Saturday, October 24, 2009

Meter Maids

There was a story this past week that meter maids in Mälmo, Sweden's third largest city, will get spy cams to help increase their safety and reduce the incidents of physical threat and violence toward them. I do not know if this problem is isolated to Mälmo or if it is is repeated throughout the country. Mälmo, to put it politely, is a city in transition. Transitioning from the twenty first century to about the fourteenth.

I watch these meter maids with a lot of perplexity. Actually, the term is traffic warden. Warden is much more fitting for the mentality it must take to perform this activity day in and day out. There is no shortage of them and they are constantly on the prowl looking for offenders and writing tickets. Very costly tickets I might add. Tickets like this are, after all, a revenue stream for the state. Lord knows, the Swedish state needs all the revenue it can get. If it can't collect it in punitive taxes and fees, fines are a good alternative.

I do not drive here and everyone tells me that is a good thing because you would invariably receive boat-loads of parking tickets. The parking rules, they say, are so confusing and fluid that even seasoned Stockholmers find themselves getting ticketed. Probably by design. Driving should be discouraged in the new green world. Except for the elites ofcourse. They can drive and when they get tickets they can just get them fixed. Funny how that works.

Yesterday, I saw two parking wardens examining a car. They were in their blue uniforms walking repeatedly around the vehicle. One of them crouched down and seemed to be inspecting the location of the tire of this nice, new blue Audi cross over. They exchanged a few words and parking warden #1 took out his pad and began the process of ticket writing. A smug look of satisfaction peeked out from under his cap. That will teach him for having that nice, new shiny Audi. I know that was what they were thinking.

For sure, it takes a certain, special kind of person to perform this task with cold efficiency. In another era perhaps they would have been asked to be drivers of cars previously used to haul cattle. I would undoubtedly get fired because I would rarely hand them out. Thinking about it further, perhaps I could become some sort of vigilante ticket writer. A sort of Charles Bronson of the parking world, studying and staking out my victims. And I know just who I would target.

1 comment:

  1. The town is called Malmö not Mälmö.