Hello Mr. Police Officer from Eden Prairie, MN:
I wanted to thank you for giving me an example of why nobody really likes police these days. Had you not patrolled that nearly-empty parking lot for trailer-less vehicles, I wouldn’t have been reminded that many cops are just bored jerks looking to write tickets to make money for their city/county/whatever.
When they made two parking lots at Lake Riley I’m really not sure why they didn’t connect them. That way, when I dropped my kayak in the water, I could easily have parked in the non-trailer lot with worrying that someone would carry off my 40 lbs. kayak while I parked and walked back to the boat launch (which is out of sight of both lots). Since they did not connect the two lots, didn’t put up signs indicating where the other lot was, and I had no idea where the other lot was, I parked in the “vehicles with trailers only” lot.
Yes, I did something wrong. I knew it wasn’t really allowed, but here’s the thing: it was an early Tuesday afternoon in early June in Minnesota and there were literally only three other vehicles in a lot with something like 15 spaces. Why were you patrolling this lot at 2:30 in the afternoon on an early weekday in early June? That makes no sense. In fact, what it says to me is that you’re kind of a jerk. Or maybe the person who ordered you to patrol the lot is a jerk. I’m not really sure.
I highly doubt that, when making these two lots completely separate, the people in charge thought, “This lot will be patrolled at all times for violations. Not even people with kayaks or canoes that go on top of their vehicle and visit the lake at the least busy times will catch a break!” Instead, they probably intended for the lot to be patrolled only during peak times – times when the trailer lot fills up with trailers and you would be an asshole to take up a trailer spot if you didn’t have a trailer. Like Saturdays in the summertime (when I almost certainly wouldn’t park in the trailer lot). What makes me particularly doubt that the trailer lot was meant to be completely free of all non-trailer-toting vehicles is the sign. It looked something like this, only friendlier and much less official.
I can’t really blame you, Mr. Police Officer, for doing your job. I know I was parked “illegally,” although the sign seems more like a request than a legal posting. What I don’t understand is why you wasted your time patrolling this particular lot when the three cars without trailers that were parked there weren’t hurting or bothering anyone, and there were plenty of open spots for anyone with trailers showing up. Isn’t there something worthwhile you could be doing? Go catch speeders, by all means! Or people parked in fire lanes, handicap spots, next to fire hydrants, too close to stop signs – I think you get the point.
I suppose you’re not as much of a jerk as you could be, since when I sprint-paddled back to shore and then ran the block to the lot to beg you not to ticket me, you didn’t write me a ticket and you let that other man move his car as well. Ultimately, though, I’m still baffled that you were patrolling the lot in the first place.
Finally, next time someone says they have a boat, don’t laugh at them and say, “No you don’t.” You jerk, I do have a boat. It just happens to fit on top of my car. It’s not as if I said, “I have a trailer. It’s invisible/it got up and ran away.”*
Do you wonder why people don’t like you? It’s not that you’re enforcing the laws. It’s that you enforce the laws like only a jerk would enforce the laws – without taking into account reality and whether or not it matters that someone has, for example, parked in a trailer-only spot.
*I was tempted to say, “Oh no, where did my trailer go! It disappeared.” When he laughed after I said I have a boat.