Something a bit weird is going on. I think I have bonafide proof (note to self, must contact The Onion) that frugal fairies are popping up all over the place.
Tiddler and I regularly swim, and we make a point of parking on the prom (free parking) and walking the short distance to the swimming pool. It means, as any parent of a small child will know carrying my stuff (swimming costume, purse, phone) and Tiddler’s stuff (swimming costume, swim nappy, spare swim nappy, arm bands, plastic teapot and cups, floaty balls, a water thingy play thing, pint-sized towel, spare hairband, lunch box, water, change of clothes, wet wipes, spare fleece, hat….) up the hill and back, but we save a pound each time so we do it.
The weather has been against us throughout the month of January, with regular Irish Sea squalls and gale force horizontal rain whipping in at us from the bay, and seeing as walking on the prom in those conditions is a little bit akin to George Clooney hanging on to the mast in The Perfect Storm, last week I decided to ‘cast caution to the wind’ and park at the pool itself. Dutifully, I battled the elements to the pay and display machine, pound coin clutched in my miserly grip and poised over the slot, to suddenly spot a white flapping thing in the dispenser. Is this a dagger I see before me? No, it’s a parking ticket. For that day. Paid about a half hour previously, so still valid for the length of time I need for the swim. Dear reader, what would you do?
Following my bonus free parking, imagine my surprise today when I find exactly the same scenario. Is this a wetter version of Groundhog day? So the two times I have parked in the carpark, I get free tickets. Again, no-one around, ticket in slot, ample time for my swim. Digger suggests someone has forgotten to pick it up. Twice? He also suggests on the mainland (UK) car parking is ticketless, leading to the baffling need to recall your number plate to tap into the machine. But this doesn’t sound right either, as the machine here doesn’t ask for that info, and clearly states with a big green arrow, ‘collect ticket here’. No, I think this is indisputable evidence that the Oh God of Skinflintedness has seen fit to create a parking ticket fairy.
I’m hoping that the Buy one get one free Bogeyman, the Car tax Centaur and the Phone bill Pegasus are on their way soon.