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To whom it may concern at the Seattle municipal office:

Yes, my car was parked in the proximity of a fire hydrant, but let’s review the facts, shall we? 1) The curb where I was parked was painted neither red nor white nor any other non-parking color. It was bare concrete. 2) I was parked with my nose flush with the post of a “zone 7 parking” sign. Those usually indicate you can park there. My permit was prominently displayed. 3) My rear bumper was a good 8 feet away from the hydrant. Sure, the law specifies 15 feet, but a) who knows that? and b) am I expected to carry a tape measure in my car, and c) did the officer who wrote the ticket have one handy? Does he / she have proof? Bottom line: a fire engine would have had plenty of space.

Yes, you’ll get your $62, and you’ll get it within your 14 days. I won’t be mitigating or contesting anything. I could almost certainly knock $30 or so off the face price just by coming in and outlining the above paragraph before a judge, but not having to spend three hours in a courtroom is easily worth that much money to me. You probably are well aware of this fact. I briefly considered writing a letter and a check for half the amount, but that strategy would just as likely result in even more of my time and money being wasted, long term. Bottom line: you win this round, but I’m not happy.

Another watershed / milestone / fountainhead / etc. moment in my struggle for adulthood: my first-ever parking ticket. The only thing that could be huger than this would be my first-ever divorce or my first-ever trip to rehab (both pending).

Posted in Musings.


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