Humor: No Parking Zone
I returned to my 1996 Corolla last Monday only to find a small white envelope tucked under my windshield wiper. After I shed a few tears, I cheered myself up by looking on the bright side: I’m 42 years old, have spent the last 19 years living in Los Angeles, and yet this was my first experience with the affliction known as the parking ticket.
Prior to my fall from grace, I was proud of my parking ticket-free record. In case you are wondering how I stayed parking ticket-free for so long in the land of “I just count parking tickets as a living expense,” I will share my Five Secrets to Avoiding Parking Tickets in L.A.
Secret #1: Don’t get your license until age 32.
There are many disadvantages to car-free living in Los Angeles, but immunity from parking tickets is not one of them.
Secret #2: Develop an allergy to parking tickets.
It might be tempting to park on the right shoulder of LaBrea Boulevard during rush hour but doing so will result in having your car towed and receiving a truly enormous fine. Train yourself to view such behavior as completely beyond the pale. Lie down on your bed. Close your eyes. Now, imagine parking on the right shoulder of LaBrea at 8:13 a.m. You pull your key out of the ignition. You place your hand on the door handle…
Suddenly, you break out in hives, and your tongue swells so much, it blocks your airway.
Picture this a hundred times, and you will no longer be tempted by all those illegal parking spots. If a passenger suggests you park in a no-go zone, tell them, “No, thank you. I’m travelling without my Epi-Pen today.”
Secret #3: Improve your reading comprehension.
Get a graduate degree. Better yet, go to law school. It’ll help you make sense of all the complicated and seemingly contradictory signage.
Secret #4: View walking as exercise.
You’re about to deliver shalach manos. There are no parking spots open on Doda Elisheva’s block. Do you double park?
No, you do not! You park around the corner and walk! Do it enough times while delivering gift baskets on Purim day, and you can count it as your daily workout.
Double parking not only could get you a big, fat ticket but will earn you an evil eye from every driver you inconvenience. Don’t press your luck – leave the double parking to Uber and UPS drivers.
Secret #5: 15 minutes is never enough time on a parking meter.
Think you can get in and out of Munchies with the kids in 15 minutes? What will you do if your youngest child takes five minutes to pick her ice cream flavor, and then there’s a woman checking out with bags and bags of goodies for the shalom zachor she’s hosting on Friday night? What will you do if you get distracted by all the chocolate?
I can tell you what will happen, because it happened to me: You will spend 17 minutes in the store and receive a ticket for parking at an expired meter.
Adar is a time for nissim, but we are not allowed to rely on miracles. I’m going to do my hishtadlus and so should you. May we all remain parking ticket-free for many decades to come.