Why you should care

If you’ve suffered the pain of an unjust parking ticket, or just need to let off some steam about baffling government budgets, here’s one well-placed chuckle.

Here’s an unexpectedly tasty old chestnut from Jimmy Tingle’s 60 Minutes II debut. Tingle (and that is his real name) ambles along a city street, coming to rest near a parking meter, where — with crisp good sense made all the more amusing by his thick Boston accent — he holds forth on the absurd injustice of parking tickets:

“I don’t mind puttin’ a quawtah in the pahking metah and renting out that piece a land for fifteen minutes. Good deal. What gets me is if you’re a few minutes late, you literally get a ticket for twenty dollahs! Fellas, give me a ticket for a quawtah! I’ll gladly pay a ticket for a quawtah! Where do you get twenty dollahs? I mean, in the course of few minutes, somebody raised the rent eight thousand pahcent! … I mean, if yaw rent is five hundred dollahs a month and yaw one day late, you don’t get a bill for faw million dollahs!”

Fellas, give a ticket for a quawtah! I’ll gladly pay a ticket for a quawtah!

Rents and parking tickets haven’t gotten more reasonable since the bit first aired, but that fact helps it hold up. Tingle’s gently political, mainstream-friendly commentary is a kind of noise reduction for the common man.

Elsewhere he talks about doing a routine at his son’s Catholic school and then being told, “Dad, you have to swear more.”

A few years ago, at 55, Tingle got a master’s in public administration from Harvard. “Why would a comedian want to go to Harvard?” people asked. “The same reason all of you wanted to go to Harvard,” he told its class of 2010 in his commencement speech. “We got in.” Then Tingle ran a 2012 presidential campaign, on the “Humor for Humanity” platform. He didn’t win, but he’s still a contender.

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