Scene of the rhyme

When Denver resident Chris Baumgartner protested the $10 parking ticket he got while visiting his grandmother in Laguna Beach, Calif., his complaint prompted a little poetic justice from Laguna Police Chief Neil Purcell (with some help from secretary Jude Gardner).

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


A Poem in Disputation of Parking Citation LB003065438

What a day for a drive, a trip to the beach!
So off to Laguna we beat a retreat,
Grandma Adeline in tow (she’s 88, you see)
Sharp as a tack, but slow as can be.

Where to park, where to park? For this men have fought.
What’s this? One space? In Glenneyere lot!
Quick as you can! Not a moment to spare!
Out of the car, Granny, tell your hip I don’t care!

How many quarters to feed the machine?
Timing is everything, in these days obscene.
Five should do — no, six to be safe
Then off to lunch we made our escape.

A glance at my watch, “Back by 2:10.”
I thought as we walked, “We’ll make it by then.”
A glorious meal served up in style,
We left a good tip, a wink, and a smile.

Casual return, plenty of time
But back at the car, what’s this? What a crime!
A ticket? For us? Have you gone raving mad?!
Left at 1:37? Now this is just sad.

The outing spoiled; the day caught a blight
Fined 30 minutes too early — it’s simply not right!
But, nonetheless, ’tis the cause of this prose
Silver lining and so forth, or so I suppose.

The end is near, it’s your ball I’m afraid.
Will the fee be forgiven or must it be paid?
Will the joy of our day be fully returned?
Should Adeline rest easy, or will she be spurned?

Dear Mr. Baumgartner:

When we got your poem we couldn’t hesitate
To write you back and set you straight.
We appreciate your efforts and all your time,
But you’re blaming us for the wrong “crime.”

 Our parking program may have its flaws But we've never been known to bend the laws. There was time on the meter, to that we agree. Look closely at the ticket and you will see... 

Your time was fine! You were not late.
The problem was with your license plate.
The citation was valid, so do not bicker…
The plate on your car had NO MONTH STICKER!

 Regardless of that and 'cause we like to be fair The citation was voided, so have not a care. Just remember Laguna is about the best. Now let Adeline know so she can get some rest! 
 Neil J. Purcell Chief of Police 

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate