‘Bob’s Burgers’ Star Takes Out Full-Page Ad to Protest $15 Portsmouth Parking Ticket
Lexington native and Hampshire College alum Eugene Mirman, famous for voicing Gene Belcher on Bob’s Burgers, received a $15 parking ticket in Portsmouth last month for “parking in the wrong direction.” He is simply not having any of it.
The Soviet-born standup comedian says he and his girlfriend had a lovely afternoon traipsing through town, until he found a ticket on his windshield. Logically, Mirman took out a full-page ad to give the City of Portsmouth a piece of his mind: “It’s illegal to back into a spot?” he wrote. “Before I embarrass myself, I want to make sure that Portsmouth is still inside the United States and not considered a part of Iran?”
Dear Portsmouth, NH, and Especially the Parking Clerk’s Office,
Last June I had a wonderful day walking around your historic downtown with my girlfriend. I bought two puppets, who turned out to be gay. Just kidding, they’re puppets. We stopped in cute shops, ate a popover and saw Black David Cross. It was nice.
Then — when we returned to our car, on the windshield was a ticket. “What could this possibly be for,” I thought. I paid for three hours of parking (but only used two — you’re welcome, Portsmouth.) Is it a crime in Portsmouth to not use all of the parking you bought? How’d you know I’d be back early? Do you have a PreCrime division? Why are your PreCogs working on traffic tickets? Shouldn’t they be out preventing Street Performers before they happen? But no, I read the violation—we backed into a spot and were being fined $15 for being “parked in the wrong direction.”
What kind of horse$&it charge is that? It’s illegal to back into a spot? Before I embarrass myself, I want to make sure that Portsmouth is still inside the United States and not considered a part of Iran?
You’re probably thinking, “Well, if before visiting Portsmouth, like everyone else — you’d simply gone to the City Clerk’s Office website, clicked on City of Portsmouth ordinances and looked in chapter seven — Vehicles, Traffic and Parking. Right there in section 7.316: BACK TO CURB, it says, “No vehicle shall remain backed up to the curb.” Similarly, if you had gone to my website before I came to your city and clicked on Eugene’s ordinances, you’d know that in Chapter One under “F%#K You Don’t Steal My Money,” in section 8.215 is says, “F%#K You Don’t Steal My Money.”
But even if I had gone to your website — is states that the online ordinances are not an official copy — that for the official ordinances, I have to call 610-7245. Why no area code? Am I calling from a local payphone in 1986? But instead, I foolishly looked around for signs, both real and from God. I saw nothing, but I heard God’s voice, and he said, “This is f%#cking bull$&it. You need to write them a letter.”
Lastly, as you know, New Hampshire‘s state motto is General John Stark’s celebrated quote, “Live Free or Die,” which he famously said before attempting the first recorded self-BJ. If John Stark was alive today, he would be 287 years old — also, right after learning about cars, General Stark would then be disgusted ti discover that Portsmouth doesn’t even give peopple the freedom to back into a spot — which by your own state’s twisted logic, turns my $15 ticket — into a fight to the death.
With Great Disappointment In You,
This isn’t the first time Mirman, 40, has employed such a tactic. In 2011, he took out a full-page ad comparing Time Warner Cable to genocidal Russian leader Joseph Stalin and serial killer cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer. At this rate, Mirman’s ingenious method of settling petty grievances could save the newspaper industry. Someone get the Nieman Lab on the phone.