It's a Snowday...
...when nature's unpredictable nature stimulates the wackiness centers of bureaucratic brains. Allow me to provide a little context...
Our house does not have a driveway, so we park on the street.
A couple of years ago, the management of our city’s public works department decided that—during snow emergencies—alternate side-of-the-street rules would go into effect if snowfall reached three inches by midnight. On odd days of the month, cars have to be parked on the odd-numbered side of the street, then moved to the even side at seven the next morning. The reverse situation would take effect on even days of the month.
Or rather it would be simple if there were enough parking spaces even during non-snow-emergency days. The early-morning scramble for available spaces is now a game of automotive musical chairs.
To make things more interesting—this year—new signs appeared on our street. They proclaimed that is now a snow-emergency route. That means no cars may be parked there during snow storms. On either side of the street. Also, the city began declaring snow emergencies before the first snowflake hits the pavement. That causes the game of automotive musical chairs to begin earlier, and in more earnestness (since there are even fewer spots now), at even the rumor of a snowstorm.
I can live with that. I’m even happy to be a good citizen and comply with all of their new ordinances. (Read: I’d rather not have my car towed and receive a ticket to the tune of a hundred bucks).
Today’s snowfall was substantial enough to cause the county (of which the city is merely a part) to declare a state of emergency. That meant that only emergency vehicles were allowed on the roads. No personal traffic. You see where this is going, don’t you?
The very hours when car owners are required to move their vehicles—to new locations that may, or may not, have any available spots to park—they are not permitted to be on the road.
You might think that this situation would make me angry, but you would be mistaken. On the contrary: it tickles me, no end, to know that the spirits of Franz Kafka* and Joseph Heller are reanimated every time a bureaucrat thinks a snowflake is about to fall on our fair city.
*By the way, I’ve heard that Kafka—when he read his depressingly grim stories aloud—laughed uncontrollably.
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