Thursday, July 16, 2015

Guest Story: Even More Fun With Edgar

We've shared a few stories on TTIV about the "rental cop" who directs traffic into the Hicksville Municipal parking lot. Not knowing his real name, we've given him the moniker "Edgar Wrentilkoppe." It isn't Edgar's fault that his job is difficult and unnecessary, but the way in which he conducts his business is aggressive and often frightening.

A TTIV reader contributed his own anecdote about Edgar, and it's the subject of today's story. We'll call our contributor "The Duke of Albany." #TTIV always protects reader anonymity with a Shakespearean pseudonym. 

Crude Drawing - LIRR west of Great Neck
I have had the pleasure, or displeasure, of commuting from six different Long Island Rail Road stations over the past few years, but Hicksville has by far the zaniest characters I've come across. Edgar the Rental Cop takes first prize in this contest.

I am one of those unfortunate souls who work in Long Island City, so my commute requires the rare train to Hunterspoint Avenue. If I don't take a Hunterspoint Avenue train, there will be subway rides involved, lengthening my journey.

If you've been reading TTIV stories, you know that Edgar has anger management issues. If he tells a car to stop, he expects the driver to listen. Hey, he's the man.

A parking garage space counter
The timing of the Hicksville-->Hunterspoint Avenue trains means I arrive at the Hicksville Municipal lot just as it is filling up. Inside the parking garage is an electronic board that updates the number of open spaces in real time. When the open spaces get down to the single digits, people get desperate. TTIV note: I don't understand why. There's always alternate parking, but people want what they want. They cut each other off, sometimes entering the facility through the exit-only lane. Sometimes they ignore Edgar's instructions, and he doesn't like that.

Edgar's wand
I've watched commuters drive right past Edgar when he's indicated that they should stop. This is dangerous, selfish, and foolish, and when it happens, all hell breaks loose. I've watched Edgar run after the perpetrators and scream indecipherable things.  Sometimes a culprit gets down the ramp before Edgar catches up. But sometimes, due to slowed entrance traffic, I have watched him run so hard that he slammed into the back end of a car, make his point, and return to the road to misdirect traffic.

We could shoot a documentary for the Discovery Channel on Edgar in his wild parking habitat.  Who needs to travel to another continent for a safari?

TTIV lesson learned: Edgar's got a tough job and drivers who ignore him put themselves and others at risk. Still, his hot-headedness fuels problems. If the Town of Oyster Bay is going to insist that traffic be directed, they need to support Edgar with police backup or cameras that can take photos of license plates, and then ticket unsafe drivers. Edgar's program of menacing drivers needs to be addressed.

In the meantime, if you use the Municipal facility, keep your windows up and maintain a respectful distance. Don't make loud noises. Feed Edgar at your own risk.

Thanks to the Duke of Albany for sharing this story.

Happy and safe commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.
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