6 Bad Behaviors We Should Be Tolling

Inspired by the new toll kicking off on the 520 bridge today, I thought of some other ways we could scrape together a few bucks to benefit good causes.

1. Any landlord behind a paid parking lot that is full of trash or barely maintained. If you’re going to let acres of a city turn into ugly (and sometimes dangerous) dead space for the sake of profit – you should pay through the nose for it. Please make checks payable to the local Parks Department. (Conversely, any landlord who opens their space for public art installation or tree planting should be rewarded.)

2. Grumpy baristas and bartenders. You’re surrounded by your drug of choice all day and no one complains (to your face) when you wear t-shirts two sizes too small. Want to doll out attitude? Fine, transfer those meager tip jar funds into an envelope and mail it to a public school teacher or a social worker (in other words, the job you might have landed after grad school if you weren’t so snooty).

3. Music appreciators that don’t appreciate the purpose of headphones. If I can hear the music piping through your ear buds, well, the permanent hearing damage you are sustaining should be restitution enough. But I demand more immediate satisfaction! For every co-passenger or coworker who asks you to turn it down – send a donation to a local nonprofit music program so a child somewhere has a hope at developing better taste in music than you.

4. People who stay glued to their smart phones in restaurants. Ask your waiter to send the entire value of your meal to a food bank or homeless shelter. If you don’t truly appreciate the luxury of a good meal being prepared for you, let someone in need appreciate it for you.

5. Yoga-pants wearing ladies circling Green Lake armed with strollers, perfect golden retrievers and iced-beverages. Drop a dollar into Seattle Public Theatre’s mailbox for every circuit. Because you annoy me.

6. Anyone who forgoes salutations or basic politeness when writing emails. Do not grunt at someone electronically and expect a response (let alone a favor!). Send your mother a check – and a note that says you’re sorry and that you know she raised you better than that.

Were you hoping this post would help you understand how to pay the 520 bridge toll? Go to wsdot.wa.gov. Tolling began Thursday, December 29, 2011.