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Monday, November 23, 2009

I Can't Find It

I know it's here.

At least, it was here.

But now it's gone.

As John Hiatt sings, "Gone, like my last paycheck-- gone, gone away... gone, like the car I wrecked... gone, gone away!"

Yeah, it's like that.

See-- I'm due in traffic court this afternoon, and the one single, solitary piece of evidence that I could use to exonerate myself is missing. Because, um, my wife and I are fucking slobs.

Remember that quaint and jovial post about searching in vain for the auto loan papers for my wife's car?

Well, yeah...

I wrote that back in August, and things haven't improved much. Because, today, I'm searching in vain for the placard that was on the windshield of our car that permitted us to park for unlimited time at a metered parking spot in downtown Philly during Rosh Hashanah while we were at services. We got a ticket anyway.

So, I said that I was going to fight it, and that this parking placard would be the key to my defense as I stood humbled before a (hopefully Jewish) judge.

But, of course, it's not here anymore. It existed on our desk since Rosh Hashanah... but somhow, at some point, it got lost. There is a menu from a pizza parlor (I know, nobody calls them pizza "parlors" anymore. At least I didn't say "parlour.") There's also a Zinsser SoftGrip wallpaper scraper sitting on our desk, even though this house was successfully bereft of all wallpaper back in August. There's lots of pens and a stuffed turtle, a digital camera, lots of old checkbooks. There's a gray, squishy brain that you're supposed to squeeze when you get stressed out about not being able to find the parking placard, but I just blog instead. There's the instruction manual for my newish cellphone that I've never read-- lots of orange sticky notes reminding me about things I don't even understand anymore. And, the latest addition to the clutter: a Pirates of Penzance program!

(It was a great show, by the way.)

Oh, and there's a pair of wire-cutters. Don't ask me why. We don't often engage in the act of wire-cutting.

Of course, the one thing that's still here is the actual ticket itself. Which is awesome and really helpful.

So, I'm seriously considering skipping traffic court. It's going to cut right into the middle of my work day and I'm going to be found guilty, so I might as well just send in a check for the $36.00 and be done with it.

I mean, everybody likes to fight the man, but you don't commonly do that without ammunition. Going into court without that placard is like going into battle without your boots or your moustache.

(By the way, immediately after curtain calls yesterday, I shaved off my gargantuan walrus 'stache and Civil War-era sideburns. I am deliciously young again. And I can't find my fucking parking placard.)

I've read and re-read the notice from the City of Philadelphia Parking Violation Branch. It states that, if I fail to appear, I "will be liable for the full amount of all applicable fines and penalties." To me, that means the cost of the ticket, unless they tack on some sort of delinquent bastard fee for not showing up for a hearing I requested, and then I'll be sad.

I'll probably end up going empty-handed, because that's the kind of guy I am. I'm not one to throw sand in the face of the judicial system, even if I am irresponsible, haphazard, and full of pens, squeezie brains, and old sticky-notes.


  1. Maybe you should take the eclectic selection of items you listed here? You could distract them with squishy brains and pizza menus and discussion about what the correct name for such establishments are -- pizza parlours? pizza places? pizza joints? -- and they will forget all about why you are there in the first place.

  2. Jay-- that's not a bad idea.

    Of course, I could always burst into court and sing, "WE CHARGE YOU YIELD IN QUEEN VICTORIA'S NAME!" and see how that goes...

  3. If you hadn't been planning to fight the ticket, when was the deadline to pay? If that's gone by, you will also be responsible for late charges.

    Good luck!

  4. bring back the term pizza parlor!

  5. You know you'll find it this weekend, right? That's the way that shit works.

  6. Dude, that sucks.

    I have nothing helpful to add. I'm just saying that sucks, is all.

    Big time suckage.

  7. It will be in the last place you look.
    Sorry- I hate when people say that to me too. Obviously it will be in the last place because once you find it you will stop looking.
    That said, good luck?

  8. Has it somehow found its way under the computer keyboard? Fallen down the back? Hiding behind the monitor?

  9. I had a similar thing happen. Oh course, I found said papers in my neat little file folder...the day AFTER the court hearing.

    Good luck!

  10. I want to know the outcome of this blog.
    I lose stuff all the time. I lost my wallet for a weekend and luckily had taken all my i.d out of it the week before so I only lost my ATM card. The weekend passes, I had to borrow money to get through the weekend. On Monday morning i found it in my hoodie pocket. HOODIE POCKET. I lost my glasses once and my ex was the kind of guy where I could say .. gee I wonder where my glasses are and he would get so agitated at my indifference that he would rip up the house for me. He found them on my balcony an hour later and that was in February! Geez.. So I really get this blog!
    I hope everything turns out okay for you! Hopefully you showed up and the cop didnt and they throw out the case! NEXT!
    Long Live the Pizza ParloUr!

  11. Blogging > squishy brains any day.

  12. There is nothing wrong with "Parlour". Nothing. :)


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