Although the yellow citation-like paper looked like a parking ticket (and included a barcode), small text at the top right of the “ticket” read “OVERNIGHT PARKING AWESOMENESS NOTICE.” Underneath “The Wismer House,” additional text in boxes like those on a ticket read:
We think you’re awesome BN976326
[BECAUSE YOU LEFT YOUR CAR HERE OVERNIGHT]
[WHICH MEANS YOU MADE A SMART & SAFE] … Judgment Call … BAR STAR
[WE LIKE THE CUT OF YOUR JIB]
[PLEASE REDEEM THIS GIFT TICKET FOR $10 AT YOUR NEXT VISIT]
[THANKS FOR BEING SMART AND GOOD LOOKING]
[Sorry if you thought this was a legit parking fine. Might we suggest a delicious Caeser (sic) after you’ve retrieved your vehicle? Could be just what the doctor ordered.]
[Set Gift Amount: $10]
The resemblance to the unpleasant surprise of a parking ticket was surely part of the image’s appeal (although the Wismer House “ticket” appeared to be laminated for re-use). Elements like a bar code and a string of letters and numbers added to its visual authenticity.
Conversely, the text of the Wismer House “ticket” was clearly not of the sort seen on a municipal citation — “we think you’re awesome,” “we like the cut of your jib,” and most tellingly, “sorry if you thought this was a legit parking fine.” Imgur posts don’t always clarify whether the images are reflective of reality or creative humor, but this was a re-post of a series of posts on Reddit and Imgur (with the same title) in 2019; Reddit was the first of the two:
Even that wasn’t the Wismer House citation’s first online appearance. In May 2017, the Wismer House in Port Elgin, Ontario shared four images (one of the citation) in a Facebook post, explained why they created the prank tickets, and alluded to contemporaneous popularity on Facebook:
Someone’s handing out parking fines for our overnight 4-wheeled guests!
Psyche! You’ve seen the ‘ticket’ all over Facebook and we’d love to share a few thoughts.
We are so happy that you all love the Wiz and enjoy your visits to our restaurant, bar and patio – but we strongly believe there is ALWAYS an alternative to driving after you’ve had too many.
Call a cab! Call your Mom! Get a ride with a designated driver! Walk with a friend! Or plan ahead!
Leaving your car in our parking lot is 100% welcome and encouraged if you’ve enjoyed too many beverages. There are initiatives all over the country that have inspired us to follow suit – let’s keep our streets and people safe.
We want to reward you for your good choices!
Talk to our friendly bartenders for questions, help or assistance in any way – we’re here for you. Safety never takes a holiday.
An August 2021 Imgur repost of a fake parking ticket from a restaurant and pub (good for a $10 credit) intended for cars parked overnight originated with a May 2019 r/mildlyinteresting post on Reddit. The Wismer House acknowledged their “ticket” in a 2017 Facebook post, explaining their initiative to reward guests who return for cars the following day rather than possibly driving the same cars home after drinking. The “citations” were real, as acknowledged by The Wismer House in their 2017 post.