…most states (which we usually see) are preserved by war; but, after they have acquired a supreme power over those around them, are ruined; for during peace, like a sword, they lose their brightness: the fault of which lies in the legislator, who never taught them how to be at rest.
— Aristotle, A Treatise on Government
The boot on my tire and bright orange sticker plastered to the windshield of my truck alert the coeds passing by I’ve screwed up. Normally, I might be the person who’s outraged. But hey, I didn’t just park illegally; I cheated the system too.
Upon contacting the university parking services, the student employed meter maid who arrives informs me the campus police are on their way.
The cute, pixie-faced meter maid tries to make small talk while we wait. “Your parking permit is the right color, the numbers are all wrong though.”
I sigh. “That’s because I painted it the correct color to park here.”
No sense in lying. They’ll figure it out as soon as the police arrive. The girl stops talking and stares at the ground along with me.
When the cop arrives, it’s a scene straight out of movie. Short buzz cut, tight shirt stretched over a muscular frame, and when he exits the squad car he pulls his pants up as if to say “well now…just what do we have here?”
I unlock the door to my truck and he removes the parking permit, scratching at the paint until it flakes off.
He grins impishly. “You just think the rules don’t apply to you, do you now, boy?”
“No, I do,” I say with a complacent tone. “I wouldn’t be standing here if I didn’t.”
“Don’t get smart with me!” His scream reaches a crescendo on the word “me” that causes the meter maid to look at the ground again.
I decide to shut my mouth while he walks to the tail of my vehicle to jot down the license plate number.