I was in a doctor’s office at the corner of 25th and M Sts. NW yesterday morning for an 8 a.m. appointment. Post-visit, I returned to my car on the 1200 block of 25th Street NW at 8:48 a.m., one minute after parking ticket #370563863—-for violation “P039 Expired Meter,” which comes with a $25 fine—-had been issued and left on my windshield.

The ticket writer—-identified on the ticket as Officer M Cook, Dept. 15, Badge #00195—-was only a few feet from my car when I picked up the pink slip, so I pointed out to her that the meter, identified on the ticket as 251204NW, says it is only in use from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. No street sign to contradict the meter’s language was anywhere visible, and parking on the block isn’t affected by rush-hour restrictions. She quickly agreed: The meter indeed listed those hours of operation.

But then Officer M Cook, Dept. 15, Badge #00195 added, “They’re going to change that to 7 a.m.”

What?

“They’re going to change that meter soon. It’s going to say 7 a.m.,” said Officer M Cook, Dept. 15, Badge #00195.

I took the bait and asked, in a psychotic squeal, how could I have known to feed a meter that tells me not to feed it.

“You can fight it if you want,” responded Officer M Cook, Dept. 15, Badge #00195, walking away. “I’m just doing my job.”

Up against this sort of civil service, what’s Joe Citizen to do?