You’d think that by this time, someone would have put one of my million dollar ideas into production and started reaping the rewards, yielding me with enough intellectual property revenue from selling one of these ideas to the highest bidder that I would be a multi-millionaire by now. But alas no, nothing yet. I’m patient. And besides, this one is not a product, but a service and I know local law enforcement across the country will be so jazzed by this idea that I can look forward to at least the keys to a few cities, maybe an honorary diploma from a police academy or two. At this point, I’ve given up on getting rich on my ideas. I’ll settle for at least being famous, if not rich.
Y’know how you can be hitdriving down a residential street or parking lot buried away from the watchful eyes of Johnny Law when suddenly (!) what do your wandering eyes spy but a flagrant disregard for traffic laws? I was leaving a meeting and pulling out of a parking lot the other day when I saw, in blatant defiance of the “No Parking This Side of Street” sign was, you guessed it, a parked car. Now, it was a gravel road that ran just to the side of the parking lot and there were many cars parked on the other side (mine being one) of said road. But there, plain as the nose on your face, was a Lexus SUV parked right underneath the No Parking sign. Maybe it’s the bitter, resentful part of my nature that gets all bent out of a shape that I can’t afford a Lexus SUV or maybe it’s the ego that goes with the sense of entitlement that the jackass driver of said Lexus SUV seems to have. Whatever it is drives me into an almost uncontrollable rage and makes me want to run a key all the way around the vehicle and carve a smiley face on the hood. It’s the same bundle of agitation that feeds the flame whenever I hear the PA at the airport crackle on and a booming voice commands the driver of the Cadillac or BMW or Mercedes or Lexus or whatever to go outside and move their freaking car or it will be towed at the owner’s expense. When that happens, I root for the tow truck.
This train of thought was augmented a day later when I walked out to my car, parked on the street in front of my house this time, to find a $16 ticket under the wipers. “Crap,” I thought. “I guess this solves the mystery of whether cops ever ticket the cars parked in front of that fire hydrant on the parking green.” You’d think that if anybody knew the value of the fire hydrant being there, it would be me. But alas, I had been to the gym that morning and was just grabbing breakfast and changing before I headed to work, so I had the same thought what millions upon millions upon millions of people have had since Henry Ford invented the automobile. To wit, I’ll be in and out. No harm, no foul. Well, wrong-o.
So as I squeezed through the Lexus on the illegal side and another car on the legal side, I got the idea for the Citizens Control Cop Patrol, or CCCP. It works thusly:
You are John or Jane Q. Public and you attend a 6-week course which thoroughly covers all traffic laws. After completion of said course, you are issued a CCCP pad, a whistle and a can of mace. The whistle and the mace aren’t really necessary but they would be super-official looking on the utility belt you would wear around your waist or Mexican bandoleer-style across your chest. Plus, even though you are only issuing parking citations, you never know when the violator may come up on you and pop you across the jaw if you aren’t all official-looking. I bet the same guy would think twice of he were 35 years of age or older and would be intimidated by the CCCP identification (Remember that was the abbreviation that the Soviets used to use for the U.S.S.R. in Rocky IV? Good, I thought you would). You could even attend another week-long class to obtain a certificate of completion and forthwith have the authority to fine people for not picking up freshly deposited dog poop in the park. The class wouldn’t really cover anything other than the instructor handing you a hand shovel and some poop bags so you could clean up the mess yourself and set a good example, but it would have to last at least a week to fall in line with all the other stuff the government does that takes 5 times as long as it should because we have to pay the bureaucracy for doing nothing and …
Sorry. Didn’t mean to go all libertarian all of sudden but y’know that tendency of people to get more conservative as they get older? Yeah, that. I mean, I’m not ready to vote Republican or anything, but I do kind of wish I could grab the 22-year-old Andy who voted for Ralph Nader and box his ears with a couple ladles. Not because it gave the election to W, just because it would be the right thing to do.
There’s a host of other purposes that people in the Citizens Control Cop Patrol could fulfill that I haven’t even touched on. And this program would be especially helpful to those without a job and seeking work as it would pay them minimum wage. Believe me, I know. I’ve spent the last few weeks looking for a job and employers act like their doing you a big favor if they offer you ad dollar more than that. Plus it would satisfy a civic necessity as it would free up police to work on more serious crimes like public urination or confronting those jerk-asses who drop their cigarette three feet from the public ashtray outside Walgreens. I don’t even want a cut of the fine money for this idea. A simple plaque outside City Hall and maybe a street named after me would satisfy me just fine.