This item originally appeared in the Fall-2004 Bulldog Survival Guide issue of The Tech Talk.
Freshmen, beware. They are out there. You may not see them, but they are out there. They lurk about in the shadows just waiting for the right moment to strike. And when they do, you have no choice but to pay the price. Who are these people you should fear? Burglars? Robbers? Nope, no one like that. I am talking about ticket writers.
I am not saying they are bad people because they are just doing their job, but they are good at their jobs. Ticket writers are like ninjas. You never see them, but somehow tickets still manage to get on car windshields. It is like they watch from a hidden place just waiting for someone to make the wrong parking move. And when they see you making this move, they make theirs.
Don't think you will get away with parking in a red zone and turning your hazards on, even if you just are running in somewhere for a minute. Your hazards are like a Batman signal for ticket writers. They see it and they appear out of nowhere. I parked outside of Pearce Residence Hall in the red zone for just a minute to run to my room to grab something. I looked around to make sure there were no ticket writers around, and I dashed inside. I came back and there on my windshield it was, a ticket. I never saw the ticket person.
There have also been many times I have got into my car and started down the road just chilling to my radio. Then suddenly I hear the noise of flap flap, flap. I turn my radio down and listen harder and suddenly realize where it is coming from. I somehow managed to overlook the ticket stuck underneath my windshield wiper.
So I do what most any student would do. I turn my windshield wipers on in hopes it will just "accidentally" fly off. But if you have had this experience you know like I do, tickets do not just fly off. It is like they are destined to stay on your windshield. When I finally give up on just letting the wipers do the job, I roll down my window and reach for the ticket when the wipers go up, but have never succeeded at grabbing the ticket. So, many times, I have had the joy of a ticket on my windshield flapping in the wind my whole ride home.
You may be wondering what makes someone such an expert on tickets. Well, I may not be an expert per say, but I have had lots of experience with tickets. Last year alone I paid over $500 of tickets alone. The reason: my car with a decal decided to quit on me, so I was stuck driving my dad's truck, which doesn't have a decal. I never thought they would be able to pin the tickets on me since I had a different address. Was I wrong.
This year I had the pleasure of being charged $400 in tickets. The reason this time: Same car decided to quit on me again, but this time I drove my boyfriend's car. This time I was sure they could never pin the tickets on me since we have different addresses and last names. Again, I was wrong. Luckily, this time I was able to talk my way out of it.
So don't think ticket writers will not be able to catch you. They are like CSI detectives. They will find out who the tickets should be charged to. Proof for this is I have a good friend, who happens to be an ex-ticket writer. He informed me last year the ticket office made over half a million dollars from writing tickets.
So when you go to park in an illegal spot, even for just a minute, and think you are going to get away with it, THINK AGAIN!
Stefanie Hill is a senior journalism major from Keatchie and serves as a news editor for The Tech Talk. E-mail comments to email@example.com.