Art and Democracy: Culture Jam Project

Happy Parking Tickets by Madeleine Pettit

A bit of happiness on your windshield_Happy Parking Tickets by Madeleine Pettit


This project is about spreading positivity. Whenever I find something on my windshield when I park at UCCS, it has always been negative, such as claims that I am killing the environment by using my car or an actual parking ticket. I wanted to recreate the experience of finding a ticket, except the payoff is not a fine or negative memory, but a quote, poem, or joke.


I picked quotes based on how inspirational it felt to me, or rather, that I felt it underscored that you have a part in your happiness.

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
 Thich Nhat Hanh
“It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.”
 -F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” 
 -Jim Rohn


For my poems, I picked two haikus that always make me smile, and a poem about sharing any happiness you have.

A lovely thing to see:
through the paper window’s hole,
the Galaxy.
-Kobayahsi Issa
I hung the moon on various
branches of the pine
Any Little Word — Unknown
If any little word of ours,
Can make one life the brighter;
If any little song of ours
Can make one heart the lighter;
God help us speak that little word,
And take our bit of singing,
And drop it in some lonely vale
To set the echoes ringing


Finally, I did four jokes because I thought, what better way to spread positivity than making people laugh?

The local minister sees that every morning, some apples on his tree are missing. He makes a sign that says:
 God sees everything. 
 The next morning, somebody writes under it: Yes, but he’s not a snitch.
I bought some shoes from a drug dealer. I don’t know what he laced them with, but I’ve been tripping all day.
Two cows are in a field, one says to the other “I’m really worried about Mad Cow Disease, wouldn’t it be awful to have that?” The other cow says “Oh I’m not worried about that, I’m a helicopter!”
What do you get when you cross a dyslexic, an insomniac, and an agnostic?Someone who lays awake at night wondering if there is a dog
Happy Parking Tickets by Madeleine Pettit

I distributed a set of 10 in different parking lots all over UCCS. In order to make the tickets feel more authentic, I used a font that resembles receipt lettering, and hand folded and glued envelopes to place my tickets in from yellow card stock. Overall, the tickets looked convincing.

Typical ticket placement_Happy Parking Tickets by Madeleine Pettit