Here's a current example: Every July 1, the city issues a new parking permit sticker and a resident has a 2-week window - until July 15th - to purchase the new permit and stick it to his/her car windshield before the cops start passing out tickets.
Then there's me, who thinks that because I'm leaving Chicago in mid-August I won't bother buying the new permit. I mean, why pay the $75 for an annual sticker that I'll only need for 4 weeks?
So like clockwork, July 15th rolls around and I go out to my car and lo & behold there's a ticket - a $120 ticket - on my windshield. I curse, put the ticket in my glove compartment and go about my day. The next day, I go out to my car and lo & behold there's a $120 ticket on my windshield. You see where this is going.
Damn, I think. Maybe my strategy for flying under the radar and quietly slipping out of the city with neither a '09-'10 sticker nor tickets should be re-thought.
"Well duh," a friend of mine told me that day. "How do you think the city makes its money? Off the fines from idiots like you who are too lazy to get their stickers on time."
But before I had the chance to buy a new sticker - you know, because these days I am so busy - I racked up a crapload of these bitches. Last Tuesday, in fact - I got three - three! - because I'd been driving around and parking in different parts of the city. That's $360 worth of ticket fines on one day alone.
At the City Clerk Office I told the woman I was moving in a month and because of this, was there some kind of temporary or prorated sticker I could buy instead? "Nuh-uh" she said. "We don't do that here."
Law-abiding citizens would pay their tickets.
I may not be one of those people.
Instead, I'm thinking of making cute little origami swans out of them, then passing them out as party favors at my going away party next month.