The Modern Mom called yesterday and asked me if I'd gotten a parking ticket while in Memphis on the campus of the local university, a place where once upon a time, long, long ago I'd taken a few summer school courses. I denied it -- the few times I found myself there during my crazy, crazy week in Memphis, I'd either parked on the streets or was sitting in my car in one of the lots. I would have seen any cop or meter maid who dared to approach.
MM insisted there was a letter that had arrived at my parents' house from the university demanding $10 for a parking fine. It couldn't be, I swore up and down. Why would such a bill arrive at their house? My car has never been registered at that address. Heck, I'm pretty sure my last two cars were never registered there. There was absolutely no reason for them to give me a ticket while I was there last week. She asked if possibly it was leftover from when I was a student there. Eight years ago? I think not, and even if it was I wouldn't pay it. Besides, I always had a parking tag and parked legally when I took classes because I hadn't quite yet developed the talent for drawing tickets for illegal parking that I would eventually master at the university I graduated from.
She promised to call the bursar's office to investigate and phoned me back this morning. "Well, you're off the hook," she said. "It was a parking ticket for me."
MM had drawn a parking ticket in October when she was on campus for her own job. Here's where it gets crazy: the university ran the plates on the car and came up with the name of the person it was registered to, that being my mother's. They did a search of their own records and found my name and my parking registration from eight years ago for the 1993 beige Toyota Camry which I drove back in the day. My mom now drives a 2006 beige Toyota Camry, and the geniuses at the university decided that last name and same car make and color were enough of a match that I must have been responsible for the parking violation.
Here's the kicker: the Modern Mom had paid that ticket in October when she got it and had the cancelled check to prove it.