Parking Pursuits Taken to the Limit in D.C

Article excerpt


I am developing a special relationship with the hardworking, obsessive-compulsive, parking-ticket woman in Adams Morgan.

We play our cat-and-mouse game on a daily basis. I sometimes see her hiding behind a bush, with her trusty gizmo in hand, pretending to be enthralled with the lushness of the foliage, all the while awaiting a parking mistake on my part. I sometimes see her peeking out from the side of a building, craning her neck just so to see if I am up to no good. I admit to parking mistakes. I am not perfect. But it does become tiresome to have a $30 reminder of it planted on the windshield of my modest vehicle.

We are opposites, no doubt about it. She is close to perfect. I am far from it. If the District ever hands out a performer-of-the-year plaque to an employee, it could start with the parking-ticket woman of Adams Morgan. She should be on the short list anyway.

I am surprised she has not come down with carpal tunnel syndrome by now, and that is just on my vehicle. And I don't know what her secret is, other than possibly having a photographic memory.

She is forever citing my vehicle for having exceeded the two-hour time limit in a residential neighborhood. You see, this is a big, fat no-no if you have a Zone 3 sticker on your automobile and you are parked on a Zone 1 street. That is my fate. That is my eternal curse. I am a Zone 3 person trying to get along in a Zone 1 world. Now I know what it is like to be ostracized, to be an outsider, to be under the watchful eye of the parking-ticket woman of Adams Morgan.

And she is watching. She is forever watching. And she is all-knowing, too.

She somehow knows that a Zone 3 car has been lurking on a Zone 1 street longer than two hours. This apparently is a testament to her agile mind. …