Pay It Forward


Good Samaritan meets government collection agent:

Stanley Yaffe thought he was committing a random act of kindness Wednesday when he put a quarter in a stranger's expired parking meter.

Not so, a Denver "vehicle control agent" informed Yaffe. The "VCA"—as they say in the bureaucratic heaven of puffed-up titles and silly acronyms—told Yaffe that he had committed a crime:

"Interfering with the collection of city revenue."


He was stunned when the "vehicle control agent" explained, "I could have you arrested. You are interfering with the collection of city revenue. I could call the police right now."

"You're joking, right?" Yaffe said he responded.

"No," Yaffe said the monitor replied.

Yaffe said he wouldn't do it again and prepared to leave.

"What makes you think I'm letting you go?" Yaffe said the VCA replied.

The meter maid forced Yaffe to apologize a second time before releasing.  Thing is, there's no law in Denver barring Yaffe's act of good will.  In fact…

Not only did Denver's mayor have a campaign commercial where he fed an expired meter, he had a commercial in which he fed an expired meter as an actor playing a VCA started to write a ticket. The evidence is still available at

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