By Conway Lynch
After the debacle of buying and attaching a parking pass, I thought I would be done with the parking-prompted drama. However, I was sorely mistaken.
This new encounter began with my car being taken to the shop. Apparently the transmission was nearing the point of spontaneous explosion. Who knew?
Graciously, my dad allowed me to drive his car to class, but there was one problem. No parking pass. Public Safety Associate Director Anne Reels’ voice echoed in my head, “We changed to a material that would not allow for the unauthorized transfer of the permit”.
It was time to improvise. Armed with a picture of my permit and Microsoft Word, I created a temporary pass of my own.
Now, this wasn’t some brutish counterfeit, I knew the parking police wouldn’t be fooled so easily. No, my new paper decal was completely self-aware and paired with the caption, “PLEASE DO NOT TICKET THIS VEHICLE. MY CAR IS IN THE SHOP. I OWN A PARKING PASS. PLEASE.”
I pulled into KU’s parking lot at 9:30 a.m.; two police officers were idling next to each other blocking the route to my systematically chosen hidden spot.
Accepting my exposure as a parking permit counterfeiter, I pulled up in front of the police and got out of the car. The two looked at me as if I was some deranged sleepless sophomore, surely ready for any reaction.
“Hi guys, do you know if this thing,” I pointed to the now half-taped-on paper clinging to my windshield, “will prevent any unwanted tickets?”
I shuffled between the two police SUVs. My robust physique made this more of a squeeze. I got up to the rear door when the officer said, “That’s close enough pal.” It was as if he could smell the failure on me and didn’t want any rubbing off on him.
I asked him what I should do about parking as I took a step back. He said, “You have to go to public safety and get a real temporary pass. Just tell them you’re running late for class and that you need it ASAP.” He seemed to assume that I was the type to be late to class. “Well, my class is at 10am, so I should be alright.” I retorted.
I drove up to Old Main and pulled into the 30-minute parking space. The sunroof, which I am utterly unfamiliar with, refused to close. Of course, it started to rain, but I couldn’t park under the overpass area, as it was completely filled with police vehicles and their grimacing drivers.
I couldn’t close the roof, and the painful stares of disapproval became overwhelming. I moved everything important to the backseat, which my dad had left covered with at least 25 cans of Folgers Columbian Coffee. I had no time to make sense of the stockpile.
With my license and registration in hand, I barreled into Public Safety. The man started to ask if I needed help, but I knew my way around the place at this point and was already halfway to the decal desk.
“Here’s my license and this thing,” I said handing the necessary identification to the secretary, “I’d like a temporary pass please.”
“This registration is expired.” The secretary said, “I’m sorry, but I can’t give you the tag without a valid registration.”
I was baffled. Only hours before, my dad assured me that the registration was “good to go,” but there I stood, much less than good to go.
Once again, I’d been reduced to waste by a parking pass. Crushed, I sat down in the front seat puddle, turned the ignition, and descended into the slum parking of Main Street.