Once again my hate-affair with Traffic Wardens has been reawakened.
"I've already issued the ticket," he smirked as I returned just six minutes late to my car, already an extortionate £2:60 poorer for just an hour's parking.
To all you loathsome ticket-peddlers out there, know this: EVERYONE hates you.
It doesn't matter how many times Big John at school flicked your ears in assembly, what warring factions you fled from abroad or how few career choices you have.
There is no excuse and there can be no forgiveness.
I wonder what it's like doing the only job in the world where people are never pleased to see you.
Even the staunchest villain, faced by a crowbar-wielding pair of gangsters from other "ends" keen to take over his patch, will exclaim "ah good, a copper," when a plod hoves into sight.
Likewise, no one wants to see an undertaker, but their service is a necessary evil and when we need them, we are grateful.
Even bouncers, those men too fat for the army and too slow to box, who delight in spoiling your nights out, can be useful - if you're a girl and you don't want to pay entrance.
But not once since the first four-wheeled motor contraption belched pollution onto the road has anyone ever been heard to say "a Traffic Warden, thank God."
Because all they do is ruin your day and cost you money.
Over £200 million a year, is how much they take off us.
That's a lot of parking tickets, a lot of tears and a lot of very angry motorists.
By the way, these hand-pumps have powers they never possessed before and have been renamed Civil Enforcement Officers.
I for one will continue to know them as WAN**RS
These days they don't even have to put a ticket on your car.
They can hide in a kebab shop and, rather than sportingly give you two minutes to do whatever you're doing while parked naughtily, just send the fine direct to your house.
This eliminates the only good bit about getting a ticket in the old days. You could righteously abuse the swine while members of the public looked on approvingly.
An ex-girlfriend of mine had a Rottweiler/Alsation cross who had a natural, untrained hatred of Wardens.
If one approached the car he would go spare, desperate to get out and eat the sod, along with his stupid little ticket-issuing machine and oversized uniform.
Sadly my own dog hasn't developed such sound instincts.
So here's my final thought: When punishing people - even celebs like Naomi Campbell or George Michael - with Community Service, don't make them sweep the streets, that's an honourable job.
Force them to be WAN**RS...sorry Civil Enforcement Officers for a few weeks.
There is no greater shame.
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