The Observer, May 15 

The LRPD is on top of things at the LR National Airport. Try to drop someone off without plugging a parking meter and they'll be on you like white on rice.

The Observer received an e-mail about the vigilance the officers are keeping at the meters. Our friend tells us he was dropping off his mother at the airport the other day, and since the loading zone was full, he swung into one of the diagonal parking spaces. He was hugging his mother good-bye when a voice “barked” at him: “You need to take care of that meter!”

“I looked across on the median,” our friend writes, “and there stood a police officer jabbing his finger toward the blinking meter in front of my car. Puzzled, I turned to my mother and said, ‘Gee, Ma I guess I'd better get going. Have a safe flight.'

“I jumped back in my car thinking I'd quickly free up the space and (insert drum roll here) the officer rushed over ordering me to stop and wait while he ticketed me for my transgression. ‘I told you to take care of that meter!' he shouted. As he went behind the car, I muttered under my breath, ‘Happy to support the city ...' and waited.

“A moment later another officer came over to me and admonished, ‘That quarter just cost you a bunch more!'  The barky one came back and handed me the ticket. I said, ‘Have a great day,' and drove off.

“Sure, I suppose technically I was breaking the rules. And technically speaking, the officer was a jerk. I don't mind paying the fine, but it really irks me to know that my $15 is paying that guy's salary for a half-hour or so to terrorize people when he could be out protecting and serving. Never mind what he and his unnamed cohort are doing for public relations at our humble little airport and their employer (that's you and me). I suggest to whoever presides over such matters that they take out the meters by the north entrance and make it a ‘kiss-and-go' zone and be done with it. It might soothe some frayed nerves, including those of the officer.”

Sounds like the boys in blue were having a bad day. Or maybe it really does take two uniformed officers to issue a $15 ticket.


Sometimes, it's the person looking for a parking place who's intemperate.

The Observer, walking through the Main Library parking lot last Thursday, noticed a young woman standing silently on the sidewalk in front of the entrance. She seemed worried and uncertain and a little meek. At the precise moment we offered a smile and “hello,” a red, two-door Chevy Beretta with peeling tinted windows roared to a stop, and the male driver, donning a grease-stained red ball cap, bellowed through a half-cooked Marlboro, “Fuck this shit! I can't find a goddamn parking spot anywhere! Fuck this, we're leaving.” 

Ever so calmly, the disheartened patron, with zero books in tow, strolled around to the idling vehicle, slowly opened the passenger door, and climbed in as the car scattered construction gravel in all directions before she could close her door. Chalk it up to either the parking famine throughout the River Market's construction zones, an ill-tempered non-book lover, or both. Regardless, The Observer sincerely hopes the demoralized patron returns sooner than later to pursue her literary endeavors.


The Observer was staring up

at the trees at the corner of Second and Cumberland one morning last week when a parade of men coming from the direction of the River Market passed us by in twos and threes.

One man, without breaking his stride or even looking our way, said, “Birdy, birdy.” Another pretended not to see us.

But a third man, who was in a good mood despite, we're guessing, his rude awakening by the storm that had passed through an hour earlier, smiled big and said, “You might see Jesus up there!”

A warbler and a vireo had to do. Blessings nonetheless.



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