When writing about entitled cops in your own city, the disgust you feel can make the pen feel like a revolver against your temple. It hurts the brain to think about how ridiculous it has gotten, which is why the New York Times called their recent behavior a show of their “snarling sense of victimhood.” The police have let their union heads make the entire force look like petulant children throwing a tantrum after being told they can’t hit the family dog. They’ve turned their backs on the mayor and are on unofficial strike, with the New York Post reporting petty-crime arrests and citations down 95%. (95! That’s like 100, minus only 5!)

But then, Scott Shackford at Reason shined a light on the upside:

Well, we can only hope the NYPD unions and de Blasio settle their differences soon so that the police can go back to arresting people for reasons other than “when they have to.”

Time to get your civil disobedience on!

Okay, so here’s what I’m thinking. Let’s do something like last year.

Last year, I would park my motorcycle in an alcove which conveniently kept homeless from shitting there, or staring into the 1st floor windows of the old lady in 1D. It also allowed me to park near 23rd and Park Avenue for free. After a screaming match with the Tow-Man about the distinction between public sidewalk and private property, I painted a line marking my parking space as mine, like a dog with particularly pungent piss, and that kept him and the rest of the pack away.

“PROPERTY LINE – PRIVATE PROPERTY” it read. And it worked. I’ve worked for the government before and knew a universal truth: With good enough job security, you have no incentive to dip into “grey areas.” I knew it was true, and I knew he might question it, but hell if he was going to risk having to answer for exceeding his jurisdiction! All was right with the world, until a month later, while I slumbered, he came and took my baby. My baby!

This was war, and by this point, I had a good $1500 in tickets piled up. I built a house of cards with the orange envelopes on my desk at work. But I knew my cause was hopeless without the intervention of a higher power, so I turned to my God, Amazon.com, for answers (peace and blessings be upon him). I ordered an 11,000 pound-strength industrial anchor, designed for hanging heavy machinery in warehouses, and the heaviest motorcycle chain sold in New York. With it slung over my shoulder, I knew that this was what Rambo felt like when he started wearing ammo belts as a shirt.

And then I got sick. Appendicitis. No war is without its setbacks, but thanks to the department of Veterans Affairs, the operation didn’t cost me anything (though I’m quit certain the anesthesiologist punched me in the mouth while I was under).

The day after the surgery I was a wreck, but I knew what needed to be done. With my government sponsored Vicodin in one hand, and a power drill and 1/2″ masonry bit in the other, I dragged a hundred-foot extension cord and my husk of a body through the lobby of my building. Out front with dead eyes, I sat on the drill for 15 minutes until a neighbor, aware of my persecution, came by, offering help. He saw my bloody bandage under my shirt.

“Jesus Christ!” He exclaimed.

Yes. We are the same, he and I.

Once I bored the holes into the concrete, I dropped in some anchors and filled them with JB weld. Then I bolted down the industrial D-ring, and dropped on additional JB Weld so it couldn’t be un-bolted. Undoing this should be hell, damn it! After giving it an hour to dry, I rolled my motorcycle into the alcove, and fixed it to the anchor with the 20 pound chain.

I had won. There was nothing they could do. The chain was short enough, and the bike parked tight enough, that even if you showed up with The Jaws of Life, those hydraulic scissors that firemen use to cut through car doors in bad wrecks, it would still ruin your day to get through it.

I slept easy now. The sun was shining and my bike was at home. Weeks passed without incident. I would cruise the summer streets of Manhattan, cutting traffic and looking cool, and I wanted for nothing. There’s a parking lot across the street that would let me keep my motorcycle there for $350 a month, but fuck that! It wasn’t even about the money anymore. It was about telling the NYPD ticket-scribes where they could stick it. Then one morning I walked to the office, and when I came back a few hours later, the bike was gone. In its place was my $100 chain cut clean in half. This thing could have survived reentry from space, yet here it was, in pieces.

That motherfucker used a grinder and cut right through it. I guess he’d had enough.

And so had I. The pissing contest had nearly cost me my sanity. Like a white girl named Brianna, I literally could not even –not anymore, anyways.

Okay, so maybe it’s not the same as Jesus, or Gandhi, but this was something. This is the middle-class white-boy’s rage against the machine, and I put up a good fight, damn it!

After the dust settled, and the judge told me that I was just going to have to suck it up and pay for parking like the rest of New York, I sold the bike. For a full year, I had fought and fought. I parked illegally with every trick I had: behind scaffolding, between cars, next to dumpsters. Wherever and whenever I could, I reveled in my beating the system, and I may have lost the battle, but we’re winning the war! Times have changed. The NYPD has thrown in the towel on stupid petty bullshit.

So go out there and get your civil disobedience on while the gettin’s good!

2 thoughts on “Civil Disobedience and the Great Parking War of 2013