What’s Wrong With This Picture?

I imagine it’s quite easy to spot the mistake in the above picture, taken on the Sunday afternoon of July 22, 2018 across the street from my building. But in addition to blatantly parking right next to a fire hydrant, this vehicle had neither a parking a sticker nor a day pass hanging from the rear view mirror. Because it’s next to a major tourist attraction, this is a permit parking neighborhood, and there are signs up and down the street announcing that (including one on the sign post in this picture).

Now I know what an ordeal it is to search for a parking space as you remain stuck in your overheated vehicle crawling form one block to the next, but is it really worth the $58 ticket? And that doesn’t include the extra fine for parking right next to a fire hydrant. Does the owner of this Ford have deep pockets, or were they just desperate to escape from vehicle hell and considered the fines a small price to pay for freedom? Or maybe one of the passengers had to use the john real bad.

Ultimately Santa Cruz just isn’t big enough to handle its volume of summer tourist traffic, and its geography between the ocean and the mountains places limits on how much it can expand. But it’s tourist money that helps keep the local economy going, so there’s always going to be a need for tourists. Now if they could just get here without their cars. There used to be a direct train route that connected Santa Cruz to San Jose, it was called the Suntan Special, and ran from about 1880 to 1940. High time it was brought back, but that’s another story for a later post.

20180722_154340 And as you can see, the owner of this vehicle was properly ticketed. I wonder how much was added to the local coffers?

Hope you enjoyed this rare non-fiction post written in my first person voice that allows me to communicate directly to you, the reader, I know I did. Next post will be a return to fiction and my opaque third person voice.

©2018 Robert Kirkendall


99 Word Prompt: Sun Silly

April 5: Flash Fiction

Horace ran around the town square under the midday sun laughing and whooping while doing flips and cartwheels.

“Horace is acting rather strange,” a townsperson observed.

“He sure is,” another concurred.

“Must be because it’s spring,” a third interjected.  “He does act strange when the seasons change.”

“But this is out of control,” the first said.  “And look at that suggestive move he’s doing to one of the pillars in front of the courthouse!”

“Perhaps it’s time to kick Horace out of our respectable community,” the second townsperson suggested.

“Agreed,” the third agreed.  “He’s too weird for Santa Cruz.”

The Street Signs Of Santa Cruz

I saw this humorously sarcastic no-parking sign in front of a condominium complex while bicycling along West Cliff Drive.  Only in Santa Cruz.

Now this particular commercial sign definitely gives a false impression, especially for Santa Cruz post legalization. But maybe they have plans to expand their business.
There are a few of these humorous appeals to dog owners to clean up after their pets posted along West Cliff Drive, the same street where I spotted the previously posted passive aggressive no parking sign. A more straight forward sign might get the job done, but the funny illustration speaks to the lighter side of dog walkers and lessens the otherwise authoritarian sounding request. Note the clothespin affixed to the fairy’s nose. No detail is too small.