A while back I contested a red light ticket, using the usual logic of time-travel via wormholes and attacking dementors, among other Harry Potter references. I eagerly awaited a response, figuring at the very least I would have brightened some office drone’s dreary day and maybe gotten a pass for creativity. No dice. I received this letter (scanned on the left) where the Powers that Be said I owed the original $75 plus a mysteriously unexplained $35. I have therefore responded with the following. And if anyone out there can shed some light on the actual legality of the Orleans Parish Photo Camera program, please post it in the comments section below. Some people tell me I don’t really have to pay, but I don’t want to fail to qualify for a good mortgage rate three years down the line.
September 13, 2011
Subject: Notice # 0801100923607
Dear Spbagnesis 014,

On May 12, 2011 I was issued the citation referenced in the subject line above. In contesting this, I provided you with a succinct explanation and documentation of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding this alleged violation. I have enclosed these materials should you need to reference them again to refresh yourself with the facts regarding this matter.

Imagine my shock when I received a letter stating that I was nevertheless “responsible” for this alleged violation. My dismay was compounded by the fact that my fiduciary obligation increased from a mere $75 to a whopping $110, as if by magic. No explanation was provided for this adjustment, so I had no choice but to try and figure it out for myself. After thinking it through, I have come to the following understanding.

First off, I commend the lack of transparency in the matter. I think our public officials should be able to conjure additional fines and penalties whenever they feel it necessary in order to keep Lord Voldemort’s minions guessing. If Death Eaters have in fact broken out of de Pauls and dementors are obstructing traffic on Henry Clay, it is only a matter of time before these evil wizards menace City Hall. And when this happens, I can sleep soundly knowing that my additional $35 might be just enough to tip the balance in our favor.

Yet something still concerns me. I see from the stationary that this letter was issued from the Department of Public Works, but the address at the bottom lists Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans. I mailed my original document to an address in Arizona, yet Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s name is on the letterhead for this latest communication.

I readily confess my ignorance of the Byzantine arrangements which must necessarily exist to keep our city functioning in its current healthy and competent manner. I am grateful for the fantastic levees, public schools, and “Traffic Control Device” maintenance that my mills help to pay for. But I must caution against continuing to reveal that Tempe, Arizona is where the program is based. To do so just alerts the Death Eaters of our cunning strategy of decentralized private sector outsourcing.

Please send another letter absolving me of all responsibility in this matter, or at least explaining why I must pay an additional $35 dollars on top of the original fine. Once I receive this, I will muster what resources, financial and otherwise, I can to join forces against Lord V. I must say I have a spectacular Patronus charm – it is fully corporeal and takes the shape of a giant, glowing white nutria.

I eagerly await your reply & geaux Saints,

Jay Forman