I'm going to fight this $68 parking violation. And I'm definitely going to employ the Roseanne Roseannadanna defense.
Everyone knows someone who's a bit like Roseanne Roseannadanna: someone who begins talking about one thing and inevitably veers off track with all sorts of entertaining yet meaningless anecdotes. The gifted Gilda Radner portrayed the sweetly ridiculous character on Saturday Night Live more than 30 years ago.
Perhaps I should change the name of this column to Janet Janettajanetson.
But my point is, I am not going to pay this $68 dollar parking ticket from the City of New York!
Presenting Janet Janettajanetson for the defense:
"Your Honor, I was driving my daughter back to NYU to start her final year and — what? You say you graduated from NYU? Well, I'm sure your parents helped you move into the city and it's a nightmare, isn't it? I've got an idea — why don't you call them right now and say, 'Thanks, Mom and Dad — because of you I get to wear this fancy schmancy robe!' Although to be honest it's not very flattering — it gives you a sort of grim-reaper look. To each his own — hey, you might not like my haircut, but I got it at the Hair Cuttery, because I don't like to waste money, which brings me to the reason why I'm here today, Your Honor.
I'm sure as a New Yorker you can imagine how thrilled I was to arrive at my daughter's dorm after four hours on the road and see a short-term parking lot right across the street with a sign advertising the half-hour rate at just $10! I parked, ready to unload, but the attendant approached and said I was using his 'prime space,' and the price for that kind of parking was actually $45. Now THAT'S the guy who should be in front of you today, sir, for a parking offense of the most egregious kind — a heinous violation of the ethical code of New York City parking attendants! But did HE get a ticket? No!
So anyway, we left and I dropped my daughter at her dorm to get one of those big rolling carts — I told her I'd call when I found a parking spot. As luck would have it, a spot opened up about six blocks away. My daughter wheeled the big cart over to the car, and I paid the meter and gave my daughter the little ticket to put on the dash.
And I'll admit, Judge, I was in a hurry, because I had to use the restroom since about exit 10 on the Jersey Turnpike. So I threw the ticket on the dash and we loaded up and went.
After unloading, I rushed back to the car with ten minutes left on the meter and that's when I saw this discourteous ticket under my windshield, fining me because my parking receipt was not displayed face up!
I ask you Sir, who in her right mind with out-of-state license plates would carry around a used NYC parking receipt and try to pass it off as a valid one to save, what, a buck fifty in a meter? Your Honor, I have given generously to the City of New York for the past couple of years — in hotel costs, taxi rides, and restaurant meals while my daughter has attended college. I cannot in good conscience pay this $65 dollars to the NYC Parking Authority, when I know for a fact it could buy my daughter and me, well, probably a bagel and coffee each in some unsavory NYC diner!
In conclusion, Your Honor, it just goes to show, either you pay a parking ticket or you write about it in your column. It's always something."