[headdesk] [facepalm] [hulksmash]

Every time I write a post in which I use my blog to scoldingly click my tongue at a city council member, I worry there will be a surprise health inspection at the restaurant the following week (Doesn’t matter. We always nail ’em). The perils of writing a blog and owning a city business. It’s like navigating the Fireswamp. I’ll let you figure out who the R.O.U.S.s are.

Okay, so let me catch you up.  The city firefighters it seems are sent to the City County building to get flu shots and when the members of one fire station showed up in their fire trucks to get their flu shots while council members were at lunch, they parked their fire trucks in spaces reserved for councilpersons, spaces marked “Special Permit Parking.”

Darlene Harris didn’t like that.

Firefighters tell KDKA’s Marty Griffin that City Council President Darlene Harris asked one truck to move and the police officer followed with her ticket book. The council president says she had nothing to do with it.

Um, ya kinda did, lady.

But anyway, the firetrucks got parking tickets and now the fire department is fighting the ticket and hoping for leniency because they were city vehicles parked in city spots and now the city is taking the city to parking court and THIS IS THE BEST SNL SKIT EVAH!

Nowhere does it say whether or not Darlene Harris had to park somewhere else. For all we know, she was in the building at the time. But let’s give her the benefit of the doubt and say she arrived and couldn’t park next to the building as usual.

My thought is this:

If I’m on city council and I arrive at work to find a City of Pittsburgh fire truck in my precious preciousssss parking spot that I paid for, I’m going to find another spot and I’m going to go in and find out why the truck is parked there. Maybe there was an emergency. Maybe there’s a fire. Maybe the Mayor got stuck when he tried to fit in the mail chute.

If I then find out that the city firefighters are in the building getting flu shots, I’m going to basically say something like this to myself, “These people are out there every day putting their lives on the line and while they work for the city, I work for them. And we’re having them come here to get flu shots to stay on the job and healthy, so I can loan them my parking space and sit my ass down for the five minutes it takes for them to do that because it’s not like we made it easy on them by just sending a nurse around to their stations with a bag of Flu Mists. If I’m feeling bitchy, maybe I’ll say something to them about parking elsewhere next time. What I’m not going to do is ASK THE FIREFIGHTERS TO MOVE THEIR TRUCK IMMEDIATELY. And I’m certainly not going to stand there and allow those firefighters to get a parking ticket all because it was my whiny piehole that opened up and complained in the first place.”

Shit. Whiney piehole. I just went there. CLEAN THE PLACE GOOD, HONEY!

“It’s really silly,” Ravenstahl said. “And when I was first briefed on it, I didn’t believe that it happened. I couldn’t believe that somebody would actually ticket a fire truck especially when we’re encouraging them to get a flu shot and stay healthy.”

Man, I wish I could have been the one to brief Lukey on this.

“Hizzoner dude. Sit down. You’re going to LOVE THIS.” Then I’d tell him and we’d fall down laughing and accidentally spill our juice boxes all over ourselves.

City Hall done lost its damn mind.


    October 28, 2011 1:09 pm

    This story is on foxnews.com now. Embarrassing.

  2. Beth
    October 28, 2011 1:13 pm

    This is what happens when a bunch of self-serving babies are running the city. Grow up, Darlene! And I thought Lukey was ridiculous.

  3. Katy
    October 28, 2011 1:15 pm

    I so needed to laugh today. This did the trick, thanks.

  4. Cassie
    October 28, 2011 1:31 pm

    Oh good lord. That’s just ridiculous.

    And embarrassing.

    Yay, Pittsburgh!

  5. Barb
    October 28, 2011 1:45 pm

    MAJOR LOL at Lukey getting caught in the mail slot!

    And you’re right. If they’re so concerned about their health, why didn’t the city send a nurse to the firehouse to administer the shots?

  6. Dan (Not Onorato)
    October 28, 2011 2:11 pm

    well at least the National Geographic destination list came out before this happened…

    Darlene Harris? Good. Day.

  7. Paul
    October 28, 2011 3:02 pm

    They should’ve just parked in the fire lane and put on their flashers like everybody else (I have no idea if they place has a fire lane, but to fit my joke it does).

    So Fox News is talking about this? I bet they take the firefighter’s side, while in another segment arguing no public money should be spent on fire departments and it should all be private.

  8. spoon
    October 28, 2011 3:15 pm

    Darlene Harris apparently is invincible to fire which is why she would tempt fate with a herpes monkey move like this.

  9. Hawki
    October 28, 2011 4:23 pm

    Ms. Harris’ arrogance notwithstanding, who decided that it would be a good idea to take a couple of 2 miles/gallon monster trucks dahntahn, (where a single parking place is as rare as social graces at a city council meeting) to get flu shots? That’s not what is meant by public transportation.

