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An open letter to U.Va. Parking and Transportation

<p>Humor columnist Katie McCracken airs her grievances after receiving a parking ticket at the Aquatic &amp; Fitness Center.&nbsp;</p>

Humor columnist Katie McCracken airs her grievances after receiving a parking ticket at the Aquatic & Fitness Center. 

Dear University Parking and Transportation,

Mondays have a reputation for being the worst day of the week, and one Monday last semester was no exception. In the fall, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I had a 10 a.m. class in Gilmer Hall. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Poor thing, she has a 10 a.m. class on a Friday!” But I believe that sacrifices must be made in the pursuit of education, so I do my best to make it there three times a week. Unless it’s cold or raining or I’m too hungover.

On that fateful Monday morning, after the unavoidable circumstance of me binge-watching “Grey’s Anatomy,” I woke up even later than usual. At 9:52, I hopped in my car and sped to the Aquatic & Fitness Center. At 10 a.m. on the dot, I walked into class. At 10:50, my class ended and I walked back to my car.

Then, as I entered the parking lot, I locked eyes with my sworn nemesis — Mr. Parking Ticket Man.  

You see, me and Mr. Parking Ticket Man have a history. On several occasions, I pulled into the parking lot, saw Mr. Parking Ticket Man with his parking ticket printer and quickly sped right back out. But, on this Monday morning, I saw no signs of him as I slipped in undetected. Little did I know, he was just late for work that day too, and now I had been caught red tire-d.

I sprinted to my car, tripping over my pajama pants that I hadn’t had time to change out of that morning. Adrenaline was coursing through my veins as I raced to beat him to my car before I was caught.

Victory! I made it! I breathed a sigh of relief. But then, as I prepared to drive away, I noticed a white, folded slip of paper underneath my windshield wiper. Defeat! I had been bested by Mr. Parking Ticket Man for the first time. What’s worse, the ticket was issued at 10:49 a.m., a mere minute before I would have left anyway.

It was a painful blow, but I shook it off. After all, at the University, your first parking ticket is a simple warning. Or so I thought. As it turns out, Mr. Parking Ticket Man wrote me a $45 ticket for parking in a “metered parking space.” Now, maybe I just don’t go to the gym enough, but I was unaware that there was a meter at the AFC. I was under the impression that the only stipulation for parking in these conveniently located spots was that you actually work out. You may argue that “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” but by golly, I’m making it one. I didn’t know!

What I did was wrong, but you have to understand that I was desperate! I only have $7 in my bank account — I can’t afford this!  Please, University Department of Parking and Transportation, I beg you to look into the depths of your heart this holiday season and waive my parking ticket. I promise that I am a changed person, and I will never, ever park there again (and not just because the ticket came with the warning that if I get caught again you might put a boot on my car).

This season of giving, please give me a second chance. And for anyone reading this, my venmo is @katiecracken. Please help a homie out! 😔✌

Katie McCracken is a Humor Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at