Yes, the parking ticket saga is now over.
The Honorable Judge Mark Bruno on Wednesday dismissed the overtime parking ticket I received back in March while I was inside the studios of WCHE 1520 AM for my weekly round of fun with the Morning Magazine crew.
So I get back the fifty bucks I had to pay to make sure I showed up. Like not showing up was ever gonna happen.
Sitting there watching the parking posse walk in like they own the district court made my blood start to boil right off. To a member, they are pompous, arrogant and (trying to say this in a nice way) don’t appear to be the brightest bunch. They mispronounce names badly (with obvious disregard to the people whose parents took great care with those names) and they are not good representatives of the borough of West Chester. I would challenge any one of them to come to this office, sit down and explain just why they chose their career paths. Yes, that’s what I thought.
Honestly, I don’t know why Judge Bruno does what he does. He must hear every lame excuse to ever come down the pike – and not West Chester Pike. He hears them from the defendants (like me) and after today, it appears he hears some real doozies from the people handing out tickets. Now I have had my share of tickets and when I deserve a ticket, I pay it – no question. Don’t believe me? Got one in February and paid it. No problem.
However this one was the ultimate insult.
To review: back in March I went to WCHE for the weekly radio gig we do. It’s quite entertaining if I do say so myself. Nothing better for the listener than tuning in to hear a smart ass newspaper editor spewing his ill-formed opinions about everything from student housing to national politics and of course, local parking issues.
That morning I put a quarter in the meter in front of the radio station and bang, nothing. I put two more quarters in and voila, 30 minutes of time. Not good enough. The parking officer whom I will refrain from naming because Wednesday he embarrassed even me, felt that being three minutes over the time limit warranted a ticket. Fair enough. Actually, not fair but hey, it’s his job and a crucial one at that. After all, someone has to bust some butt to get that yearly ticket total to almost 90,000 tickets for all of 2011. Nearly 90,000 tickets! Imagine that.
After I got my ticket I reported the non-working meter to the friendly ticket czar at borough hall who told me that the meter would be checked and that they would let me know – which they did more than a month later. At that time they told me the meter was working fine and that the ticket stood.
I did some investigating and contacted the manufacturer of the meter. The nice lady at the company explained that a rogue coin like a Canadian quarter would cause some problems. Well, for me, that wasn’t the problem. I used a good ole’ American quarter.
(Right this moment I am making an obnoxious buzzing noise like the ones on a TV game show when someone gives a wrong answer to the challenge question)
My meter officer had trouble with a few things. First, he butchered my first name, last name, where I lived and about five other items which at this point don’t matter. But more important, the reason the meter didn’t work? (Talk about burying the lead of the story) I PROBABLY USED ONE OF THOSE STATE QUARTERS. You know, the ones that say Delaware, Pennsylvania, Ohio, etc. Apparently you have a good chance of getting ripped off time if you use one of those quarters, rather than the ones dating back to World War II which are generally moving out of circulation.
So according to the officer, a state quarter will rob you of time. That’s great news. The other obvious problems include the fact that the parking guys and gals have no clue what’s involved with diagnosing a meter problem nor do they send out a technician the same day a bad meter is reported. So I am to believe that weeks later (or obviously days later at the least) a technician looks at my meter and says, aha, no problem here folks!
I don’t believe any of that nonsense and evidently neither does Judge Bruno. Boom, end of story.
Or is it?
Before I leave you today, I thought I’d provide you some fun with the 7 worst defenses used according to a goofy website. And here’s the site: http://guyism.com/humor/the-7-worst-legal-defenses-ever-attempted.html
Number 7: Faking a heart attack
Number 6: Sometimes women need to be smacked around to settle them down
Number 5: Acting like a mime and using slicing and shooting motions toward police while in the courtroom
Number 4: Forcibly kissing the prosecuting attorney
Number 3: When you’re a double-rapist murderer who tells the court you’re too fat to die
Number 2: You didn’t know breaking into the plane’s cockpit, firing a gun and taking everyone on board was illegal
And the number one worst defense? “I picked up the loaded sawed-off shotgun while surrounded by armed police, but I don’t remember firing it” says the defendant.
I bet the borough’s parking authority would hire any one of these people in a minute…
– Andy Hachadorian