Thursday, January 08, 2009

An Open Letter to the Parking Enforcement Guy at the Vancouver Court Jury Overflow Parking

Dear Sir,

In response to the soggy yellow piece of paper you left wadded up into the rain-slicked door handle of my truck, allow me a moment to respond, point-by-point to your assertions.

Firstly, regarding your statement PERMIT PARKING ONLY [FUTURE VIOLATIONS MAY RESULT IN TOW], allow me to say that I have a permit, which renders your paranthetical nigh nonsensical. How can I have FUTURE violations when I have neither present nor past violations? I take this to mean that you suspect I am the sort of person who, although legally parked today, may one day in the future turn to... Evil Parking. I daresay this is a rather rude way to start our aquaintence, and I assure you that I am not the sort to lightly violate parking rules. Else, what would our society become? One vast parking lot, I daresay.

Secondly, in response to your comment PUBLIC PARKING LOCATED ON THE 1ST FLOOR AT PARKING METERS, I thank you. This is helpful knowledge for the future when I am--for some reason now unimaginable to me--at the Vancouver Courthouse for some event at which I need public parking. As for today, I had hoped to park here, in the Jury Overflow Parking because I am, you see, on jury duty and--as you no doubt would have noticed had you seen me--I am overflowing.

Thirdly, I must take issue with your comment NO PERMIT. Here it is on the dashboard. PARKING PERMIT it says. PLACE ON DASHBOARD it says. FOR DESIGNATED JUROR PARKING LOTS it says. But perhaps you are trying to tell me that you don't have a permit? It's true that your paucity of words makes interpretation flexible. I suppose you might be saying something deep and profound, perhaps you are saying that there is no permission sufficient for our human inability to treat one another with the kindness and respect that is deserved. I really must ask for greater clarity and a sentence rather than a fragment made of two words clinging to one another without the comforting glow of context to keep them warm.

And lastly, concerning the hastily scrawled post-script NOTICE LARGE SIGN'S. I do, in fact, notice the signs which say that this is JURY OVERFLOW PARKING. And here, on my dashboard I have a Jury Parking Permit. Thus, the sign seems to say to me, you belong here. This is an unexpected kindness coming from you, as the beginning of your note seemed cruel and even capricious. Now, for you to tell me to look at the signs, the ones all around me that are telling me that I am in the right place at the right time, that I am, in fact, doing all that I should be doing in life, that I am--for once!--precisely where I should be... well, sir, it causes me to feel satisfied and deeply grateful for the reminder that I am a needed, important, essential part of the universe. I will say that the possessive apostrophe on the word "SIGN'S" puzzled me at first, but now I am certain you were telling me to notice the large sign's message.

Thank you, dear sir, for taking the time to leave such a kind and warm-hearted message on my door.


Matt "Permit # 141934" Mikalatos