When I first got to LA, I was warned about the parking police. People told me very specifically, "Don't fuck with parking out here." I laughed at them. "Parking?", I said, "How bad can it be?" I'm from Chicago, where you can actually park on a fire hydrant and they won't ticket you. Even if a nearby building burns down. But I would learn very quickly that things are different out here. My first experience came when I parked in Westwood, threw a few coins in the meter, and ran in to get some Fatburger. I came out 23 minutes and 48 seconds later, exactly 12 seconds before my meter was to expire. A parking cop was waiting by the meter, counting down the seconds. As I went to get in my car, smiling happily, I offered a "Just beat it." The parking cop got down to zero and wrote the ticket right there. I was laughing because I thought it was a joke. It was no joke. I assure you, it was no joke.
A month later I was spending my week's earnings on a lunch in Beverly Hills when I noticed some commotion outside. It was a tow truck loading up a car. MY CAR! I ran outside and asked what the hell they were doing! What could possibly be wrong?? The basic response I got was that my car was too dirty. Beverly Hills does not like dirty cars parked on their streets. Although the actual ticket listed some extremely minor technicality, this was definitely the reason my car was towed.
And the wonderful thing about Los Angeles is they have this system in place by which they multiply your ticket exponentially if you don't pay within a certain time. It starts off as 40 bucks. But by two weeks it's 80. 2 weeks later it's like 300 dollars or something. Yes, I learned very quickly that you DON'T FUCK WITH PARKING IN LA.
So why am I bringing this up? Because there's another type of parking you should be aware of. Mike Le, a tremendous writer and all around entrepenaur, writes a hilarious web-comic strip about his experiences in the business. It's called "Don't Forget To Validate Your Parking" and I don't know anyone who's read it who hasn't loved it. Mike's one of the smartest funniest guys I know and you're going to want to get in on the ground floor here so you can cooly claim you knew him when. Mike is also working on a spec script with one of the best hooks I've heard in a long time and I hope to review it on the site when he's finished. Go check out "Don't Forget To Validate Your Parking" in the meantime and laugh your ass off.