Ruin Someone's Day With an Empty Parking Ticket Envelope


An orange parking ticket envelope under a windshield wiper

Photo: Keith Butler / Contributor (Getty Images)

Evil WeekEvil WeekWelcome to Evil Week, our annual dive into all the slightly sketchy hacks we’d usually refrain from recommending. Want to weasel your way into free drinks, play elaborate mind games, or, er, launder some money? We’ve got all the info you need to be successfully unsavory.

Nothing upsets the flow of an otherwise good day like walking up to your car only to spot the angry orange hue of a parking ticket envelope stuck under one of your wiper blades. There are certainly worse things that can happen than getting a ticket—and hopefully that $25, $40, or, ugh, $65 (the amount I was recently changed for forgetting to move my car during street cleaning in Brooklyn) won’t knock the supports out from under your tight monthly budget—but it’s always going to suck. But if you look at your ticket as the cost of delivering a bad day to one of your many enemies, it can suck slightly less.

Provided you live in a city that delivers your parking citations in an envelope you can then use to mail in your payment (because for some reason you don’t want to just pay the ticket online, because it is the year two thousand and twenty), all you need to do is save that envelope (hopefully in as pristine a condition as you can maintain it) until the next time one of your neighbors, co-workers, or an anonymous but egregiously bad parker offends you in same manner (perhaps by parking egregiously badly).

Then, simply place the envelope—sand parking ticket, which you’ve hopefully already paid!—under their windshield, so that when they return to their car, they too will feel the sting of having to leave an offering to the parking gods. Moreover, if they are conscientious about paying their taxes and fees—or just paranoid—their torment won’t end when they open the envelope to find the citation missing. They will have to spend the next few weeks checking their license plate number against the online database to ensure they won’t wind up being hit with a double fine for late payment of that nonexistent ticket. (In NYC, it sometimes takes two weeks or more for valid tickets to show up in the database.)

This scheme will do no real damage to your enemy, but it might ruin their day—ahhh, that’s the ticket.



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