Honesty is not always the best policy

Here in the great but bankrupt state of Illinois, in the heart of its greatest (and even more bankrupt) city of Chicago-writing parking tickets has become one way to generate revenue. Forget the days of run of the mill parking and speeding tickets, We are now under constant camera surveillance and at the mercy of independent contractors who-let’s think about this-get paid for writing tickets; which may make them slightly inclined to stretch the rues just a little…?

We have this odd practice in Illinois of paying the tax on our car registration and getting a small. less than one inch square sticker to stick on the corner of the license plate…in a city that is 30 below zero in the winter and around a 100 F in the summer. I would love to see these guys test the adhesive they use.


The night before I left for Turkey about a month ago I came out from shopping and found a ticket on my car. Surprised because knew I paid the meter I was shocked to read-“exp registration” Whaaa? I go to the back of the car and see that in fact my stupid little sticker is missing.

The next day I call the DMV and confirm that I did indeed pay my registration, I tell the lady that it must have “fallen off”. During the course of the conversation she drops a few insightful tidbits…that it was “probably stolen” and when I asked if the ticketer can check for valid registration she said “they can, but they don’t”.

Not wanting to drag this post out in minute detail, i will just say that in the interim 5 weeks I have gotten about 5 more tickets.

So let’s review this-someone steals my sticker, the private ticket employee does not do their job and check my registration and leave me a polite reminder that my sticker may have fallen off and because i am one of the dwindling number of gainfully employed citizens in this city therefore unable to spend 3 tortuous hours at the DMV – I have racked up $300 in tickets?!!!

Let’s just say I was beyond words last night with the latest ticket. Absolutely head banging, sick to my stomach, crazy…wondering what my options are-go into work late, take an afternoon off, spend half of Saturday, risk waiting for my renewal notice and hope the ticketer goes on vacation?

I guess I should add here that all the tickets have been given on the exact block where I live-nowhere else-which contributed to my sense of persecution. I parked in a new spot last night for karma and decided at least I would drive to work and park my car safely in the garage.

As i was trudging along dejectedly to my car this morning, intensely inspecting everyone else’s sticker-the date, expired or close to expiring, how securely they were affixed, I happened on one with the same expiration date as mine (12/15) and looking precariously loose.

I am somewhat, but not very ashamed to say I snatched that sticker and immediately felt relief. I superglued that dirty. curled up on the edge sticker to my plate after work


and will sleep better tonight.

2 thoughts on “Honesty is not always the best policy

  1. I was putting my sticker on my car (when i used to have one) and some guy yelled at ,me from his balcony because he thought i was ‘stealing it”.. I never knew poeple actually “did this” until then… then I learned somewhere that what you do is when you place your sticker..slash an xacto knife through it so no one can steal it..It looks fine on sight but no one can take it off and use it successfully.. I can’t believe you did steal that sticker and I can’t believe you admit it and I was just wondering….did you pay the tickets yet?

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