Come with me, if you will, all the way back to May 10th, 2005. I drive to Toronto to meet my friend Jose, who is coming up from Mexico to visit Canada for the first time. He will be arriving at Union Station at 8pm. I drive up there, being the dutiful friend, and park my car a few blocks down on Front Street, where I always park to go to Union Station. However, whereas there are several cars parked on the same block, the spot I have has no parking meter. I'm a little weary, but I figure I'm only going to be a minute, so I run over to Union, find out that Jose's train is delayed, and run back to move my car. Luckily, one of the cars has moved, and I now have a spot in front of a meter. I pull up a space to the meter, and get out to put my money in.
As I get out of the car, the bum...sorry Homeless Citizen sitting on the curb by my car tells me that I shouldn't park there, or I'll get towed. I'm cautiously concerned, but I figure, 'Hey, I'm by a meter, I don't see any signs that say I can't park here, and let's be honest...it's not like this guy parks all that much". So, I ask him if he's sure, since there is a meter, and he responds with, 'Well, you don't have to believe me, but I'm here a lot and a lot of people come back looking for their car, and I tell them that it's been towed and it's now over around the corner..." I'm still cautiously optimistic that I can still park there...there's a damned METER, for God's sake! So, I wander down the block a bit trying to find some sign that supports what the homeless gentleman told me. I saw no signs, with the exception of one a block down, hidden behind a tree, which read 'No Standing'. "No Standing," I thought, "Well, I'm not STANDING, I'm parking! Aw, I think that guy's off his rocker..."
So, I go back to my car, still mildly nervous that maybe I should just move it anyway....when I notice the tow truck. At first, the truck looks like it's driving past...and then backing up. It takes me a few seconds to realize that the tow truck is actually PULLING UP TO MY CAR AS I STAND THERE. Now I start to panic. I turn, and see the police officer, writing the ticket, and directing the tow truck. I run up to her, and frantically explain that I hadn't gone anywhere, I was simply looking for a sign that said whether or not I could park there. "This is YOUR car?" she asks. I reply affirmatively, and she explains that no I can't park there, and that there is a sign just down there that reads 'No Standing' that proves it. In my head I start to scream at her, "No Standing?! NO FUCKING STANDING!? What the fuck does NO STANDING mean!?! PEOPLE FUCKING STAND!!! CARS PARK GODDAMN IT!"
But, as uncalm as I was inside, she calmly said, "Oh, okay, don't worry about it. Go ahead." Relief washed over me in a flood. I was literally seconds away from having my car towed in Toronto, minutes before picking up my Mexican friend. Wouldn't THAT have been awesome? 'Hey, Jose, welcome to Canada. I can't actually help you with your bags or take you home after you've been travelling for 36 hours, because my FUCKING CAR JUST GOT TOWED!' I was so happy that I didn't even bat an eye when I then had to pay $10 for parking half a block down.
I got Jose, he stayed for two weeks, everything was happy and the near-towage went forgotten. Until today, that is....
I've been seriously struggling with bills lately. Both of my last loan payments ended up making me overdrawn in my bank account. I'm frantically trying to pay back my mother for using her credit card to buy my iPod. I also ow her money for several other purchases, such as a personal cooling system for use in Japan, a $23 fee for using the 407 for a measly half an hour (completely unbelievable), $17 for having no money at all to mail my eBay parcels with, $80 I still owe Moore's for suit #8, etc., etc., etc. We had a garage sale on the weekend (our second in 2 weeks), and I did fairly well...over the two garage sales, I made about $900. I had to say goodbye to my electric guitar (sniff), but I've almost paid off my mother.
So, I get up today, and my mom tells me that she's got a surprise for me. "What could it be?" I wonder. "Another damned suit? More frickin' dress shirts or ties?" But no. Those would have been welcome in the face of....(dramatic music here)...The $60 Parking Ticket. Yessir, after I was a good citizen and didn't just leave my car there, but INSTEAD walked around looking for a sign for permission to park there, after the police officer told me to 'Forget about it' and sent me on my way, after narrowly avoiding Tow Truck Hell...after all of that, they send me a damned parking ticket anyway. And not JUST a parking ticket. Apparently, this is my FINAL NOTICE parking ticket, which I must pay or I get a criminal mark on my record. This is of course the final notice to pay the parking ticket that I NEVER FUCKING RECEIVED IN THE FIRST PLACE. Not only does the parking ticket piss me off, but the knowledge that the city of Toronto has set that street up as a parking trap for citizens (and, due to it's close proximity to Union Station, unwitting visitors and tourists) so that the city can suck some money out of people for parking tickets and towing fees. If they had had a sign actually CLOSE to where I had parked, and if that sign actually said 'No PARKING' or 'No STOPPING' like every other normal parking sign says, then I wouldn't have even been there in the first place. But you KNOW they put it there to suck money out of the unwitting.
Well, I'm not going down easy. Now I have to go to Toronto to FIGHT this bullshit ticket. Hell, I'll take this all the way up to the fucking Ontario premier if I fucking have to. This is such bullshit. I never even left my car, for Christ's sake. They only sent me this ticket because they don't think I have the balls to stand up to their corrupt parking ring. Well, how wrong they are. They are going to get an eyeful and an earful of my short, angry ass. I'm onto them and their underhanded criminal activity. Hell, I'll pay hundreds for a lawyer, just to go against the PRINCIPLE of not paying that 60 bucks.