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The evil genius of Parking Services


Please Sirs, do not think me mad for the claims and theories I propose to you in this letter. I hope others will respond with similar tales so that I am not totally alone in these events, and both help prove myself sane and provide comfort.

You see, on at least two occasions I have been the unwilling recipient of — how else can I explain? — parking tickets from the future!

I arrive to feed the meter at noon before it expires soon after, and there is already a ticket for 12:04 left neatly under my wiper blade. The Noon bells chime all around me.

How can this be, I ask? There is no metermaid in sight along the long street, but I assure you, it was 12 o’clock, not 12:04. My meter had also suffered premature expiration — 4 or 5 minutes early. Reset? Inaccurate? Posessed?!

Once I even set my alarm so that I may pay a meter a full half-hour before the meters are read. I stumbled out into the rising sun only to discover I have already been ticketed for a time after 8 a.m.! Over a half hour into the future! Both my clock and the televison verify it 7:40.

I have to wait until 8 a.m. before the phone at Parking Services is even answered. “You must be mistaken,” they say. “Was your meter expired or not?”

Yes in both cases: one still before the time issued, and one before meters are patrolled! They can offer no explanation or exclusion, and so I resign to pay my fines with a disturbed pen.

Which leads me to wonder about just how much we know of our metermaids. Do the poor souls exist in a dimension of time just ahead of Greenwich, Eastern Standard Time, the many area clock towers or even the atomic clock itself?! Do the electric cars they drive come equipped with a flux-capacitor for time travel?

Are these officers not unlike those in Minority Report, and have the intuition to KNOW when a person will not be able to reach their meter in time, and then pre-ticket them them for parking crimes they are only ‘felt’ to have eventually commited?

Are the meters themselves protected in a bubble of space-time, clicking away just seconds faster than our own? No doubt seconds soon add into minutes!

I have heard some say that if you rest your hand on a meter long enough, you will notice it age and wither faster than the rest of your person. Until my own events I would have passed this off as paranoid nonsense; now I am afraid to stand too close to them, and I would advise your readers with heart conditions to take caution as well, as the bubble may sit at chest level.

More proof lies in the heavy yellow or orange plastic bags often found protecting ‘out-of-order’ or ‘reserved’ meters. Surely the hallmark of some sort of HAZ-MAT team until they can service or replace the exotic isotope inside!

Other times coinage works just every three coins or so — the fourth one giving no credit and making no sound, perhaps disappearing into the void or the future as well?

They assure me that the fines and surplus of coins go to help the downtown roads and parking, but all I have seen are newer vehicles, meters, and equipment for ticketing us further. I could almost rest easier if they would simply admit that the funds went into the years of repair to their mothership/parking garage/time machine that lies underneath city market — that will one day rise triumphantly and bring them all back home to their parallel universe existing just 4 minutes from now.

If anyone else has explanations or theories to share, I would surely like to hear them.

Travis Pitts

My kingdom for a clear crosswalk


I could have put this a variety of ways in the last couple of weeks when these thoughts and frustrations were spinning their tale around in my head. Here is how it finally comes out when I put it on paper.

Thank you for publishing, and your sincere effort to make this a rockin’ community.

I’m writing to let you know that this has gotten on my last nerve. For all you drivers out there: That’s MY crosswalk and YOU’RE ON IT!! Please STOP BEHIND the line that’s painted Big, Fat and Wide before the crosswalk for you to see, and stop at as a vehicle. It’s Important.

I’ve been in the predicament where I’ve had to decide whether or not to kick the car in front of me that’s blocking my crosswalk, simply for the fact that you completely disregarded my need for safety! That crosswalk is my walking path to get ‘safely to the other side’ without being an obstruction to the flow of oncoming traffic. Please stop obstructing my path.

Path Obstruction goes both ways. As pedestrians, we are provided crosswalks AND signals. I’ve seen far too many a pedestrian - particularly on Broughton Street — cross AGAINST their signal when there IS a car or two ready in plain view!!

As a pedestrian, please cross when your signal tells you to safely do so. Obviously we must use our better judgement when the signal refuses to work according to the green light to which it coincides.

An anonymous pedestrian

Movie blues


I’m really surprised that you guys missed even a brief mention of the well crafted movie, Cadillac Records, a definitive study of the birth of Chicago Blues and the roots of early Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The Savannah movie establishment also basically ignored it by placing it in only one theater, The Regal Savannah 10, way out in “north Jacksonville.”

I hope it’s not too late to review (and if you agree that it’s really a great little movie) and encourage more local theaters to carry it and more folks to see it.

With Bonnie Raitt on the way to town, she would also tell you, just like the movie, that we owe it all to folks like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Etta James and others (yes, Leonard Chess too) featured in this unique flick.

Love your paper, please keep it up.

Chuck Powell

Editor's Note: Unfortunately, Chuck, some films are not as available to critics for screening as others. Cadillac Records appears to be one of them.