Columnist flees BG to evade police

Hollan Holm

Displays of ridiculous amounts of school spirit upset me. That’s why I’m skipping town this week during Homecoming.

As you read this column, I’m trudging deeper and deeper south along the Natchez Trace. I’m going to the Real South, the one that hasn’t been Kentucky-fried.

I’m going to Oxford, Miss., where I will breathe the same air and write the exact same hopelessly complicated and complex sentences as the great, genius American writer William “I need a period somewhere in this mess of words” Faulkner.

I’d be lying like a rug if I said Homecoming was the reason I’m fleeing. Coming down from a testosterone high induced by a recent victory in Western’s short-lived arm wrestling circuit, I’m scared to admit a defeat of any kind. But I’m fleeing Western with the long arm of campus law enforcement grasping at my pants, I mean, for my wallet.

I’m a bad boy, bad boy and not sure what I’m gonna do as they come for me. They’re not blazing their guns or even chucking jelly doughnuts. They’re trying to cut down my strut with scraps of paper, the tan kind that read “Parking Citation.”

That’s right . I’m being assaulted and battered with a ticker tape parade of parking tickets. In the past two weeks, ticketers have slipped not one but two citations under the windshield wipers of my car.

The cops’ $5,000 a day ticket racket wanted to hit me up for a $40 contribution.

But I said no – in a meek, teary-eyed confused sort of way.

I peeled $20 ticket number one – sopping wet and smudged from a hurricane rain – off the glass.

Apparently, I broke the first unwritten rule of gravel lot parking – Thou shalt not park in spaces lacking concrete bumpers. This particular ordinance must have been too long for a budget-crunched university to paint on a sign or print in the rule book.

With my typical professionalism, I waited until the absolute last day possible to pay the ticket before the $5 late penalty.

I sauntered down to the police station with a “2002-2003 Parking and Traffic Regulations” booklet at my side and a showdown on my mind. I was gonna fight the law and win.

As I reached the police hideout, I felt for my backup plan – a checkbook.

After watching four ticket victims pout and grimace their way to cash and restitution, I made my case.

“I got this parking ticket in the gravel lot over on Kentucky Street, and I really don’t understand why,” I said as I donned my best puppy dog face. As you can tell from my column mug shot, it resembled an English Bull Dog getting smacked with a skillet.

I’d beat the ticket with a concise case built on two things – Playing dumb and actually being dumb.

The parking judge – actually just an office clerk – took a look at the ticket and managed not to vomit at the “cuteness” of my face.

“Just don’t park there again,” she said tearing the ticket in half.

Victory.

Unfortunately, the dark forces of parking trounced on that triumph with a smugness I had not seen since Jeff Goldblum in “Independence Day.”

I got a $20 ticket for parking in President Gary Ransdell’s space, even though I had justly won it four days before in an armed combat – arm wrestling. Getting out of that ticket was easy; I took it up the Hill instead of down. I delegated a little responsibility to the administration for once and let Master “G” send the parking posse a note.

The way I tally it, the parking battle’s winnings over the past two weeks break down like this: students: $40, police: $70,000.

I’m getting out of here – at the expense of my Homecoming fun – before I get slapped with a ticket I can’t beat.

Holmcoming Picks ‘O the Week

Step in time, step in time, kick your knees up. Step in time with the Step Show at 8 p.m. Saturday night at the Bowling Green High School. Tickets are $12 in advance if you buy them in the Downing University Center lobby from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today and tomorrow. The fun is guaranteed, but Dick Van Dyke in a chimney sweep suit is not.

Come to Van Meter Auditorium Sunday at 3 p.m. for the Homecoming Choral Concert. It’s free, and you’ll get to see me in a tuxedo faking my way through the music. I might even get an “A” in choir for plugging this.

Badges? Hollan Holm don’t need no stinkin’ badges. Pin him at [email protected]