I’d be willing to bet a few bucks that Ted Kleine’s recent article on booting (“Das Boot,” August 25) will raise one of the greatest hordes of angry letters ever received by the Reader. However, I have to save my money for the day they catch up with me.
Mr. Kleine did an admirable job of making the whole booting complex seem nifty, snappy, and quite amusing. Especially quirky was the Nietzsche fan booting for a living. Godless reading for a godless occupation, eh? Unfortunately, the reality of booting is not at all fun and games. The boot seems the greatest form of evil a city can possibly enact on its otherwise law-abiding citizens. Bobby Rush is deeply right in his populist persecution of the boot, but not only in that it is a form of poor tax. It is also the swiftest way to absolutely financially devastate anyone with a poor to middling income. If you have money you can afford to be booted; if you don’t, you can’t. Same goes for parking tickets. The people in power have money, so of course they don’t see the cruelty of something so “measly” as a $50 parking ticket (personally, that’s all I can afford to spend on groceries every month).
I dread the thought of being booted someday, though “dread” seems too light a word. I was towed once, and languished monetarily for months afterward because of that huge fine; imagining being booted makes me want to jump off a building. It’s not only the idea of losing my car (a necessity to my job), but the thought of all that money. Jeez, if I had to pay what Mr. Kleine did I’d surely be homeless.
There’s certainly no way to avoid being constantly ticketed (the city’s especially devious game of “dodge ball” one is forced to play with the street cleaners and their spontaneously appearing orange signs is the biggest soul-crusher). So what to do? I’ve never disobeyed the law in my life, not counting parking tickets. But perhaps the best thing would be to simply assume my original sin, stand wearily at the corner beside my car, my hands crossed for the handcuffs, my car’s left front tire bared for all the world to boot, and wait for the bastards to come and drag me down.