I'm having trouble with regulators these days. Yesterday I enjoyed a lunch with a friend at a restaurant in Arlington.
Arlington is notorious for its parking enforcement. They make you want to never go there.
After lunch, I returned to my car and was standing there with my driver's door open, one foot inside the car, waiting for my friend to come get in. He was lagging behind twenty feet or so on the sidewalk, coming and plainly in sight.
An Arlington Meter Maid swung by in the traffic lane on her Segway. Vroom vroom look at me I'm an "Officer" and I'm bad.
While I stood there, standing with my car door open, one foot inside, waiting for my passenger who was in sight mere feet away and coming, she wrote out a ticket (they punch in or scan in your license plate, hit a code and out pops the ticket in seconds) and tendered it to me while I stood there, standing with my car, door open, foot inside waiting for my clearly visible passenger.
"This is my car," I said. "And that is your ticket," she said smugly.
"I'm not parking, I'm standing," I said. "There are no signs prohibiting standing."
"You're seven minutes over," she said sneeringly. "$35 for seven minutes, five dollars a minute, three hundred dollars an hour to park in Arlington?" I asked while I still stood there with my driver's door open and my foot inside the car waiting for my passenger who was plainly visible a few feet away to get in the car.
"Take it up with the traffic board," she said. "Do you know how hard it is to stand on this machine all day?"
I had no sympathy for her for her complaining, probably she should come down off her mount a little to address her prodigious frame. She swirled around in the traffic lane on her Segway like the Lone Ranger rearing up Silver and roared off at twelve mph, swerving around the corner in search of quota fulfillment.
Welcome to Arlington, Virginia, friend. My weekend running buddy who lives in Arlington assures me that Traffic Court in Arlington is merely Kangaroo Court where they'll just assess the printed penalty and then assess you 15% more in court costs for having the temerity to come in.