As lovely Rita retires

Neil Kramer mourns a sadistic little machine:

A child born today will probably never see a working coin-operated parking meter, or experience the frantic search for the dropped quarter under the car seat, while the meter hungrily cries for her food like a voracious Venus flytrap.

The typewriter. The telephone booth. And now, the coin-operated parking meter. All gone.

Here in the OKC, we’re perhaps just a trifle less sentimental about the parking meter, since we’ve had them longer than any other place on earth. (If you’re keeping score, since 16 July 1935.)

Although I did like this idea, which, alas, never came to fruition:

[W]hy not re-install either the original parking meter or a duplicate of it where the world’s first parking meter stood — at Park and Robinson. Install it, charge the original rates for this meter and this one only, and put up a sign next to it explaining that the world’s first parking meter was invented and installed here. I know, we’re not supposed to like these gadgets, but they’re a fact of life and why not give tourists and visitors a whimsical chuckle and picture spot while they are here?

Especially since just ’round the corner are some of those new soulless devices with LCD screens.

Disclosure: I do own a typewriter. Unfortunately, it too is a soulless device with an LCD screen.


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