The Chicken Soup Defense
I’ve heard them all.
When it comes to excuses for parking tickets, I’ve pretty much heard them all. Defenses, stories, excuses, whatever you want to call it–I read tons of them.
Most try to employ some sort of defense, legal or otherwise.
But, I’ve never heard the “chicken soup” defense.
Writer for local blog Philosophart, Cyrus Dowlatshahi, writes a lengthy contest letter to the city, devoid of ANY legal defense, but absolutely compelling, heartfelt, funny and beautifully written, employing what can only be described as the “chicken soup” defense.
If I were the hearing officer I would dismiss this ticket just for the sheer creativity.
If anyone gets points for cleverness, it should be Cyrus.
It is my hope this letter finds the right hearing officer whom has not lost all their ability to be sympathetic, but my guess is he loses.
I hope I am wrong.
Lovely City of Chicago,
Listen, I’m a long-time resident, and I’m hoping you’ll consider the following regarding my recent parking ticket.
On the day in question, September 20th, I was parked in front of my girlfriend’s house at 4847 N. Damen (an apartment building, also the address listed on my Violation Notice).
She’d somehow contracted a fever. I read online that chicken soup would help make her feel better (she’s Jewish and they actually call chicken soup “Jewish Penicillin”; check out the website www.JewishPenicillin.com).
What better way to score some points, I thought, as I parked at the meter in front of her house at a little after 130 p.m. on Saturday. I’m gonna spend the entire day with her. I brought five DVDs over, along with one whole frying chicken, egg noodles, an onion, two carrots, and some celery.
All you do is toss the whole chicken in a big pot of water and boil it down. I added half the onion, some celery, a carrot and some salt to add to the flavor, and checked on it every half hour or so. I was gonna let it stew in there for about two and a half hours.
More to the point, I also set my cell phone alarm to go off every two hours so that I wouldn’t be late on putting more quarters in the meter. I was parked right outside, and she lives on the first floor, so putting two quarters in for a fresh two hours took me about 15 seconds.
These meters were the old kind, where you actually twist the knob before the quarters are swallowed, and a rusty needle tells you how much time you have. Nothing electric about them at all. Needless to say, I was surprised to find a ticket on my car, when I HAD been politely excusing myself, relatively soon after my cell phone went off, to feed the meter.
I’m not the kind of guy who says screw the city. I pay for parking. But I had been doing so well with the girl and NAILED the chicken soup recipe… I’m hoping you can show me some leniency with this fine.
I’ve enclosed a receipt of one of the many purchases I have made here as a resident of the City of Chicago. I hope it shows you that I do not consider myself above the law (I purchase expensive computer software when it is widely available hacked online for free), and that I already pay the city a considerable amount of money (please see the amount paid in sales tax for this single purchase).
Thanks for the consideration.
From the poor house,