As J and I were pulling away from after-school care on Wednesday, she pointed out something tucked underneath the passenger side wiper blade. There appeared to be two slips of paper flapping about, and, of course, my first reaction was it/they must be a parking ticket.
As I was driving away, afraid to stop the car for fear of sticker shock, I tried to recall if there were street sweeping signs that I had missed. I have been working on the South Side for about six weeks, though not
with much regularity until recently, so it was possible, and quite likely, that when I first started, I could have noticed a street sweeping sign, but did not pay much attention to it since I was there only about once a week. Then I thought back to how the block did seem a little less crowded that morning, so that had to be it.
I spent the 10 minutes home wondering how much this ticket was going to set me back, hoping there was only one ticket, and listening to J beg me to stop so we could see what it was. [God bless the kid for saying that if only she had won the poster contest at school, she could have given me her $25 gift certificate to help pay for the ticket.] When we finally got home, J could not wait to tell Daddy that Mommy had a parking ticket and we had to look right away (she loves to rat me out for things). And, yes, it was a $25 ticket for street sweeping. Ugh. Even worse, the price goes up to $45 after one week and then up to $63 after two weeks. With a racket like this, how can the city possibly have financial difficulties?
The moral of the story is, pay attention to where you park, a lesson I learned the very next day (Thursday) when I tried to pull into a space on the other side of the street. Noticing the bevy of open spaces, I actually read the signs that announced street sweeping was the first Thursday of every month. Interestingly enough, there was a sticker or something that covered another ordinal number of the month, so hopefully street sweeping really is only once a month. Also worth noting is the street did not actually look any cleaner on either side the next day, but what can you do.