Thursday, September 01, 2005

Surveillance


I dropped Peter at LAX and went to the Spectrum Sports Club for a swim. There was only one handicap space available at the far end of the parking structure. The car in the space beside it was parked over the lines and I had to maneuver my Trooper to squeeze in. I got out of the Trooper and took a close look at the two-door black Honda beside me. I saw no handicap placard. I checked the plates for the blue icon, and it wasn't there. In fact, there were no plates, front or back.

The windshield was covered and the other windows were heavily darkened but I could tell that someone was in the driver's seat so I spoke through the glass. The driver buzzed his window and I asked to see his handicap placard. He asked if I was parking security--obviously not in my workout clothes--and said he didn't have to show me anything. Okay, I said, I'll get a security guard over here.

He started up his engine and said he was leaving. As he backed out of the space, another car positioned itself to move in and I stood and watched. The young man in the Honda called out to me something like, "Hey, Old man, mind you own business." This is something I find difficult to do, especially when told to do so, so I followed him as he backed into a nearby, non-handicap, space, and continued to berate and argue with him about his illegal and egregious lack of consideration. He told me he would only explain his parking to an official security guard.

A kiosk attendant came passing by so I called him over and described the driver's mis-behavior. The driver was getting pretty flustered and blurted out to the parking attendant that he was doing a video surveillance of a potential fraud case.

"Quick thinking," I said. "Let's see some identification." "I'll show him, the driver whined, not you!" And he held up some paperwork for West Indies Origin attendant's puzzled examination.

I had to laugh. "You are doing undercover surveillance?" I asked. "Yes," he answered. "I'm not making any trouble."

"And you're so good at it, you've been busted by an old man just trying to park his car. Good luck," I gasped as I laughed and headed out. "You're going to need it."

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