…To paraphrase Romans 6:23.
You see, there is precisely one traffic light in the city of Philadelphia that is monitored by a traffic light camera. Two weeks ago, I ran a single red light in the city of Philadelphia on my commute in to work. Three guesses which traffic light that happened to be.
I received notice of my violation in the mail yesterday, along with a fee of $100 for my violation. I was steamed, primarily because I knew that I was completely in the wrong and there was no way out of the ticket. The only acceptable ways out would have been to prove that I had (a) sold the car prior to the infraction, (b) had the car stolen prior to the infraction or (c) the car was actually being driven by my evil alien clone bent on world domination, apparently. Given that I am neither liar nor gibbering UFO conspiratorialist, I felt it necessary to pay the fine. I copped to it; I did the crime, I’ll pay the fine.
My wife, at first thinking that the red light fine was a second notice of a parking ticket she accumulated on August 12th, asked me if I had paid that ticket within the allotted 8 day period, after which time the ticket would double in value from $20 to $40. If you heard a subsonic “SMACK!” around 6pm EDT yesterday evening, that was the sound of my open palm impacting my forehead at considerable velocity.
I proceeded to the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s website to pay our fines and noted that both could not be simultaneously paid for, for reasons beyond my ken, so I paid for my wife’s ticket first and noted the $43 price tag attached. “Hmmm, that’s odd,” I thought. I then tried to pay for my ticket and noticed that the knuckle-dragging, tutu-wearing, money-grubbing sons of a motherless goat ant snorters over at the PPA were attempting to CHARGE ME A $3 “CONVENIENCE FEE” FOR THE “PLEASURE” OF USING THEIR WEBSITE. My gut-wrenching scream was probably audible from a low Earth orbit.
“Yes, please, I’d like to pay you more money so that you can have my money faster, you insufferable fiends of some level of Bureaucratic Hades as of yet unfamiliar to Mankind.”
They could have been decent human beings, instead of trying to wrangle me out of additional money. Now, they’ll be getting their money as fast as the USPS will deliver my $0.37 stamped envelope.
May a meteor of considerable diameter blot the PPA from the face of the Earth, and may hundreds of smaller ones wipe out its employees’ homes, gardens, cars and potentially neighbors.
I hate Philadelphia.