking the rules - ticketing, towing, booting,
putting the car in neutral and shoving it down a hill, etc.
Washingtonians have learned various ways to cope. The official
method is to go to your friendly neighborhood Department of Motor
Vehicles office to get a parking tag. You take a few necessary
papers - proof of insurance, proof of residency, proof of vehicle
ownership, proof of inspection, proof of continued existence, proof
of ability to make a decent crab cake, those sorts of things. The
DMV offices are filled with mirthful employees who enjoy amiable
banter, such as, "Did I call your number? Sit down," and, "I'll get
to you when I get to you." After standing in line for a scant three
and a half days (on average), you receive a little piece of paper
with a number on it that you affix to your windshield. This paper,
or, technically, tag, lets you park on your front lawn from 10 a.m.
to noon and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.
The unofficial method is to jot nasty notes and leave them under
someone's windshield. I received one. It read: "I would appreciate
it if you wouldn't park in front of my house - it makes it hard to
bring in groceries."