Well, I am terribly bored with the news. I keep waiting for someone to dig up Clinton’s dead mother and try to pin some controversial might-be crime or misdeed on her, but so far she’s being left alone. I’m sure sooner or later it will come out that our ex-prez pardoned one of Chelsea’s classmates who was suspended for tardiness, but so far Chelsea has been able to keep things quiet. Robert Downey Jr. hasn’t been arrested. We still don’t know the real story about Michael Hooks Jr. and Michael Hooks Sr. and the crack lab-- details of which I would love to know. Not that I care, but it would be nice to add that to the list of “hobbies” of our city council members. Elizabeth Taylor hasn’t dislocated anything or married anyone. There’s just not much happening. I did, however, find out that you could be killed for not putting enough money in a parking meter. Yes, the other day I was downtown, and we all know how easy it is to park there. But I did manage to find a spot very close to my destination: a church. Yes, I went to church. Don’t freak out. I was working on a volunteer project and needed to meet with the rector of a certain church that finds itself embroiled in controversy from time to time because its members happen to, for lack of a better term, think outside the box. The said rector happens to be a friend of mine and invited me to stay after our meeting to hear a guest speaker, which sounded like a fine idea to me. So after the meeting and before the speaker, I went back to the car to put more money in. I had put in the maximum amount the meter would allow, plus some that didn’t count because I didn’t know the meter would only register a certain amount. How stupid am I? And how stupid is that whole concept? At any rate, when I went back to the car to put in more money-- walking in the rain-- it was too late. I had been ticketed and the officer was driving away. So I stuck the ticket in my pocket, put in more money, and went back into the church to hear the speaker. And he was great. Basically said that Jesus was a laid-back kind of hippie with a small group of people around him and he was all about trying to get people to be nice to each other. Simple as that. Just a very cool guy with good ideas. Unfortunately, because of all the zealots out there, that message has been very skewed over the centuries and some people use it to incite hate and even kill each other in the name of religion, which makes absolutely no sense to my simple mind. Nor does the message I finally read in the fine print on the parking ticket. For one thing, there are typographical errors in the type. Sentences end with no period and new ones just start. I’m sure my tax dollars helped pay for this. But the best part is this: On the ticket for parking at an expired meter, it says: AS PRESCRIBED BY ORDINANCE, FAILURE TO RESPOND MAY RESULT IN IMMOBILIZATION OR IMPOUNDMENT OF THE VEHICLE. EXECUTION WILL FOLLOW. Great, I’ve tried to help a volunteer project, I’ve listened to a visiting priest and liked what he had to say, and it’s costing me more than $20-- if I don’t forget to pay the ticket, in which case I’m going to be executed. I think I’ll just wait and see what happens.


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