Traffic police at Bobai county in China's southern Guangxi province issued a public apology this week after an officer called a man who inquired about a parking ticket he had received an "idiot" during an online exchange.
The self-proclaimed novice driver "Small Lazy Cat1", whose real name was not disclosed, said he was confused by a fine he received after parking legitimately on the street, albeit against the flow of the traffic.
"I wanted to know why I was punished, and which laws I broke," he wrote in a message sent to the official Weibo account of Bobai's traffic police.
The inquiry received a quick and blunt response from the police.
"Divers should always park on the right side of the road, you idiot," reads the official note, which also pointed out a traffic by-law specifying the violation.
Astonished, "Small Lazy Cat1" shared the reply on Tianya, a highly popular Chinese forum. 
"I wonder if this is what all our civil servants behave," he said in his post. "It's amazing that this comes from their official Weibo account."
The matter was finally taken seriously by Guangxi police after it was reported by media across the country.
In a statement, the force apologised to the driver, and said the officer who wrote the message had been issued with a warning.