Thursday, April 3, 2008

Milking the System

I accidentally tossed the basket of my espresso pot—the part that holds the ground coffee—on Sunday (Grrrr! When well-meaning guests do the dishes and inadvertently recycle that part of the coffeepot, which is the same size as a cat-food can, I punish them cruelly; this time I had no one to blame but myself), so on Monday morning I did not get my caffeine fix until I reached the car with a cup of takeout. A ghastly sight greeted me on the way to the car: No Parking signs on the Monday-Thursday side of the street. The No Parking signs were not effective till Thursday, April 3rd—whew!—so for the time being I was able to keep the same fine spot (7:30-8, on K’s Street; I had not used the car over the weekend).

At 8, I went back up the street to get a closer look at the No Parking signs, and they had miraculously disappeared! For a second, I was relieved. But then, duh, I realized that whoever had posted them had been walking east, in the direction of traffic, and taped all the signs on the west-facing sides of posts and trees. The reason for the No Parking decree was that the TV show “Law and Order” was taking over the block for filming on Thursday, beginning at 5 A.M. If we didn’t move, we would be towed so that TV justice could be served.

I intended to move the car on Wednesday night, but on my way home, after dinner with friends, I lost the urge. I hadn’t been going to look for a live spot but just park it on my street until the morning, when I would have to move it at 7:30, and if I was going to have to be up and out at 7:30 anyway, why not just leave it where it was? After all, there hadn’t been any No Parking signs on the four-car stretch at the end of the block where I was. And the signs really were invisible if you made a conscientious approach from the east, with your head stuck deep in the sand. It was worth a try.

Fortunately, one of the friends I had dinner with last night lent me an espresso pot (Thanks, T.!), so this morning I was fully caffeinated and ready for anything. Yes, even the sight of bare curbs and orange cones guarded by men who looked like they meant business. Of course my car had been towed! What had I been thinking? But, because of my experience last fall with the “Sex and the City” movie (you could look it up), I didn’t panic. The car would have been relocated by the police to the first legal space. I found it a block away, standing innocently outside a bar on the other side of the street, next to a Muni Meter. On the windshield was one of those sticky tags that say the car can’t be ticketed or towed for 48 hours. I moved the Eclair a little closer to the curb and left her there. Actually, it’s a sweet little spot—good till the meter kicks in on Saturday morning. I couldn’t have done better.

No comments: