Friday, May 28, 2010
A man with a blaze orange vest and reflector stripes rang the doorbell this afternoon and asked if I knew anything about the “No Parking” signs on the boulevard along side our house. Sometimes I haven’t much conscience when it comes to lying to city officials. And for a moment I paused. To tell him the truth or not created a little gas indigestion in my heart as the ten commandments scrolled. So I admitted. I put them there. He probably knew anyway.
I think of them as mine, but , I suppose, they belong to some department of the city. (Denis has warned that this day was coming and has never colluded with me.) I was slightly comforted by his crooked smile as he pushed me to tell him how I got hold of them. And that’s where I may have lied, but since I’ve actually forgotten the exact circumstances by which they came to be in our garage, it’s maybe probably possible that what I told him was true.
I explained to him that when we have anyone, I mean any kind of repairman, work crew, or delivery at Toad Hall there is nowhere to park. Nowhere. There is parking 24-7 on our block. So what are they supposed to do? What are we supposed to do? So yes, I put those signs out so TWO random cars could not take two little spaces next to our driveway so the guys who are supposed to be here right now putting in new back steps and sidewalk, but aren’t here, as you can see, (plus we have out of town guests, who aren’t parking there, they’re across the street, see the “Indiana” license plate at this very moment) will have a place to park their truck and equipment when they do arrive.
He grinned and said any contractor can contact the city and get a permit to park if they need to and it is my job to put those signs …
Oh, right. Does he even know how hard that would be? It would, first of all require planning on the part of the contractor, plus he would need to arrive at 4:30 (please, please do not jackhammer my sidewalk that early if ever) to have even the remotest chance of getting a parking place. And well, it’s just stupid.
So, I said defiantly, are you going to arrest me?
He said, “You’re just trying to be nice, aren’tcha? I thought of leaving the signs, but I can’t really. They’re my signs.” (Still grinning though I wasn’t sure why.) “These guys, it’s their responsibility to figure out parking and if they don’t get the permit, they can pay the ticket. You don’t have to worry about them.”
“How did you find out the signs were there?” I asked. (When is an official ever around to witness an actual felony?) And he said the police called wondering if there was some work going on they didn’t know about. It looked suspicious to them.
So he’s out here, johnny-on-the-spot? For a long time, years maybe, each time I used them Denis said I shouldn’t and I said whatever. Now my signs are gone. Except for this one. ONE. I have one left in the garage and I’m keeping it. Think of how many guys I helped get ticket-permit Free Parking? But I suppose now that I’m a target and probably under surveillance the fun is over. But so is the temptation and that is probably good.