If you’re looking for the most worthless, low-down, extortive, naked cash grab in the city of Denver, you’ll need to drive way the fuck east where it seems like you shouldn’t be in the city anymore.
And here you thought the answer was downtown in those poor sad sack motherfuckers who check parking meters for a living and write tickets to people who are up to ten minutes tardy in returning from conducting actual business in the city! How silly of you.
No, just head to the airport. Drive toward the parking garage. Dare to exceed the insanely slow 35 mph speed limit (then 25) as you naturally decelerate toward the gate anyway. And you’ll meet him.
And who is he? He’s the lowest of the low. The last guy on the bench. The end of the pecking order. The worst bottom feeding job in the entire police hierarchy. He’s a collection agent for the government. He’s the impromptu tollbooth you never knew you had to pay. He is the embodiment of taxation without representation. He clearly cannot be trusted with actual police work.
He is the mouth-breathing halfwit who minds the speed trap that doesn’t actually prevent accidents or save lives, stationed outside the west parking garage at Denver International Airport.
I likely don’t need to tell you I was issued a ticket here. That’s obvious.
What isn’t obvious to me is how the city justifies this speed trap with any reason besides pure, unadulterated cash grab. Have there been a slew of accidents outside the ticket gate where people naturally slow down? Has some crazy redneck plowed through the little ticket dispensing islands in his pick-em-up truck because he failed to notice you’re required to stop? Has some poor, harried traveler gotten tangled in the throes of belting out the chorus to “Jailbreak” by Thin Lizzy and obliterated a wayward pedestrian who’s walking where no one should walk ¼ mile from the terminal?
The answers, in order, are no, no, and no. And you know why? Because you’re already slowing down, there is no cross traffic, and THERE ARE NO FUCKING PEDESTRIANS. This has got to be in the top 1% of the safest roads in America, and dipshit sits there monitoring it like he’s doing anything more than picking your pocket.
In a purely abstract way, my hat is off to the city for thinking to station their 1,800th best cop there. I suppose it’s either collecting money from travelers or putting handcuffs on teddy bears and showing daddy what a good little policeman he’s been. Because it’s diabolically brilliant.
As summed up by my old boss, they’re pulling you over because: 1) You’re going to the airport, so they know you’re late; and 2) You’re parking in the crazy expensive garage, so they know you’ve got money. They get to shake down no worse than upper-middle class people (mostly business travelers – normal people can’t afford parking in that fucking garage), and since getting on an airplane pretty much takes precedence over anything you’re going to do that day, no one can even put up a fuss when he hands you a ticket for over $100.
It won’t be until you’ve collected your shit, pointed yourself in the right direction, found the correct entry point, stood in line, taken your shoes, belt and jacket off, had some fat load in an ugly blue shirt tell you make a big cheerleading style “A” in a phone booth, put your shoes, belt and jacket back on, marched your happy ass down an interminable concourse, stood in line, marched down a smaller hallway, stood in line, determined who’s winning the armrest war between you and this stranger you suddenly dislike for no adequately explored reason, bathed in that resultant failure, opened the Sky Mall because you don’t have shit else to do now that your electronics are powered down, and you’re deciding whether to order a Ginger Ale or watch this crappy episode of “Up All Night” that you finally realize…
That fuckin’ motherfucker. Whose life is he saving? $100? Are you fucking kidding me? Fuck that.
And then you know you’ll never be able to tell that son of a bitch off to his face (nor would you, even if you could because you’re a giant pussy), you’re going to pay this three weeks later while gritting your teeth, you’re a bitch to a system that has nothing but contempt for you, and you realize they got you and they always will.