I was going to write this sappy goodbye column for my last day at the Beacon. After all, I won't be back in the fall - I'm finally getting a real job.
But, alas, my anger has pushed me in another direction.
Encounter No. 1
Two Sundays ago, as I was returning from Chattanooga (my home), I pulled my car into the fire lane of Morrill Hall (yes, I live in the dorm and I'm a junior - I know, I'm a tool) at about 11:30 p.m. to unload my stuff into my room.
Note: If you have ever lived in Morrill, you would know that everyone parks in the fire lane to unload their stuff. It's not just me. If you go and look yourself, no matter what time you go, I promise there will be at least two cars in that fire lane.
Regardless, I took my stuff to the 11th floor and came right back (five minutes, tops). When I walked outside, a police officer was in the process of writing me a $42 ticket.
Our conversation went like this:
Me: "Hey, that's my car."
Officer: "Yeah, can you read the sign, buddy?"
Additional note: There is a sign that says NO PARKING: FIRE LANE, but that's beside the point. He could have simply given me a warning.
Me: "Yeah, well it's almost midnight and I needed to unload my stuff."
Officer: "Yeah, well read the sign!"
Me (voice rising with anger): "You're being ridiculous."
Officer: "Well, here's your ticket."
Me (in a defiant tone): "I'm not taking your ticket. If you want me to have the ticket, then put it on my windshield."
Encounter No. 2
Monday night, my friend Ryan and I made a late-night voyage to Wendy's, and we went to the Andy Holt parking garage to get the car.
If you are familiar with the Andy Holt parking garage, specifically level two, you would know there are two spots along the left wall.
When I parked my mom's 1993 Toyota Previa van a couple of days ago, the first spot along the wall was open. So rather than going all the way around the whole garage and backing into the spot, I merely pulled right into it.
It wasn't dangerous. It wasn't a big deal. The spot is less than 15 feet into the garage. In fact, a security officer drove by while I was parking there and gave me a friendly wave.
So when I went to my car Monday night, what do you think was on my windshield?
Of course there was a ticket. It said I violated code 2-G, which states, "parked the wrong way on a one-way street."
What?! I was parked the wrong way on a one-way street?! In a garage!!? Anyway, that's my rant of the week.
Now that that's out of the way, a couple of quick points:
o You might think schmoozing with big-time athletes is the best part of my job. Well, you're wrong. They have arms and legs just like you and I, and frankly, most of them are a bore.
o The food is why I'm in this line of work. Gibbs Hall on Tuesdays in the fall. All the Chick-fil-A you want at the Peach Bowl. Sawyer's at Lady Vols basketball games. That's way better than the actual sports part of this job.
o I will be writing a column in the fall, but I will be working for the Chattanooga Times Free Press full-time. I have to make some money (I'm getting married in December).
o A lot of times I hated this job, but thank God Glenn was here so we could fight off the rest of the newsroom together.
o A few last thoughts of remembrance: blowing out a tire at the SEC Basketball Tournamet in Atlanta at two in the morning ... having to actually watch the pitiful Vols play that weekend ... getting lost on the way to the Peach Bowl ... pushing Notre Dame women's basketball coach Muppet McGraw over the edge ... Glenn and I breaking into a high school principal's office to send stories ... Rupp Arena ... figuring out that Ron Slay is the coolest athlete at UT in decades ... my weekly banters with Eric Trainer ... meeting Wesley Clark (just kidding, what an idiot) ... meeting the wrath of Bill Satterfield ...
It's been real. I'm out of here.
- Scott Simmons is the sports copy editor for The Daily Beacon and a junior in finance. He can be reached at simmonssays@utk.edu.