I have never been the smartest person in a room, I don’t have a bachelors degree, and I’m wrong about things just as often as I’m right. However, according to my 22 years of life experience, I’m pretty damn certain I can read. Unfortunately, in the metro area of Portland, being able to read the rules on a parking sign doesn’t exempt you from violations since most of them make no sense anyway. For example: you know how you can’t park in a loading zone? You know how normally a sign will say, “No Parking, Loading Zone”? Yeah, here in Portland they just put a picture of a truck that rest a top the words, “30 Minutes Only”. So is it short term parking? Truck parking? Commercial vehicle parking? The possibilities are endless. As it’s probably easy to figure out that I have been personally afflicted by this travesty, I tried my hardest to contest the ticket that I was given for parking in one these “loading zones” to no avail. When I approached the parking officer writing me a ticket, he told me that without confusing signs the city wouldn’t be able to make any money and that my complaint could be directed to the city. Realizing I was getting no where with the officer, I found my way to Portland’s personal hell; traffic court. It was there that my fate was sealed- I was told that it was my duty to decipher the street sign and if I was nervous of getting a parking violation I’d be better off taking public transportation. After having two separate public servants of Portland basically just tell me to deal with it or somehow change my need for a car, I lost all hope. I paid the ticket, mumbled some colorful words, and swallowed my frustration which could one day manifest itself into some sort of ulcer or tumor. I’m sure if that happens though, the doctor will just tell me, “You really should’ve understood those parking signs better”.