2008-02-08

The idiot meter

So, the first thing I saw when I finally limped into town this morning -- boy, are my dogs achin' -- was newspaper boxes filled with headlines about parking meters for cripes sake. I go for a quick vacation (my story, and I'm sticking to it...) and La-la-larryland goes (further) to hell.

I recall hearing (As I was being ushered unceremoniously to the Greyhound depot to ride steerage to Sudbury - it's a sore point...) that council wanted to jack up parking meter rates and the total number of hours during which parkers must pay, and the total number of meters. Dog help us, council has realized that the city now needs money after enacting that dumbass budget, back in the halcyon "zero means five per cent" days. And we'll really be scraping for pocket change if Seimens wins that gigabillion dollar light rail transit suit that certain mayors and city councillors so blithely laughed off, just short months ago.

Never mind that the meters were supposed to be a revenue-neutral way to ensure traffic flow in a congested city centre. Never mind that it's just another tax, no matter how disingenuously you try to relabel it. Never mind that you'd basically promised all those neighbourhoods where you're now hellbent on planting meters that you would do no such thing. Never mind that the cost of installing said new meters mostly negates your already-dubious profits. Never mind that Mayor Larry admits (yet again) that the move might've been a little hasty and ill-thought-out. And never mind that faced with huge protests, the parking committee revisits the idea and, after a token concession on Sunday parking hours, jacks the meter rates even more. We're being fiscally conservative, dammit!

Apparently, "fiscal conservative" in this context is synonymous with "idiot".

But hey! Hizzoner says "kindness meters" solve the homeless problem, so I figure my patented Idiot Meter™ will solve this council's hash. See, the meter starts out fresh right after each municipal election, showing all the goodwill that city politicians have garnered. Every time you make another bonehead move, the total drops. When the little numbers on the digital readout say zero, it's time to vacate that convenient city hall office space where you parked your butt. Or you will be ticketed and fined heavily.

So I'm looking at the meter up there, and it's a bit blurry, but I think you have a little... oh, wait! It's all zeros! Time's up! Get the hell outta here!

3 comments:

Andrea SK said...

Beautifully put.

zoom said...

Coyote, YOU should run for mayor!

coyote said...

Thank you for your confidence, ma'am. But I'm a chocoholic coyote. It's a fairly small constituency ...