Our family was finally going to enjoy our first family visit to a real, white sandy beach while we were in California for Christmas. We were going to frolick by the sea, collect shells and hopefully catch a few rays.
Two cars drove to Laguna Beach, found a parking lot close to the beach and began that dubious process of reading all the signs and regulations, purchasing the parking ticket and placing it EXACTLY where they wanted it on the windshield.
Parking can be a complicated issue in a big city.
We didn't want to make a mistake. We didn't want a ticket.
Confident we had been law-abiding, patriotic citizens, we spent several hours enjoying the sand and surf. It was one of those memory-making days.
We carefully watched the time. Afterall, we didn't want a ticket.
Packing up earlier than necessary, we tromped all 12 people back to the parking lot, where we had parked so conscientiously.
We seriously didn't want a ticket.
We got a ticket.
Our offense? Parking on a white line.
I know parking crooked is annoying and can cause door dings, but I wasn't aware it was against the law.
Apparently, in California it is.
Since California is still a part of America, we did our American duty, taking full advantage of due process, and protested our parking ticket on the basis of enforcing an unadvertised law.
Being a writer, I felt the urgency to wax eloquent in hopes of beating the ticket we tried so hard to avoid. Instead of a letter, I fully documented our situation with pictures and verbal evidence of our innocence, creating an attractive book that would move their hearts to erase our financial obligation.