Read a newspaper ad that comedian Eugene Mirman made to contest a parking ticket
Standup comedian Eugene Mirman - the voice of Gene on the animated comedy series Bob's Burgers, bought a full-page ad in a New Hampshire newspaper to contest a parking ticket he got in the city of Portsmouth. Mirman had gotten a $15 ticket because he was "parked in the wrong direction" while he walked around town with his girlfriend.
The ad reads:
Dear Portsmouth, NH, and Especially the Parking Clerk’s Office,
Last June I had a wonderful day walking around your historic downtown with my girlfriend. I bought two puppets, who turned out to be gay. Just kidding, they’re puppets. We stopped in cute shops, ate a popover and saw Black David Cross. It was nice.
Then — when we returned to our car, on the windshield was a ticket. “What could this possibly be for,” I thought. I paid for three hours of parking (but only used two — you’re welcome, Portsmouth.) Is it a crime in Portsmouth to not use all of the parking you bought? How'd you know I’d be back early? Do you have a PreCrime division? Why are your PreCogs working on traffic tickets? Shouldn’t they be out preventing Street Performers before they happen? But no, I read the violation—we backed into a spot and were being fined $15 for being “parked in the wrong direction.”
What kind of horse$&it charge is that? It’s illegal to back into a spot? Before I embarrass myself, I want to make sure that Portsmouth is still inside the United States and not considered a part of Iran?
You’re probably thinking, “Well, if before visiting Portsmouth, like everyone else — you’d simply gone to the City Clerk’s Office website, clicked on City of Portsmouth ordinances and looked in chapter seven — Vehicles, Traffic and Parking. Right there in section 7.316: BACK TO CURB, it says, “No vehicle shall remain backed up to the curb.” Similarly, if you had gone to my website before I came to your city and clicked on Eugene’s ordinances, you’d know that in Chapter One under “F%#K You Don’t Steal My Money,” in section 8.215 is says, “F%#K You Don’t Steal My Money.”
But even if I had gone to your website — is states that the online ordinances are not an official copy — that for the official ordinances, I have to call 610-7245. Why no area code? Am I calling from a local payphone in 1986? But instead, I foolishly looked around for signs, both real and from God. I saw nothing, but I heard God’s voice, and he said, “This is f%#cking bull$&it. You need to write them a letter.”
Lastly, as you know, New Hampshire‘s state motto is General John Stark’s celebrated quote, “Live Free or Die,” which he famously said before attempting the first recorded self-BJ. If John Stark was alive today, he would be 287 years old — also, right after learning about cars, General Stark would then be disgusted to discover that Portsmouth doesn’t even give people the freedom to back into a spot — which by your own state’s twisted logic, turns my $15 ticket — into a fight to the death.
With Great Disappointment In You,
Mirman has a history of ranting in local newspapers. In 2011, he bought a full-page ad for $1,100 to call Time Warner Cable "an ill-run Soviet factory."
Cover image: Wikimedia