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Free Range Human, Sailor, Writer, Artist, Videographer  

Monday, September 27, 2010


Here’s the scam. Let’s say there is a Free event in downtown St Petersburg Florida.  In this case it was National Museum Day and we went to the Salvador Dali Museum. A wonderful place to expand your mind. If you go be sure to park in thier parking lot.

Hey, let’s go!

‘Course there’s no place to park, but eventually you can find a spot, usually blocks away from the event on a hot Saturday.

It’s the weekend!

No need to pay the meters right?

Never has been in my memory.

Maybe my memory isn’t what is used to be or maybe we don’t go to St Peterburg enough to know when the parking rules changed. Nevertheless we received a parking ticket.

$25 bucks! So much for the “Free” event!

The card, shown below, that accompanied the ticket was almost apologetic. Kind of an “Aw shucks y’all don screwed up a bit- but we’ll take care a y'all”

But Wait - It Gets Better!

We’d planned to spend some time downtown, grab a bite, shop. Seems we always buy something on excursions like this. That ticket changed my mind –  I was PO’d – OK - More than a little, so we left.

Upon returning home and reading my ticket I was surprised to learn we could have our ticket fixed if we’d spent the same amount with a downtown merchant on the same day.

Oh, but that’s not all. You have to present yourself, with a receipt for the bribe, in person in, where else, downtown St Petersburg! – That’s the one in Florida.

OK so now to have my ticket fixed I have to take a day off work, risk another parking ticket in an unfriendly city (Who knows what the rules will be.) and then deal with some bureaucrat. We’re going to pay the fine.

It didn’t ruin our day. Far from it. We went to a friendlier town, Largo, and had a great dinner and movie out. We spent more than the St Petersburg ticket but we had a good time and didn’t have to worry about the parking nazis.

Be warned the City of St Petersburg is running this scam. Might as well deal with the professionals I suppose. This is Florida after all “Land of the Fee and Home of the Bribe”.

Business is hard enough without your city chasing away your customers; However, unless you want to drive, it will be a cold day in a hot place before you see us in downtown St Petersburg Fl.