  10. Bram R
    October 28, 2011 5:18 pm

    I wuz all ascared, when I read the title of this post, that you were finally going to blog about the Thing you Haven’t Blogged About. I have assumed under the churchly old maxim, “If you don’t have anything nice to say…”

  11. Sam's Dog
    October 28, 2011 7:44 pm

    “Whiney Pieholes”- great band name of the week!

  12. VAgirl
    October 28, 2011 7:44 pm

    Yes second the MAJOR LOL regarding “lil lukey” and the mail slot. Oh come on Darlene and tend to real business.

  13. Steve
    October 28, 2011 10:46 pm

    When fire fighters are on duty they take they trucks everywhere. It is part of being able to respond in an emergency. Every see one at the grocery store?

  14. JenB
    October 29, 2011 12:07 am

    Somebody should really look into changing the procedures for firefighter flu shots. It makes way more sense to send one nurse to the fire house than all the firefighters to city hall.

  15. USCMike
    October 29, 2011 11:31 am

    Regardless of the absurdity surrounding this whole story, is anyone amazed that Darlene Harris would be involved in this type of lunacy?

    Go back and look at her tenure on the City School Board. The mere fact that people would vote to elect her to Council and then even more improbably, her fellow council members would make her President of City Council, is the real craziness underlying this story.

    As for the firemen, at least they didn’t park the engine on top of her car or use it for Jaws of Life training, so she should just shut her orifices and let them get their flu shots. Unfortunately, the shot won’t make them immune to the flu that seems to infect these city politicians!

  16. gunnlino
    October 29, 2011 3:54 pm

    This stuff happens time and time again when you give little people big power .

  17. Andy
    October 29, 2011 6:48 pm

    Surely said parking person didn’t have the gaul to ticket a fire truck themselves. I can imagine someone higher up in the food chain searching for someone with a book of tickets and informing them that one had to be written for this hanus infraction.
    This shows also how those in power like to take fire fighters, and emergency services in general for granted.
    It happens everywhere and it’s deeply saddening.
    I’m not saying that allowances should be made but common sense should be used. It’s not like it’s a limo, it’s a fire truck for goodness sake!
    You’re right Ginny, totally right. Firefighters love ya!

  18. Jim
    October 30, 2011 10:48 am

    Darlene is used to fire. Didn’t she use it to threaten Dorothy and her friends on their way to Oz?

  19. Dave
    October 30, 2011 11:32 am

    1) She gets her road cleared of snow first, http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2010/11/16/councilwoman-harris-defends-city-work-near-her-home/
    2) Takes paving money for her own projects http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/05/05/city-council-president-accused-of-diverting-paving-funds/ – now ironic some of it went to convert a Pgh fire house into a fire museum
    3) Now this.
    4) #govtfail

  20. mairinpgh
    October 30, 2011 2:23 pm

    Of course. Darlene Harris. Yay. Setting back the women’s movement another 20 years, and making Lukey look smart by comparison. Why on earth has this woman managed to secure one elected position after another?

  21. bucdaddy
    October 31, 2011 1:40 am

    Does she have a D after her name?

  22. MattDC
    October 31, 2011 10:25 am

    Lots of question marks all around:
    1. Ticketing a fire truck over a vanity parking space?
    2. Driving a firetruck to the county building to get a flu shot?
    3. Fighting your employer in court over a stupid parking ticket that could eaisly be leveraged into something better to avoid bad publicity?
    4. Inviting a restaurant health inspection?
    5. Using billable time to compile this list?

  23. Butcher's Dog
    October 31, 2011 11:33 am

    On a cheerier note, does anyone else suspect that today’s WTRT will be titled “Hand of God Edition” in honor of the ball punch that resulted in the safety? If so, as my hero Gene Collier often says, “No need to thank me.”

  24. Lisa
    October 31, 2011 6:09 pm

    @22 MattDC and everyone else who has questioned “Driving a firetruck to the county building to get a flu shot?”

    What if this was the only time the shots were being offered? I’d rather the on duty guys brought the truck in case they got a call and had to go. Our local FD doesn’t make a habit of it, but I’ve seen them with the firetruck at the grocery store and ice cream stand from time to time. It can be good PR, too, as that’s the closest a lot of kids will ever get to a firetruck in a non-emergency situation.

  25. Bulldog
    November 1, 2011 8:48 am

    Absolutely right Lisa. I’d much rather these (and all firefighters) who are on-duty take their truck EVERYWHERE they go so that they can respond to any emergency in the quickest time, rather than head back to the station to pick up their truck.