The biggest question this story will leave in your mind isn't how the guy got away with not paying parking tickets for over a decade, I'll be explaining that. The real question is: Why did it go on as long as it did? By the end of this story you'll be wondering how a city's entire police force could have been lobotomized without anyone raising an eyebrow.
Mario Hili from North Geelong, Australia, was caught speeding and running red lights 20 times over 13 years. He never once got points on his license, and he never once paid a fine -- 20 tickets, no punishment. You know when people get frustrated and say, "Who do I gotta blow to [thing that needs to get done] around here?!" At first glance, it seems like Hili knew exactly who to blow to get a ticket dismissed, and with 20 tickets over 13 years, they boiled their business blow jobs down to a mundane routine. The truth was a little more complicated than that, but not by much.
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"Let's get down to brass tacks -- I ran a red. I'll give your hog some lip service, then we'll do lunch."
Every one of the 20 tickets Hili received was from a traffic camera. The moment Hili would receive a ticket in the mail, he would report his car as stolen, and then would claim to have found it all by himself before the police had a chance to investigate, thus passing off the traffic offense to fictional thieves. He did this 20 times, and not one cop ever noticed a pattern in his record that a brain wired to a particularly stupid potato could've noticed. That level of pattern recognition is used to check if your kid needs to be in Special Ed. after he eats a snail at recess. Did the cops figure it was just a demon car that ate thieves and spit their clothes out the trunk with a burp, like it was Herbie the Love Bug as written by a Stephen King? Didn't they think any of it was suspicious? Nope! Not for 13 years!
It wasn't until his 21st attempt that he was finally caught. The cops dusted the car for prints and found only Hili's sneaky hands all over it.
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"I'm here to chew good news and give bad news. And I'm all outta good news."
Screaming obscenities at a meter maid will never get your ticket withdrawn. But if the actions of an unnamed person from Melbourne, Australia, prove anything, it's that you don't have to be vulgar to get your ticket dismissed -- you just have to be a delightfully sarcastic dick.
Didgeridoo Dundee (the name I'm giving the unnamed Australian) parked his car in a space along the street. He walked to his trunk to take out his briefcase. In the briefcase was the money he was going to use to pay for the space at the parking meter machine, which was near the front of the car. In the time it took Didgeridoo Dundee to walk from the driver seat to the trunk to the ticket machine, a meter maid left a ticket on his windshield.
Didgeridoo Dundee, visual approximation.
This happened 40 seconds after parking. The meter maid, shocked to discover the car's owner would still be hanging around 40 seconds after the car was parked, came face-to-face with Didgeridoo Dundee and said, "Where did you come from?" -- the meter maid fully acknowledged that Didgeridoo Dundee had just parked the car and was intending to pay. Didgeridoo Dundee got the ticket anyway.
Didgeridoo Dundee figured, why bother getting lawyers involved when he could write a glorious, extremely passive-aggressive letter to the Melbourne Parking and Traffic to contest the ticket? And so he did:
"Seriously, I've gotta hand it to him -- this guy's a genius. Somehow he knew I fully intended to comply with the regulations and pay for my parking, so he did what any good parking officer would do -- he wrote me a ticket before I even had the chance to walk the 8 steps to the machine & pay for one. Officer 335 must get a raise, no questions asked."
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"And while you're at it, make him president of the world."
He continued by placing the blame squarely on himself:
"I accept full responsibility for not getting from my car to the ticket machine in time. The 30-40 seconds I let lapse between parking and finding my $8.00 was clearly my fault ... In the interim, I will commence winding down my window as I pull in and throwing my coins at the ticket machine in the hope that some find their way into the coin slot."
Didgeridoo Dundee signed the letter "Yours in disbelief" and sent it off. Eight days later, the ticket was withdrawn. And so, for the first time in recorded history, intense, highly condescending sarcasm directed toward a government worker actually accomplished something. It never worked again.