“Have you ever had a severe lapse in judgment?” I asked my coworkers when I stepped into the lunch room when I returned from Meals on Wheels yesterday.
Why is it that I have a knack for making an abrupt transition from the good guy to the jerk?
It all started back in December. I was making my rounds on the Meals on Wheels route that I do regularly. John and Peggy are also on the team and our office covers Mondays so each of us delivers every third week. This day in December was like any other except I had promised Ron a special sandwich from the best food cart in the city, Rip City Grill. You might remember Ron from my first ever blog post. If you don’t, you can and should read it by clicking THESE WORDS.
So I stopped at Rip City Grill (side note: I treated Jesse to Rip City Grill for his birthday back in September and received a parking ticket for my generosity) to buy a sandwich for Ron. I had never done this before. I’m sure it’s against the rules to go out and buy additional food for the seniors on the route, but you read the story about the giant turd…this guy is awesome. He deserves this sandwich (and there’s no telling what it might turn into).
Well, I buy the sandwich and drive the two blocks to Ron’s building. Like Peggy, John and I have done every week now for a year I park in the 15 minute slot, put the sign on my dashboard, add the magnetic sign the senior center gave us that reads “Meals on Wheels” to my door and head to the front of the building. When I get to the 6th floor Ron is really touched that I would buy him this sandwich and we talk for quite a while. As you shouldknow, Ron’s a talker and we get to chatting for probably 25 minutes. Eventually I make my exit and when I get back to my car there it is: a $40 ticket from the City of Portland. All I can tell you about what I felt at that moment is pure emptiness. I just felt my stomach sink. I already had the previous parking ticket from this neighborhood and now a Meter Maid named “D. Thoreson” had taken it upon himself to ruin my day. And he did too…he ruined it. I felt victimized.
Well, I have probably told the story about this parking ticket aloud about a hundred times by now and I won’t bore you with the details, but here’s the short version. You have three options when you get a parking ticket in Portland: 1) Pay the ticket 2) Pay the ticket and submit a letter 3) Pay the ticket and request a hearing. I chose option 3 and have my day in court coming up on February 7th.
So at this point in the story I’m the good guy. I’m the volunteer who has been wronged by a twerp Meter Maid that exercises the small amount of authority he has on everyone he can because he’s small. The problem is pretty much encapsulated by the previous sentence. What’s the tone of that sentence? It’s the same tone that I used to take with my sister before she finally splayed me open with a nearby cutting tool. It’s the tone that you take when you feel anger and you’re ready to tear someone down. One thing I’m not good at is letting things go. And D(ouche) Thoreson has really pissed me off.
So fast forward a couple months to Monday. I have my court hearing coming up in two weeks and I’m mentally preparing every day. I’m ready to go down the list of why I’m right and in the process casually mention what is wrong with Douche Thoreson from an ideological standpoint. My working bullet points are as follows:
· Why should the City of Portland be taking a cut from the people who are spending their time and gas performing social services?
· Meter Maids have the ability to discern when someone is truly deserving of a ticket and Douche obviously doesn’t understand that it’s not in the City of Portland’s best interest to deter volunteers.
· If the City of Portland wants to fine me for bringing food to a disabled, terminally ill Vietnam Veteran who is slowly losing his bodily functions because of Agent Orange then perhaps this issue is bigger than I thought and KATU local news would be interested in it.
· The parking spot I was in is located on a street that always has open parking…it’s not like parking downtown where the spaces are at a premium.
· We’ve been doing this for over a year…why now?
Well, all this logic went out the window when I saw a meter maid on a bicycle as I was approaching Ron’s building. I parked the car and bought my 15 minute pass for $0.40 and was about to put it in the window when Satan jumped into my head and said “Douche Thoreson has wronged you…you need to punish him.” Now the obvious answer to this is “get out of my head, Beelzebub.” Unfortunately my answer was more of a question “how can I do that?” Well, it turns out the Devil is pretty stupid. He says “you need to write something on your parking receipt.” That’s stupid. So I did it. Here is what I wrote:
So I made my way up to Ron’s and he was feeling pretty talkative. I can’t just leave his place while he’s telling me about his disease and his Christmas visitors and giving me a small piece of framed art that his brother loved and he hated and while he’s remembering my name because it rhymes with teeth. I’m about 5 minutes late getting back down to the car and you already know what I found.
