Beware Traffic Wardens Bearing Gifts…

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I was walking back down my street this morning – at around 5:45am – when I spied some unusual movement in the shadows. It was still dark, and usually when I return from martial arts practice in the local park, I see one or two people (and the occasional milk-float), but this was different. The movement was deliberately ‘elusive’ and desperately trying to avoid my gaze. First of all I thought it was a burglar up to no good – but when my eyes adjusted to the shadows, I saw the outline of a Traffic Warden employed by the London Borough of Sutton to terrorise the local ‘driving’ population. His behaviour was ‘guilty’ and ‘suspect’, as my street is nowhere near the city centre. Every so often these individuals venture out of the major parking catchment areas into the suburbs to issue parking tickets to make-up their monthly quotas – for which they receive a bonus. Generally speaking, it makes no difference whether the issued parking ticket is correct or not, as it takes months of legal wrangling to get it ‘cancelled’. Many pay just to get rid of the problem. Anyway, this character was righting-out a ticket for a small, mobile, cement mixer that had been correctly left and marked outside of a house being renovated. When the Traffic Warden looked-up at me (accompanied by a rather large German Shepherd dog) he ‘jumped’, and said: ‘It’s too late, I’ve already written-out the ticket. You shouldn’t leave commercial vehicles blocking access to a domestic drive.’ As this wasn’t my house, cement mixer, or drive, I starred with a sense of measured bewilderment at this interloper into our quiet neighbourhood – and walked steadily away. The Traffic Warden then said: ‘It’s no good ignoring the issue – you will have to pay in the end!’. This made me burst into laughter – and my dog to bounce playfully around the pavement! At this point my cat – Lexi – showed-up purring – but obviously agitated by this strange person who was trying his hardest to ‘project’ some kind of ‘official’ power in a street that more or less considers itself ‘independent’ of any direct local government control. was walking back down my street this morning – at around 5:45am – when I spied some unusual movement in the shadows. It was still dark, and usually when I return from martial arts practice in the local park, I see one or two people (and the occasional milk-float), but this was different. The movement was deliberately ‘elusive’ and desperately trying to avoid my gaze. First of all I thought it was a burglar up to no good – but when my eyes adjusted to the shadows, I saw the outline o a Traffic Warden employed by the London Borough of Sutton to terrorise the local ‘driving’ population. His behaviour was ‘guilty’ and ‘suspect’, as my street is nowhere near the city centre. Every so often these individuals venture out of the major catchment areas into the suburbs to issue parking tickets to make their monthly quota – for which they receive a bonus. Generally speaking, it makes no difference whether the issued parking ticket is correct or not, as it takes months of legal wrangling to get it ‘cancelled’. Many pay just to get rid of the problem. Anyway, this character was righting-out a ticket for a small,mobile, cement mixer that had been correctly left and marked outside of the house being renovated. When the Traffic Warden looked-up at me (accompanied by a rather large German Shepherd dog) he ‘jumped’, and said: ‘It’s too late, I’ve already written-out the ticket. You shouldn’t leave commercial vehicles blocking access to a domestic drive.’ As this wasn’t my house, cement mixer, or drive, I starred with a sense of measured bewilderment at this interloper into our quiet neighbourhood – and walked quietly away. The Traffic Warden then said: ‘It’s no good ignoring the issue – you will have to pay in the end!’. This made me burst into laughter – and my dog to bounce playfully around the pavement! At this point my cat – Lexi – showed-up purring – but obviously agitated by this strange person who was trying his hardest to ‘project’ some kind of ‘official’ power in a street that more or less considers itself ‘independent’ of any direct local government control.We have a nice multicultural street that has a certain ‘Dao’ to it that nobody likes to be tampered with. We have our local foxes, we are tolerant and respect other people’s privacy. This local government official did not has luminous stripes on, and was deliberately behaving in a surreptitious manner. Odd fellow.

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