Life Review: Parking Meters

If you live a city you’re almost certainly familiar with modern humanity’s most diabolical scourge. What is this plague infecting most metropolitan areas? The black-top devil, the coin-swallower, I’m talking about the infamous parking meter.

meter monsters

They come in a number of varieties, but these demons are a plight on humankind. Notice the menacing design, intended to break the human spirit. Some of them have a single head. Others have two heads, reminding this writer of Cerberus, the Hydra, or another many-headed monster of mythological origin.

The worst part of the parking meter is there can be no defeating it. The parking meter beasts are backed up by their beastmasters, known as the tow and go galloper, aka tow trucks. The parking meter is like a silver minnow swimming on the underside of the tow truck’s belly, basking in the wake of the larger predator.

Parking meters and tow trucks are the car’s natural enemy. The food chain looks something like this. You’ve got tow trucks at the pinnacle of the triangle, followed by parking meters, bikes, and see here how the cars are relegated to the penultimate place on the bottom. The human being occupies the basement. Some people say humans are at the top of the food chain. These experts must have never encountered parking meters, or perhaps they’ve never driven in a city.

Worst of all there’s no appeasing the parking meter. If they break, you might think you’re safe. Wrong! A broken parking meter gives off the aroma of rusty coins which attracts the attention of tow trucks and traffic officers. Much like a rattlesnake’s hiss, the broken parking meter has a potent defense mechanism. You might think you don’t need to pay because it’s broken but that would be a fatal mistake. There’s no escaping the five dollar an hour charge for parking in the city. Try to skirt around that payment and you’ll find your vehicle trapped in the steel jaws of a tow truck. Think of the broken parking meter as an anglerfish’s lure. In similar fashion, the parking meter will draw unsuspecting prey close to the jaws of the tow truck. The teeth clamp shut to swallow your car whole.

Parking meters are still evolving. Now they have touch screens, accept only credit cards, and some of them even speak to you! The mimicry of human speech strikes an unnerving chord in the victim. Before we know it parking meters will eclipse humanity and possess an awful intelligence. That day will be known as the parkcopolypse and it will be a dark day for humankind.

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