Standing there, about to get back on his two wheeled chariot (aka bicycle) is none other than Douche Thoreson himself. I didn’t know for certain that it was Douche, but I asked and sure enough it was him. Here is a picture I drew of Douche:
Did you just write me another ticket? “Yes.” Was I over time? “Yup, five minutes. I’d have given you a warning if it hadn’t been for the note you wrote.” I didn’t actually think you’d see that. “We see everything.” Of course you do. “And it’s going in the case log for the judge to see too.” Oh, that’s very frightening. Listen, I’m sorry I wrote what I did. It was obviously stupid and I regret it and I owe you an apology because it was uncalled for and, quite frankly, out of character for me. But here’s why I wrote it…do you remember writing me a ticket right here a couple of months ago? “No.” Seriously? “Yes.” Does this jog your memory at all? (At this point I went into my car, got the magnet out and slapped it on the door and then took out the other ‘Meals on Wheels’ sign and put it on my dash). You seriously don’t remember this? “Well, yes, I do remember seeing this in the case files for the court date that’s coming up.” Yeah, so tell me why you’re claiming that you would have given me a warning today, but you actually ticketed me last time when my car looked like this. “If I gave a pass to everyone who wrote a note then nobody would get a ticket.” Are you seriously giving me the slippery slope argument? As though everyone who writes a note has a legitimate claim that they are doing charitable work? You actually seem to think that it’s your job to hand out a forty dollar fine to the guy who is taking lunch to a service disable Vietnam veteran who is confined to a wheel chair in his 6th floor condo and can’t get food for himself. “Yes, that is my job.” Then you just don’t get it. It’s too bad you can’t use rational logic because you’re deterring people from doing good. “Well, if you write ‘Meter Maid Bitch’ on a parking receipt you’re going to get a ticket.” Yeah, but let me tell you why I did that. I wrote that because the ticket you gave me last time was so egregiously unfair that I can’t quit being pissed about it long enough to have stopped myself from doing something so stupid. Do understand that? “You shouldn’t have argued with me. Now the judge will get the notes from this case when you come to your hearing for the other ticket.” How am I arguing? I’m simply laying out the facts from my perspective. I don’t expect you to change your mind. You don’t appear to be capable of that. For you to do be a meter maid you have to act as though punishing everyone you possibly can always puts you in the right. You’re basically a ticket robot (I didn’t say “ticket robot” but I wish I would have). “I’ll see you in court.” Oh, you’ll see me in court twice. I look forward to it.
And I do look forward to it. At this point I’ve written away any chance of getting any of my fine back. I’m just going in to get my money’s worth. The only thing I have to be really careful about is to keep it civil enough not to be found in contempt of court. I don’t think that’ll be an issue, but I obviously still haven’t let go of the anger I have toward this guy so anything’s possible.
You know, by the end of writing this I was supposed to have learned my lesson and calmed down but just thinking about it again makes me want to wring that Douche’s fat neck.
Now that the City of Portland/Multnomah County has fined me $80 during my Meals on Wheels delivery I have decided to quit doing the route after nearly 5 years of service. I figure I’ll make up that money in saved gas from not doing the route. So congratulations Douche, you truly did your job. At the time of this writing Peggy might decide to salvage the route, but it looks as though our company will discontinue our service for Meals on Wheels. “Officer” Thoreson, you have made the world a better place. Bravo.
Also, if you happen to know and like this Douche Thoreson, screw you too.
For some tips on how to avoid a ticket and how to eliminate any "need" for this idiots's public employment click here: Douche is a DOUCHE!