I forgot to mention when last I wrote the small subject of a parking ticket we received in California. So peeved was I in paying the fine, I enclosed the following letter to the City of Palm Springs. Just thought you might enjoy it, and if I can ever write a sarcastic pointed letter to someone with whom you are peeved, feel free to drop me a line.

“Dear Sir,

With regard to the above citation, please find enclosed our check for $41.00 to cover the fine.

I was sorely tempted to challenge this ticket, but decided the COST to both of us would have been unwarranted both in time and finances.

However, being a great lover of the English language, logic and justice, I would like to illustrate a few salient points in the hope that some other wayfaring stranger visiting your fair city does not likewise fall victim to inconsistencies.

From the enclosed pictures you can see:

1. Our rental car,

2. The parking sign, behind which we indeed parked. Please note that “behind” is the apropos word here. The sign very clearly states that we could park there for 2 hours between noon and 8 p.m., any day of the week. It also very clearly states that one would risk being towed if one dared to park there on Thursdays between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.

It being 6 p.m. on a Saturday, we decided that the sign clearly gave us its blessing;

3. The “Red Stripe”

It wasn’t until we returned to the car to find the ominously fluttering white piece of paper beneath our windshield wipers that we knew something was up.

We retrieved the ticket, looked at the sign, looked at our car, looked at the ticket again, and looked at the sign again no doubt appearing as rather moronic tourists.

It was only then that I espied a faded pinkish stripe along the curb next to our car. The penny, albeit belatedly, dropped.

I commented to my husband: “Darling it would appear that one is supposed in the gloaming twilight, with 73 cars up one’s bottom, to actually see that there is a vague change in color scheme to the curbing, and thus come to the conclusion that this pink tinge negates the veracity of the sign upon which we had hung all our hopes.”

Suffice it to say, my husband evicted a forceful “hrumph” from his pursed lips in response.

Might I respectfully suggest, dear City of Palm Springs, that you move the lying, no good, rotten, blatantly inaccurate sign back beyond the other end of the pinkish stripe, and have the people who are no doubt sentenced to community service in the area run around the city and repaint the curbs in question with a fluorescent pulsating glitter encrusted clear red so that there can be absolutely no ambiguity regarding your intentions.

A nice added touch, I feel, would be the addition of selected lettering, such as “don’t even think of parking here, ever, ever, ever, despite what other signs might be in the area” – this would save the unwitting potential wrong-doers from a financial drain, and unmitigated shame in the future.

In the meantime, I remain, respectfully yours,

Annie Dear

p.s. I deliberately wrote the check in red ink, to illustrate my point.”

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at anniedearkc@hotmail.com.