The $200 Latte

Another weekend in the Hamptons has passed us by and this time, we had a run-in we’d rather forget. You see, as we prepared to purchase our ritualistic skinny vanilla latte and a grande cafe, my hubby was startled when a policeman unexpectedly rapped on his window after he had dropped my daughter and I off in front of Starbucks.
As my son slept soundly in the backseat, the officer proceeded to tell my DH that he was getting a ticket because he was blocking a handicapped parking space. WTF? He was merely dropping me and my daughter curbside so that we didn’t get clipped by another car in the lot and was planning to park when this policeman decided to issue him a parking ticket instead of telling him to park his car in one of 50 available spots in the lot. Frankly, I was completely puzzled by this officer who obviously has too much time on his hands. He must have either decided to settle a bet with a fellow cop who dared him to snag a driver at Starbucks, or maybe he was paid off by someone at Dunkin Donuts. Either way, this was by far the most expensive latte I’ve ever purchased in my life. And frankly, we’re going to think twice before we satisfy a caffeine craving before we begin our trek back to Westchester.
What I can’t seem to understand is in our current economy, with gas prices soaring, and summer resort towns feeling the hit at hotels, B&B’s and restaurants, the local police have no care whatsoever on whether tourists ever return. If they did actually think twice before they handed over a $200 ticket, they’d realize that harassing a tourist or a regular patron of the local Starbucks will indirectly have an impact on local business. You see, we’re probably not going back to that Starbucks ever again and we pretty much go there every week throughout the entire summer. And I’m sure we’re not the first people to have been snagged by a lazy cop who didn’t feel like staking out a highway where people could be whizzing by at 80 miles an hour. No, you never know if some reckless driver is wreaking havoc in the Starbucks parking lot.
I know we shouldn’t have blocked a handicapped zone, but we didn’t park and we had no intention of remaining in that location. While we normally pay our tickets without incident, this time around, my husband is going to head to court and fight this ridiculous charge. While he may not win, he can at least lodge a complaint against a cop who obviously was in a bad mood because he didn’t yet have his caffeine fix. Incidentally, after he issued the ticket, the cop parked his car next to ours and proceeded to buy a grande cappucino. Only in the Hamptons kids. Only in the Hamptons.