Title:Wonderful Scam
Date:May 29, 2001
Purpose: I got scammed into a parking ticket in Great Neck, NY. It really pissed me off.
    29 May 2001
49 Finnigan Ave, M-25
Saddle Brook, NJ 07663
Village of Great Neck Plaza
Parking Enforcement
Gussack Plaza, P.O. Box 440
Great Neck, New York 11022


To Whom It May Concern:

In addition to a $10 check enclosed to pay the fine for the signed parking ticket, may I also offer my congratulations on your well-executed parking scam. I was completely fooled by it and admire the cleverness, tenacity and sheer gall that went into setting it up.

As the reader of this letter may not have had any part in setting up this wonderful scam, I will summarize it here. The dupe (me in this case) parks in the far left space of the center isle of what the violation indicates as “Lot 1”. Directly in front of my car is a parking meter. The dupe gets out, feeds this meter, and goes about his or her business. When the dupe returns, he or she finds a parking violation on the windshield. They immediately look at the meter directly in front of their car and become totally confused, because the meter still has nearly an hour of time on it. After a few minutes of pondering, the dupe eventually notices an arrow on the meter directly in front of his or her car, possibly indicating that the meter is somehow supposed to apply to the space next to the spot in which the dupe parked. Another look around reveals yet another parking meter a good two feet to the left of the spot in which the dupe parked. This meter also has an arrow, apparently indicating that, for some unfathomable reason, it applies to the dupe’s space instead of the meter directly in front of the dupe’s space. Realizing that not only has he been given a parking ticket, but also actually paid to feed a meter, the dupe is filled with rage and futility.

The particular beauty of your scam is the low level of the fine. While the parking violation I was issued would almost certainly not stand up in court, it would cost me more than $10 to even appear in court (travel expenses, time, etc.), assuring that the victims of the scam will never bother to show up. Should one of us dupes ever appear in court, though, it is likely that your entire scam would need to be dismantled, which would be a tragic loss to the art of bureaucracy.

So, I offer my congratulations to the scam’s designers and Officer Qualliotine in particular (who no doubt hovers over the scam spot, filling quota after quota). In a state like New York, which is filled with undirected rage and pretty much expects its government to be out to get them, it is refreshing to see a city government that doesn’t bother to hide its contempt for citizens and visitors alike. I salute your efforts to add to the general bad feeling the rest of the world has towards New York (as this keeps out the annoying pleasant people) and feed the undercurrent of hostility that keeps New York in fighting shape. As a stockholder in several major health care and pharmaceutical companies, it is in my best interest (and evidently yours as well) to keep major population centers like the tri-state area as stressed, irritated, and unhealthy as possible. If only there were more city governments who followed the small example of your parking scam, I’m sure my return on investment would skyrocket. Sure, the area would become even more of a hell-hole than it already is, but the extra few percentage points would easily make up for the inconvenience of my having to move.

Again, I thank and congratulate you.


Lester L. Ward III

Back to Wordman's Writing page.