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© 2004 The Beast

 

I HATE YOU

By Donny Dobovich


I have been feeling very hateful lately. This sort of hate was too vague to direct at one particular recipient until I had to wake up at nine in the fucking morning to move my car to the other side of the street.

“At last!” I muttered in vexed state. I have a target for this week's hate column, I thought to myself.

Actually, Buffalo's ill-conceived alternate parking has been a pet peeve of mine for quite some time.

On most of Buffalo's residential streets, cars are not allowed to park on one side of the street for half a week from 9am until 4pm. On the narrower two-way streets, alternating sides of the street must remain vacant at all times.

Now this does make sense in the winter, when bulky snowplow trucks need to clear the roads in a somewhat orderly fashion. But how about in the summer? Why the fuck should all cars be crammed to one side of the street during the daytime on weekdays? It's not like the city needs the space for anything.

In determining the time that most alternate parking goes into effect, the city assumes that people drag their ass out of their house or apartment before 9 in the morning. But what about all of us low-wage schleps and bohemian types that have late night jobs or just like to sleep in? I think it’s more likely that the city chooses 9am for exactly this reason; they know they can jack up revenue because people won’t make it out of bed in time to avoid a fine.

I receive many a ticket, in the form of a bright orange gift on my windshield, when I emerge from my house at two in the afternoon. In most instances, I can recall, in a pissed-off haze, a foggy vision of coming home nice and buzzed the previous evening, not really know what fucking day it was, and parking on the wrong side of the street.

What’s worse, the fine is often doubled or tripled by the time I get around to paying it, because I’m lazy and forgetful, and often too broke to shell out for even a meager fine on any given day. And now my greedy city has suddenly doubled the cost of parking tickets, with no warning and for no apparent reason, except they want more free money. I hate that.

Now I know what you are thinking, right.... “Shut the hell up Donny, it's your own goddamn fault.”

Actually, no. The goddamned corrupt city needs to realize that if it were not for lazy asses like me, this city would be an even bigger dump. I consider myself an artistic/culturally enriched kinda guy. People like me give flavor to parts of the city that would otherwise be backward, Labatt Blue-collar grease pits. We shouldn't be punished for living in the city. Give me another Day-Glo orange harbinger of poverty, and I will gather all my buddies and flee, turning the few remaining hip sections of the city into shitty armpit stains like Lovejoy, Depew, and North Tonawanda.

Actually, I'm too broke to go to any city, in part due to an accumulation of pointless parking tickets, which essentially amount to legal theft. So just do me a favor Buffalo, and let me move my car by noon, not fucking nine. 

The next question some of my more faithful readers might ask is, “Donny, I thought you hated cars, suburbia, and all the mess the comes along with accommodating automobiles. Why are you suddenly an advocate for more car clutter?”

Well, there is a quick and easy answer. This is Buffalo, where the car rules. See, in any heavily populated real city (Los Angeles does not apply), I would be all for reducing the amount of cars cluttering city streets. In real cities, denizens can get places by walking, biking and mass transit.

Buffalo has piss-poor mass transit, not to mention only a handful of pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods. Even these areas lack what is needed for a truly urban neighborhoods. For example, the Elmwood strip and Allentown don't even have any real grocery stores. A mandatory car trip to Wegman’s is still required to get any decent food.

So, despite my disdain for cars and car culture, I really need mine as long as I live in Buffalo. I would also like to have my parking space and eat it too.

Curse the evil bastards that thought up summertime alternate parking. I hate you!

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