This is going to be short because it is a) LATE and b) I am going to see her (squeee!) tomorrow morning with her (yay!) so I have a road trip to prepare for and by prepare I mean get to sleep. Anyhow, in the great, magnanimous City of Chicago (and yes, it is ALWAYS capitalized like that because we think we are more important than we actually are), come June one must purchase a city sticker for their vehicle. This is mandatory and if you don't do it (as I have learned the hard way) you will be ticketed to the tune of $150-ish buckaroos. These stickers are damn expensive so it's not something I take to kindly. Tim drives a Prius which is classified by the city as a "passenger" vehicle (I know, brilliant) and therefore his sticker cost is $75. I drive a 2003 Acura MDX (SUV) which is classified as a "large passenger" vehicle (again, the City of Chicago amazes me with the clever naming) and my sticker cost is $120. Hell no, that's ridiculously expensive for the right to park my car on the streets.
Let me just say that living on a tight budget for a couple of years makes me question the list price of everything. Oh, you say, you haggled with the CITY? No, my dears, I did not. What I did was lookup the city code that governs the laundry list of vehicles that are classified as "large passenger". The city says that for your vehicle to classify as "large passenger" it must have a curb weight of 4,500 lbs or more. Acura MDXs are on that list. However, I couldn't take that at face value. I KNOW car manufacturers change the weights of their models all the time, especially when the model has been RECENTLY redesigned (MDX redesign in 2006-7). Do you see where I'm going with this? I looked up the curb weight of my 2003 MDX and found that it is 49 lbs shy of 4,500 lbs, or the minimum weight to classify as a "large passenger" vehicle. NOT SO FAST CITY OF CHICAGO.
That is how I found myself at the City Clerk's office at noon today shoving my findings in the face of the poor, overworked city employee (which, NO, Chicago city employees are neither poor nor overworked) and requesting (nay, demanding) that I speak to someone about this discrepancy. Lucky for me, the city employee had no desire to deal with my complaining. She gave the papers a look over, decided I wasn't trying to scam the city, and gave me the $75 "passenger" vehicle sticker. I am now the proud owner of a 2003 Acura TL coupe, at least in the eyes of the City of Chicago. And my wallet is $45 heavier. Not bad for a day's work fighting the system.
If you made it to the end of this story, then BRAVO, because it was not short as promised. I need to come up with better material.