Today is the day, the day we have all been waiting for, when George W. Bush departs Washington, D.C., via helicopter, and Barack Obama begins the dawn of a new era. Unaccountably, alternate-side parking is not suspended, but it is such a good day that even sitting in a parked car listening to the radio would be enough.
Lucky for me, my car is in a garage and I can watch the Inauguration on TV at work. My “Certificate of Exemption From the Additional New York City 8% Parking Tax (For Manhattan Residents Only)” arrived last week. It advised that I “submit it to the parking facility operator immediately.” But did I have to make a special trip to the garage to deliver the certificate? Wasn’t the idea of putting the car in the garage not to have my parking needs dictate my schedule?
The truth is that I miss being out in the neighborhood, and so over the weekend I took a few walks, one of which brought me home along the street where my car is stabled, and I just happened to have the certificate with me and also just happened to have passed a little hole-in-the-wall where I could have it copied, so I trotted down the ramp to see Julian of the bow tie, who said exactly the right thing: “Fifty-two.” That’s right! At the garage, I am Slot 52. Julian has my number. He accepted the certificate, and I got it there in plenty of time for the February statement to reflect my eight-percent discount.
The other financial news has not been so happy. My 401(k) statement arrived in the mailbox on Saturday. It is still in the mailbox. A few days earlier, I had made the mistake of opening a letter from the co-op management. It announced a twelve-percent hike in maintenance fees, to cover the rise in property taxes. That $400 property-tax rebate from the Mayor? Chickenfeed.
And yet I am prepared to offer, as an Inauguration Day Special, the deluxe edition of the 2009 Alternate Side Parking Calendar, suitable for dangling from rearview mirror, absolutely free!!! (No assembly required.) Write: firstname.lastname@example.org
And now let us enjoy the spectacle.
Goodbye, Bush. Hello, Obama!