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Unclassified Info: Turning against the tyranny of the meters

March 21, 2011

According to a recent Gallup and Healthways poll, anger in Glendale is on the rise and comparable to residents in Pittsburg. That fact rather astounded me, considering that when compared to Pittsburg, we live in the land of milk and honey.

Granted, due to the rains, the last couple of months have not been the prototypical picture of California dreamin’. I myself spent part of Sunday vacuuming water out of the entryway of our house. And while that may have been annoying, it wasn’t enough to make me as mad as say, having to live in Pittsburg would.

And when I think about the devastation in Japan, a little water in my foyer shouldn’t be enough to raise my ire at all. I was grateful that I could wander into Home Depot, purchase a sump pump and voilà —problem solved.

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So what is it that has so many of us angry? Do we all have vindictive siblings and ex-wives? What binds us in our common loathing of life in our otherwise suburban Southern California bliss? Could one of those things be the new automated parking meters?

I’m wondering if life was less stressful in the salad days of our youth when meters accepted pennies, nickels and dimes instead of AMEX platinum cards. Did we feel less bitterness and futility when we could park our cars using loose change found in between the seats, instead of having to hope and pray that our credit rating was sufficient to satiate these new parking meters from hell?

The pollsters don’t say. But I suspect this is the case. How many times have you seen a fellow Glendalian swiping a credit card over and over and over in the futile hope that the meter will read it. I can only imagine the misery in having to do that in a torrential downpour. It’s hard enough with people standing behind you, sighing in exasperation as though the fact that your card can’t be read is some kind of insidious plot to make them late. I can neither confirm nor deny whether that is true, although it wouldn’t surprise me.

But perhaps the most annoying thing about the new meters is that they take away one of the simple pleasures of life — discovering the spot you just parked in has a little time left on the meter.

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