Sometimes A Man Just Cracks

Mylo was so sure his parking fine was a mistake that he set out to make the parking cops regret it. But when Caddie Brain went to check his story for publication, some awkward details emerged

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When Mylo received a fine in the mail for parking in a No Stopping zone in Bondi Junction he knew there had to have been some kind of mistake. If he knew the area as well as he claims to, there was absolutely no way that you could actually park at the location mentioned on the infringement notice. He rang his local council (which happened to issue the 2nd-highest number of fines in New South Wales last year) and demanded some photographic evidence of his misdemeanour. In the meantime, Mylo began to wallpaper his refrigerator with enforcement notices.

Events escalated. The council sent him their photographic evidence: a blurry picture that featured his salt-rusted car parked against a curved white gutter, without showing much else about the car’s location. That’s when Mylo knew he was on to something. As far as he could remember, there was NO curved white gutter like that at the spot where the council said his car was parked. He got angry. He didn’t pay his fine. His fine increased in proportion to his anger. Still he held firm. And they cancelled his license.

At that point Mylo decided to channel this anger through words, penning one of the finest letters to the State Debt Recovery Office that we have seen. What it lacks in the logic department it makes up for in pure aggression.

He paid the fine, posted the following letter to an official at the Office, and then spoke to us about his experience:

Parking ticket evidence


Now tell me what happened.

I got a fine and I didn’t deserve it.

You say you were parked on Bondi Rd at Bondi Junction.

Yes, and there’s nowhere to park there at Bondi Junction anyway because it’s such a busy street. Two lanes both ways, always operational. And there’s No Stopping.

So why were you parked there?

I wasn’t parked there. I wasn’t even in the area on that day.

Where were you?

I don’t know. That’s the problem - I can’t prove where I was but I know I wasn’t there.

So what’s all this about a white gutter?

When I got the fine, I rang up the council a little bit filthy and I said, “Can you send me some photographic evidence because I think this is a mistake.” So they sent it through and there was a row of cars, which is impossible on Bondi Rd at Bondi Junction.

Why is it impossible?

Too much traffic. So they sent me a photo. In the photo is a white gutter, a whiter gutter than normal. So I’ve gone to have a look to where I have allegedly parked and the gutter’s not white.

So for you, the white gutter in the photo is evidence that it can’t be Bondi Rd?

Totally. And Bondi Rd at Bondi Junction’s not curved. It even looks like it is actually near my house. It would be so possible for them to get it wrong. Parking officers - as you know - are as dumb as dog shit (no offence if you know any). If you ask them, like, “Why don’t you get a real job, do something better (blah blah blah)” - they all respond – “I’ve got a job (blah blah blah), I’ve got a mortgage and a couple of kids.” My neighbour actually says that that’s exactly what the officers at concentration camps would have said as well.

So where do you think this photo actually is – outside your house?

Yeah. And they’ve accidentally or deliberately fucked it up. I definitely never got a ticket on the car. Sure - when I worked at a bottle shop, around Christmas, if a customer’s car got a ticket we’d always sneak outside and take it off. Cos they’re gunna get a reminder in the mail six weeks later anyway, so why let the parking cops ruin their Christmas? But this wasn’t like that.

Did they ever reply to your letter?

No, not directly. They sent me a letter saying that because the fine is now so overdue we can’t excuse you of anything, but you can take it up with the court. Just pay $50 and we’ll start the process. I’d had it. I wanted to rip someone’s neck out. But I thought, “Fuck, I’ll just pay the fine. Too much hassle.”

Do you think your letter to the guy at the fine office makes sense?

Oh heaps of sense… [Mylo has a rethink:] Actually, probably not. It makes sense if you’re paying attention. But you have to concentrate. It may be a bit of an eyeful. Maybe I could have done it as a timeline, or in point form.

Did this make you feel better?

Yeah, heaps better.

Is that what the letter was really about?

Probably, because I’ve forgotten about it since then. It was just fury, fury, fury.

Do you think it’s one of your finest pieces of writing?

Yeah it’s alright yeah. There’s a couple of things I probably could have worded a bit better.

How does this whole incident make you feel as a citizen?

If I could disrupt the parking officers from their work I would. If they’re playing with their stupid little devices, I’d like to just grab one or knock it on the floor. Not to physically hurt them. I mean, if I was a good spitter I’d spit on them. But that’s pretty insulting.

If you had to choose between becoming a parking cop or cleaning toilets?

Oh I’d clean dunnies. Because otherwise what good are you doing society? You’re a leech – you’re a useless human being, totally useless. Become a farmer. Do something useful.

So you’re absolutely convinced you’re right?

Yeah, yeah - look, if it was really Bondi Rd and Bondi Junction like they reckon, this would be the second lane then there would be double lines in the photo.

But hang on, look at the reflection on the top of the car here [points to bottom right corner of photo]. Tell me what you see here…

[Pauses] … David Jones.

Yeah, me too - it looks like Bondi Junction to me.

No, no no… Oh it could be. I’m going to ah… That’s a very good observation. I will have to inspect.

So you’re maybe not as convinced now?

No, no. I’m... I’m convinced… I’m convinced I may have made a mistake. No I really think, well I… No I was never at Bondi Junction. It’s totally, logically impossible.

But if you don’t know where you were, how can you absolutely sure?

Well that’s their argument. You’re as bad as them. [We sit for a moment in silence.]

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

You cunt. [Laughs.] Nah - fuck those idiots, they’re just a drain on society.

***

Given that Waverley Council issued about 108,000 tickets last year (and that this equals about one ticket every 5 minutes), while you have been reading this, someone in beautiful Waverley has just had their day spoilt.

Have you ever written a beautifully moving letter to a faceless bureaucrat? Why not send it to us at contact@ordinarymagazine.org so we can all enjoy it on our blog.