Campus Complainer: Art Attack and meter maids

For this week’s installment of Campus Complainer, I had some wrath reserved for the whiners polluting the Art Attack Facebook event. Now that I’ve got bigger fish to fry, I’ll keep it brief. Quit your bellyaching over B.oB. You don’t like him? I’ve got a simple solution for you: Get hammered before. Drink a bunch of beers and BOOM! Then you won’t care who’s on stage. You’d probably dance to Dr. Z singing Nickelback all night anyways. Problem solved.

On to the real issue at hand: the city of College Park. Most of the time, I’m a big fan of College Park, but yesterday my tides turned.

It was the end of the school day and there was still homework to be done. I dropped by Starbucks on my drive home. I parked and the only change in my car was a dime. Perfect, that would buy me eight minutes, I thought. When I dropped my dime into the parking meter, it spit it back out, telling me the minimum I have to pay is 25 cents. Forget it, I figured, I’ll be in and out.

A few minutes after entering, I walk back to my car with a cup of brew. Lo and behold, like one of the hounds of Hell, a meter maid is sniffing behind my car taking my license plate. I booked it across the parking lot.

“I’M HERE! I’M HERE!” I shouted at her.

“Do you have your ticket?” the 60-something-year-old woman asked flatly without looking up.

“No, I was just running in and out, I didn’t have any quarters. I was probably gone for four minutes.”

“That’s not going to work,” she said as she kept writing.

“C’mon ma’am, I made it back. I’m leaving. Let me go.”

That didn’t even warrant a response. She was clearly a seasoned veteran. This was even more evident when I launched into a mini-profanity laden tirade, evoking only a cocked eyebrow as if to say, “That’s all you got?”

She was taunting me.

Extending the ticket to me she asked, “You can take it or I can put it under your wiper. Which would you like?”

I snatched it out of her hand.

“You’re a f—— peach,” I snarled and jumped in my car.

Unbelievable. Where the hell do they find these people? What does the help wanted ad for the employees of College Park look like?

ATTENTION: Do you live alone? Hate the company of other people? Ignorant of the world around you? Spit in the food at a buffet? Constantly parking diagonally in two spaces? If this sounds like you, join our team of petty, power tripping employees today!

To be fair, the city and the county have a standard to uphold. They have to live up the idea that College Park is “A livable community.” If the city doesn’t hire asshole meter maids, scumbag tow truck drivers and policemen who don’t understand the difference between the dangers of a noisy party and a violent crime, then they’d have a real problem on their hands. They might have a city that is not only livable, but exceptional. That notion must be unacceptable.

You know what I’m talking about, Terps. City employees trolling around neighborhoods, looking for people to ticket for parking the wrong way on a two-way street; the traffic cameras they put up in the name of “public safety”; cops busting up parties like they’ve found an al-Qaeda sleeper cell. Or what about the two student police aides who narced on the Thirsty Turtle? Those kids certainly applied to the jerk-wanted ad.

The people who run and work for this town are sleazy and unforgiving. They don’t care about us and they don’t care about the city. In two months, I’ll be moving on and another class of kids will inherit these same lame problems — lame problems that persist because this city is devoid of rational people.

So now, I’m going to start carrying a bottle of lube with me. The next time I get a ticket, I can whip out the lube and my wallet and ask that person to get it over with and go to town on my wallet right then and there.

— Taylor Schwink is a senior journalism major and student blogger for The Diamondback

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