My cartoonist buddy, Randy Enos explains how a cartoonist gets out of a parking ticket.
Cartoonists possess a secret weapon whether they know it or not which will be shown in this little short story.
My wife and I and another couple went out to dinner one night. I was driving. We went to a city next door to us called Norwalk Ct.. There’s a nice little district there which has artists’ studios and interesting restaurants. I parked very close to the seafood restaurant we had selected. I carefully looked around for any “no parking” signs and saw none. It looked like a safe place to park… no restrictions in evidence. No signs at all.
After we finished eating and came back out to the car, there was a big, expensive parking ticket affixed to my windshield. I couldn’t believe it. We all looked around again and saw no signs at all in the vicinity of my car. Just then, a policeman walked past. I rushed over to him and asked about the ticket. He seemed puzzled too. He looked around and confessed that he couldn’t figure out why I would get a ticket there. He advised me to go over to the police station which was close by and pick up a form which I could fill out contesting the ticket.
So, off we went to the police dept. where I picked up said form and then we all went home.
I meticulously filled out the form showing where I was parked, how long I was parked there and the absence of any signs. I turned the form over to see if there was anything I needed to fill out on the other side and… there, I discovered an 81/2″ x 11″” blank expanse of white paper. BLANK WHITE PAPER!! I’ve never been able to resist a nice big, blank piece of paper since I was a little kid. My fingers itched. It was awful hard to resist that beautiful, plain white space. I succumbed!
I decided to illustrate my plight. I drew an elaborate cartoon of my car at the curb with a big parking ticket stuck on the windshield. I drew myself leaping backward aghast and in utter horror at it, slapping my hand to my head, sweat drops popping forth. Our male fellow diner is in the background gesticulating wildly at a confused cop who is scratching his head and looking up and down and sideways trying to see any evidence of signage. Meanwhile, our female fellow diner is trying to revive my wife who has fainted in the middle of the street. I put appropriate arrows and labels where needed and turned the sheet back over to put “OVER” down in the lower right corner so they would know to turn it over. I mailed it to the police dept. in the envelope supplied to me and awaited the answer.
In a few days, I got a letter from the police stating that they were dismissing my ticket. No explanation as to why.
They also said, “Everybody in the station enjoyed your cartoon very much and we have it hanging up on our wall “.
See? … secret weapon.
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Read many more of Randy’s cartooning memories: