“My personal preference would have been for a campaign of violent retribution, loosely modelled on the plot of the motion picture Rambo: First Blood
I have a beef with Dublin Street Parking Services. Actually, I have several beefs. For starters, what array of “services” do these assholes actually provide? I mean, have you ever tried flagging them down, explaining that parallel parking isn’t exactly your forte and asking them to do the honours?
No, DSPS are clampers. That’s the only “service” they provide. Now I have a healthy disrespect for the law. But I’m not an anarchist. I’m willing to concede – through gritted teeth – that clampers may perform a necessary function in our city. It’s not one I would be too comfortable performing myself. But we each have to earn a crust, I suppose.
For many years, relations between us were cordial enough. They were a bit like the teacher who tried to catch my friends and I smoking behind the school gymnasium. Sometimes they got us. More often we got away with it. But there was, I always thought, a grudging respect there.
Then one morning last year, all that changed. I was a guest on Tom Dunne’s show on Newstalk and had parked in a loading bay on South William Street. My car is a commercial vehicle, so I was entitled to be there. But I’d gone over the allotted half hour by a couple of minutes. I wasn’t too worried. There were other spaces free and, besides, this was South William Street. The only people possibly inconvenienced were hipsters waiting on the latest consignment of skinny jeans. I could live with that on my conscience.
As I rummaged for a tape in the glove compartment, I heard a clanging noise. The bastards were immobilising my vehicle while I was actually in it. I remonstrated and they backed off. “We know that car,” said the senior guy. He had a sly smirk on his face. “We’ve gotten you a few times now, haven’t we?” I conceded that, yes, they had gotten me a few times now. It would be nice to stand around and reminisce, but I had other places to be.
Okay, my language may have been a little saltier. But they’d heard worse, I’m sure. I was having a bad day. They could have cut me a little slack. Well, I’d reckoned without the vindictiveness of little men. Over the next few months I was subject to some of the most rigorous law enforcement this city has ever seen. Their favourite to get me was outside my sister’s apartment. She was on maternity leave and I’d often drop her over a sandwich at lunchtime.
They clocked me at 31, 33 and 31 minutes in the loading bay outside. Other vehicles on that street were always left unmolested – even cars parked days on end on double yellow lines. I took photos and made filed official complaints. But they weren’t interested. This week I finally decided it was time to take matters into my own hands.
Now my original preference would have been for a campaign of violent retribution, loosely modelled on the plot of the motion picture Rambo: First Blood. However, due to work commitments and difficulties I experienced procuring stockpiles of RPGs, I was forced into a more drastic course of action. I sold my car. You win this round, clampers. You win this round…