2008-07-25 / Editorial/Opinion

It's My Turn

This was found anonymously posted on a pole on Beach 129 Street:

Dear New York City Traffic Enforcement Agent,

Yesterday, you gave me a ticket. I really enjoy giving the city all that money. You have my 115 dollars. But I still have hope. Here's all of it.

I hope you get demoted to a scooter.

I hope your glasses fall off while you're writing your next ticket and you step on them. And break them.

I hope they assign you to the Bronx.

I hope gas goes so high that no one can afford to have cars any longer and then no one needs to double park or anything like that anymore and so your job is obsolete. And the city fires you.

I hope they make the ticket agents wear jet black uniforms in the hot summer sun next season.

I hope it's over a hundred degrees every day next year, starting the day you're wearing your new black uniform.

I hope they only issue long pants. And long sleeves.

I hope we all move away from here because we are all being bankrupted by the city's regulations and then the city's tax base shrinks, so much that they declare bankruptcy themselves. And then they default on your pension. Sorry firemen and coppers, I meant except for you guys.

You know what? You probably live in the Bronx, so I hope they assign you as far away from where you live as humanly possible. You know what?

I hope they assign you to Staten Island.

I hope that you have to pay 10 bucks on the Verrazano each day to get to work.

I hope the city raises the toll on the Verrazano, the day after you start your new assignment.

I hope that 115 dollars prevents me from being able to send my kid to school the day your kid and my kid were supposed to have met and become best friends, and so your kid doesn't have a best friend because of that.

I hope you spill coffee all over yourself. At the beginning of your shift.

I hope shortly after you expire a dog comes by and lifts his leg over you.

I hope you are writing tickets down by Beach 105 Street underneath the crumbling "El" and as you are, you hear a small piece of it break off and you look up and as you do, the piece knocks out your front tooth.

I hope you are writing tickets down on Beach 97 Street by the old Sludgies pizza shop and the Sean Puffy Combs sign that's now there falls down and the wind from that sign falling knocks off your traffic agent hat and when it does you bend down to pick it up and that stupid ticket machine falls out of your pocket and breaks, and you have to pay for it.

I hope your car breaks down tonight on your way home from work and no one is able to pick you up.

I hope a bus goes by and doesn't stop for you.

I hope as a result of breaking down, you completely miss work the next day and you get fired.

I hope you break down, your emergency brake sticks and you can't push your car into a legal parking spot and have to double park, and then you get a 115 dollar ticket.

I hope this makes me feel good. It does. I hope this makes me feel so good I keep writing them, a whole book worth, it catches on, so much so that David Letterman picks it up and puts it on his show and it becomes a bestseller and I become wealthy and you become poor and destitute.

I hope John Baxter leads a secession of Rockaway from the city and as a result you get reassigned somewhere else because we wouldn't be a part of the city anymore.

I hope you are giving out tickets on Beach 116 Street and John Baxter's dilapidated hotel falls over onto your car while you're standing nearby.

I hope the incident scars you so badly you decide to give up that ticket agent job and become a monk and you no longer give out tickets, you move to Tibet.

I hope you own a yak and live in a thatched hut and the yak poops in the hut one day.

I hope you step in that poop. With no shoes on.

I hope that it's such a sticky doogan, it tracks all over your hut and all over your clothes, so much so that you have to go and do your laundry at the laundrymat.

I hope you have to double park your yak one day while you are at that laundrymat, and you come out after only having parked for five seconds and the Tibetan ticket agent says, "Oops, but I already started writing it," and he attaches a 115 dollar ticket to your yak.

I hope you like Rockaway so much you decide you want to live here and then Robin Shapiro sells you a house at List price. And at full commission.

I hope you then move in and all the neighbors find out that you're the ticket agent giving out tickets on Beach 129 Street and then they all hate you and don't talk to you.

I hope they don't like you, so much that you decide to move out of Rockaway and you sell your house with Robin Shapiro, but you have to take a 25 percent haircut on your house. And the buyer is so savvy that Robin Shapiro gets you again. For full commission.

I hope the city decides to outsource all the ticket agents across the city and they have to fire you.

I hope you get rehired by the company that the city gives the contract to. For $5.35 an hour. With no benefits.

I hope the radiation from the ticket machine turns your brain into vichyssoise.

I hope you don't like vichyssoise.

I hope you look at the word vichyssoise and your brain hurts so bad, it melts into vichyssoise.

I hope I teach you how to say vichyssoise. ('Vee-she-swah!")

I hope I teach you that you cannot kill the stoke of the folks of Rockaway, because we're not like all the rest of them muttonheads out in the boroughs.

I hope you come out of Dunkin' Donuts one day and you get in your car and you forget that it's there and you sit on that stupid ticket machine and it gets stuck in your arse.

I hope you have to go get it removed and the doctor botches it and leaves half of it there.

I hope the city runs into a fiscal emergency and cuts your benefits and you have to pay to get it removed, but it costs so much you have to leave it in there for a while.

I hope the fiscal emergency is so bad that actually, they don't cut your benefits, they just fire you.

I hope that the city re-hires you in the Parks Department. But only seasonal. With no benefits.

I hope that the Parks Department makes you a greenshirt "Parks Enforcement Agent" or whatever such nonsense they are doing, and you step in a puddle at low tide and get your pants all wet.

I hope they smarten up and realize they don't need greenshirts on the beach and they decide to give you a whistle and an orange shirt and make you a lifeguard instead.

I hope you don't tell them you can't swim and you get assigned to Beach 91 Street and on your first day it's eight feet and macking and you get some guy out there on a Styrofoam boogie board who gets caught in a rip and you decide to save him and you find yourself going over the falls.

I hope you find yourself impaled on one of those ridiculous 12-foot-high street signs the city puts in the middle of the beach to tell us that there's fourinch pilings from a hundred years ago, so we should be careful.

I hope then they realize that you can't swim so you can't be a lifeguard. And so they have to fire you. Again.

I hope you walk by when you're unemployed and you see some frecklefaced sixteen-year-old kid with sunblock smeared all over his cheekbones twirling his whistle and he smirks at you because he realizes you're the guy who got fired because he couldn't swim.

I hope tonight on your way home you drive westbound on Beach Channel Drive and get a ticket for going through the red light camera at Beach 140 Street.

I hope you get served bad clams at the Sandbar on Beach 116 Street on your lunchbreak.

I hope when you read this, you laugh so hard that you can lean back and herniate a disk and then you have to go out on disability but the city denies you three-quarters and you have to go back out there with an aching back.

I hope that when everybody else reads this, they decide never to double park in Rockaway again, and so you don't make your quota here and you get reassigned somewhere else. Forever. That's what I hope.

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