Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Parking Wars: Watching other idiots get tickets is fun

Parking Wars is a docu-reality series that may be hidden in the plethora of channels available these days, but it's worth the search. Featuring the cities of Philadelphia (PPA) and Detroit, Parking Wars tells the story of the ticket givers, booters, and the PPA branch where people come to pay their tickets and get their imprisoned cars out.

In Detroit, booters Courtney and Sonjia hit the streets of Detroit in the early morning, which according to them is the prime time to boot cars. Using their high-tech laptop, which scans licenses as they pass cars, they get a hit outside a residential home. And this is where the show goes so right. Out comes conspiracy theorist and daughter-in-law of the car's owner to spout her opinion on this outrageous situation. In her words, "they [Detroit] got a lot of nerve to come over her and boot us over some bad tickets." She goes on to comment that for centuries people have been making up laws because they could, and all we can do is follow them. Wow. Of course the car's owner has to come by and throw cold water on the situation, saying," It's not worth the anger." Party pooper.

But not everyone can be so cool headed. Again in Detroit, there is a very special Parking Violation Officer who goes by the name of Ponytail. And yes it is because he has a glorious ponytail flowing behind him. His ponytail is only slightly outdone by his humbling and humorous manner of dealing with his "fame." In an earlier episode he gave a thirty dollar ticket stating because his signature is on that ticket, it would be worth thirty thousand dollars in a few years. God love him. This episode he is met with citizens who can't read signs. One unfortunate owner gets a No Standing ticket and even though there is a sign clearly in front of where she parked, she remained firm in the belief that she didn’t violate any laws. Also disgusted by the fine, she countered with "maybe I can send it to Obama and get a stimulus plan." Great. Another thing Obama has to fix.

But irate citizens are par for the course. This was the case, when Detroit Parking Officer Robert came upon a commercial trailer that was illegally parked on a residential street (which,by the way, carries a hefty $100 fine). Robert had finished with ticket, when this gem of a man came up and started an endless stream of expletives. Just like a person in a traffic jam who honks his horn to move a line of cars; this tactic didn't solve anything at all. But, Robert dealt with the owner very calmly and eventually he stomped off and promised he would call the county to dispute this unrighteous ticket.

At the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) a lesson was learned. That lesson: don't let other people drive your car. Case in point: A father drove his son's car without a license, got pulled over and subsequently the car was impounded. With a family like this who needs enemies. But the family was quite entertaining, finding humor in the situation ("don't leave you're keys on the dining room table"). At the end, the son got stuck with many charges. Tags: $85. Traffic court: $75. Parking: $5. Three unpaid parking tickets: $237. Spending five hours trying to get your car out of lock-up and realizing you know better than your father: Priceless.

So, have I enticed you into watching this series? I assure you, the confrontations only get better with each episode. Parking Wars truly makes you feel sorry for the ticket givers who are only doing their jobs. Of course, the next time I get a parking ticket, it's totally their fault!

Watch back-to-back episodes of Parking Wars Tuesdays starting at 10 pm on A&E.

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