I’m walking downtown (heading back to my office, if you must know) and standing on a street corner waiting for the light to change, or for traffic to clear, whichever comes first. As I’m looking down the street, I see this small SUV, a Honda CRV or something similar, heading towards me, and it’s got it’s turn signal on. It looks like it’s going to turn onto a wrong-way street. That catches my attention.

It doesn’t, in fact, turn. But it pulls up in front of me, blocking the pedestrian walkway. It pulls up behind a row of cars parallel-parked on that side of the street.

And the car is full of bald Asian guys, all wearing orange-colored robes. They look like monks or something. There’s five or six of them.

The driver’s side window is down, and I’m feeling annoyance that they’re blocking my way, and on top of it they’re illegally parked.

So I say, “That’s not a parking space” into the window.

The driver turns and looks at me, and starts to say, “Oh, I know, we’re just here for a second–” but I cut him off and repeat, “That’s not a parking space. That’s illegal.”

He starts to repeat his statement, and the other guys in the car are looking at themselves and talking amongst themselves, and I start to think that I’m going to get my ass kicked by a bunch of pacifist Buddhist monks for pointing out their illegal parking. But, somehow, I just can’t stop myself.

“I’m just saying,” I continue, “that what you’re doing is ILLEGAL.” And I make air-quotes around the word ILLEGAL.

Luckily the bald robe-wearing guys aren’t getting out of the car. They’re still just sitting there, and the driver is leaning out the window and trying to explain himself. I repeat, once more, for emphasis, the single word “ILLEGAL” and again make with the air-quotes.

And then, because the light has changed, I cut around the tail end of their car and cross the street.