When you make an effort to drive your car according to the road rules and always park legally you get a certain feeling of smugness as others around you complain of parking fines and how many points they have left before they lose their driving license.
I expect this goes for people who always pay their fare on public transport who never have a problem, whereby others who don't pay will complain of Gestapo like tactics of ticket inspectors. R travels on public transport often enough and never has a problem and he refuses to validate his ticket once it has been done the first time. The only problem he has ever had is the great bus ticket scamming by drivers a few years ago. Things got nasty when the driver said he had run out of tickets and suggested $1 would be ok to cover R's short trip fare, no ticket issued.
But smug as I am about never receiving a ticket for breaking a road law and not receiving a parking fine since 1980, City of Stonnington decided to issue us one when we were parked in the Coles/Safeway carpark in Prahran. This is where we or sometimes R alone always shop earlyish on a Saturday morning. There is usually too much to carry to walk or use public transport, so take the car and pay for parking.
We did have words in the car about some matter on the way to shopping and so the situation was not quite normal when we parked. R bought a ticket from the machine and slapped it on the dash. I noted something wasn't quite right about how the ticket sat, but did not really absorb what I saw. Not a good time to be critical of how he placed the ticket on the dashboard.
We returned to the car shortly after with flowers from the market and I became vaguely aware that R moved the ticket. I truly did not take much notice.
We went off again for more shopping and returned, loaded the car and jumped in and there in front of us under the windscreen wiper was a parking ticket with a person who had bad English skills pointing it out to us. 'You have ticket. Bad. You have correct ticket, so no ticket. Man over there.'
Man over there was the worst thing he said. R charged off to challenge man over there, the parking officer. I could not follow as R had the keys and the car was unlocked.
The parking officer said the ticket was hard to see and he pressed his buttons on his ticket issuing machine, and then noticed we had a correct ticket.
They weren't far enough away that I could not see the facial expressions. I am quite familiar with most of the Stonnington parking chaps and chappesses. One of them is gay and I know him, another I used to work with, another is black and wears a big gold earings and I saw another sitting in the shade one day and he threw his cigarette butt on the ground. That is one of the few things that you can dob someone in for in Victoria, along with a smoking exhaust pipe and it is up to them to prove otherwise. But I did not know this parking officer. His expression was ugly and so was R's. Oh god, R is going to biff him. I will have to bail him out of the Prahran Police Station.
It did not come to that and R stormed off as the parking officer started to explain the procedure to have the ticket recinded.
As soon as we were home, I logged on to Stonnington's website and objected to the fine. R wanted me to put in some information about the arrogant, nasty and offensive prick of a parking officer, but I convinced him that there was no point. The point was to have the fine recinded.
And, after having sent a copy of our ticket from the machine by snail mail, it has been recinded, with a stern warning, an Official Warning no less, that we must always show the ticket properly.
I am not sure if the ticket was correctly displayed, but it was certainly sitting on the dashboard face up. A careful look would have seen it, so I am not sure that I am particularly happy at having City of Stonnington wagging its finger at us and I may well protest further.