Submitted by Frederick Cohan.
The latest in parking meter technology has arrived in Middletown -- a sensor in each space that detects the presence of a car. The meter resets to zero when a car leaves, so we can no longer be gifted parking time from a shopper who came before us.
Likewise, we can no longer dish out generosity and kindness to someone who might come after us. Worse, when a car's meter runs out of time, it summons the parking cop.
Who thinks of this stuff? Imagine an alternative universe where parking sensors perform acts of kindness to shoppers. I just returned from such a universe -- a parking garage in Colombia, South America -- where each parking spot shows a red light overhead, visible from a great distance, if the space is taken, or a green light if the space is available.
A sensor by itself is not kind or malevolent, but Middletown has chosen the meanest and greediest imaginable use of the technology.