Scene of the rhyme

When Denver resident Chris Baumgartner protested the $10 parking ticket he got while visiting his grandmother in Laguna Beach, Calif., his complaint prompted a little poetic justice from Laguna Police Chief Neil Purcell (with some help from secretary Jude Gardner).

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A Poem in Disputation of Parking Citation LB003065438

What a day for a drive, a trip to the beach!
So off to Laguna we beat a retreat,
Grandma Adeline in tow (she’s 88, you see)
Sharp as a tack, but slow as can be.

Where to park, where to park? For this men have fought.
What’s this? One space? In Glenneyere lot!
Quick as you can! Not a moment to spare!
Out of the car, Granny, tell your hip I don’t care!

How many quarters to feed the machine?
Timing is everything, in these days obscene.
Five should do — no, six to be safe
Then off to lunch we made our escape.

A glance at my watch, “Back by 2:10.”
I thought as we walked, “We’ll make it by then.”
A glorious meal served up in style,
We left a good tip, a wink, and a smile.

Casual return, plenty of time
But back at the car, what’s this? What a crime!
A ticket? For us? Have you gone raving mad?!
Left at 1:37? Now this is just sad.

The outing spoiled; the day caught a blight
Fined 30 minutes too early — it’s simply not right!
But, nonetheless, ’tis the cause of this prose
Silver lining and so forth, or so I suppose.

The end is near, it’s your ball I’m afraid.
Will the fee be forgiven or must it be paid?
Will the joy of our day be fully returned?
Should Adeline rest easy, or will she be spurned?

Dear Mr. Baumgartner:

When we got your poem we couldn’t hesitate
To write you back and set you straight.
We appreciate your efforts and all your time,
But you’re blaming us for the wrong “crime.”

 Our parking program may have its flaws But we've never been known to bend the laws. There was time on the meter, to that we agree. Look closely at the ticket and you will see... 

Your time was fine! You were not late.
The problem was with your license plate.
The citation was valid, so do not bicker…
The plate on your car had NO MONTH STICKER!

 Regardless of that and 'cause we like to be fair The citation was voided, so have not a care. Just remember Laguna is about the best. Now let Adeline know so she can get some rest! 
 Neil J. Purcell Chief of Police 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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