Jay Fitzgerald asked another car etiquette question today. It seems a (crazy) man in Jamaica Plain appointed himself Protector of Parking Rules and repeatedly vandalized his neighbors' cars for perceived infractions. It got so bad that the police set up a sting, and caught him on tape keying a police van. Jay knows that screwdrivers and keys are over the top, but wonders about fruit:
But how about throwing/placing/smearing rotten tomatoes on cars that are illegally parked?
Thanks for the question, Jay; I'm glad to help. The answer is:
Tomatoes are out, too. They are acidic, and can cause permanent harm to a car by damaging the paint. By causing damage to the car, as opposed to one of its discrete parts, you are probably committing a felony because it is unlikely that the repair can be accomplished for less than the $250 threshold (See M.G.L. c. 266, § 127). So what is an aggrieved citizen to do?
It is always best to call the authorities. Perhaps they will respond. Failing that, leave a note for the offender, in a pleasant and non-confrontational tone, to ask for his voluntary compliance. When that fails, just let the air out of his tires. Properly done, it causes no permanent harm, but mere inconvenience.
Gentlemen who respect automobiles understand that they are the mere instruments of another's misbehavior. It would be bad form, indeed, to cause any lasting damage.
Of course, the air in a Maybach might be worth $250 on its own. Something has to make the thing worth $350,000.