Ah, the meter men of lovely San Francisco. They're all over the place, all the time...
This morning, I was running late getting out of a meeting and therefore, running late for my Chiropractor appointment in downtown SF. I finally got downtown, and was circling the block for parking when I found a perfect spot for my car in the alley right by the doctor's office - except for the fact that the curb was painted a nice, bright yellow, which evidently means it's not meant for parking. I was late though, so I just figured that I'd risk it and park there - after all, the worst that could happen would be that I'd get a ticket. Plus, I knew that the guys that check the cars and meters don't come around that area every hour, so I took what I would call a "calculated risk."
So I head into the doctor, get my back fixed up, and head out. As I'm walking down the alley (which is a long, one way alley, btw), I see the meter man in his little truck, about 50 feet ahead of me, marking up the tires of cars parked in the alley. For a second I thought, "hey, screw it, I probably have a ticket already," and then, it hit me... "but... what if I don't?" And at that moment, it was ON.
I looked at the meter truck, and took off in a full speed sprint down the street to try to beat the meter man to my car (luckily for me, I was in my workout clothes and sneaks, or else...well, I run pretty well in stilettos too, but that's another story for another day). As I closed in on him, I realized he was speeding up - he must have seen me in his rearview mirror (dammit). No joke. And I'm a pretty fast runner, but those little trucks that those guys drive around can go pretty quickly as well. So I'm sprinting faster, and he's stepping on the gas, trying to mark up as many cars as he can along the way with his "chalker stick" (or whatever that thing is called). Because you know, he's gotta do his job too. Have to give him credit for that.
Next thing I know, I hear cheering. No, I am not kidding. The guys that work in the building in the alley are out on a smoke break, and they are cheering for me, while I'm running, trying to beat the meter man to my car (hey, at least I had supporters). FABULOUS.
Finally, the meter man slows down, and starts to write the ticket. I catch up to him, and hear him laughing under his breath. And meanwhile, I'm thinking, "Damn, am I lucky." Because... he got the wrong car! He ended up giving a ticket to the car 4 cars behind mine - I ran by him, jumped in my car, and on the way out, rolled down my window to give him a little wave. And at that point I saw him busting up laughing. He must have gotten a kick out of it - I mean, those jobs aren't the most exciting jobs, so I'm glad I gave someone their excitement for the day. Plus, he knows he'll pry nail me at some point. After all, they always do.... welcome to SF.
So there - that's your funny for the day. Hope it's a good one! /LC
PS: Found this photo on Flickr Creative Commons for you folks who don't know what a meter maid truck looks like - see? It's a speedy little thing!