New Parking Meters in Via Archirola, Modena

The following are for those of you who think Italian bureaucrats are fat cats that get a lotta money for doing next to nothing all day long. Think again. Some fat cat in the Modena City Hall has come up with a novel idea for parking meters.

The other day I went to the barber for a haircut. It was pouring rain outside, so I decided to drive when normally I would have biked it. The barber shop is on Via Arcihirola, Modena. I parked near the shop and proceeded to parking meter N. 6 to get my ticket. The first 15 minutes are free but you still need to get the ticket from the machine with the date and time of arrival and put it on your windshield. As I keep my hair razor-short, it normally only takes my barber 10 – 12 minutes to do the job and so 15 minutes are more than enough for me. When I get to the machine, however, it looks different. I hit the green button that releases the ticket. But nothing happens.

So I ask my barber, “What’s wrong with the parking meter? It won’t give me a ticket.”

“Uh – huh says the barber, your friend the accountant had the same problem just a few days ago. It appears you now need to punch in your car’s license plate number before you hit the green key or the machine won’t put out”

“Now why the hell would they have gone and done a stupid thing like that”, says I?”

“Hell if I know,” says the barber, “but its driving all the senior citizens crazy”.

“There’s gotta be a reason,” says I, “there always is a reason, isn’t there?

Still, the only dumb reason I can think of is one that can’t possibly outweigh the cost of chucking the old meters and buying these newfangled ones, or can it? I mean, it’s as if someone “up there” wanted to make sure that people who put in 60 Cents (for a full hour) can now get their (full) money’s worth (in addition to the 15 free minutes).

That’s gotta be it: a win-win situation for all thanks to the concern of a fat cat and Italienische Technologie !?!

Enough perhaps to spark the start of something big? All right, already, so stop – er – start “bitching” people!?!


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