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There’s No Such Thing As 90-degree Parking

By Al Vinikour  

This could get expensive...One sure-fire giveaway to know that someone has a brand new car is to see a shiny vehicle parked across two or there parking spaces. The presumable reason is to stop someone from parking too closely and putting a dent somewhere on this “prized asset.” Technically it makes sense. Somebody is proud of a vehicle that they have worked hard for and spent many thousands of dollars on. However, one thing these selfish fecal craniums fail to consider is that everybody in that parking lot has spent thousands of dollars or more on their own rides. If everyone felt the entitlement that the schmuck in this example feels, a parking lot the size of Yankee Stadium’s would be needed at any 7-11!

I honestly admire the love these individuals have for their new possession, and their instinct to keep it free from harm. But that understanding quickly erodes when I’m looking for a parking spot in a torrential rainstorm, and there’s a Pontiac G8 straddled across three close-in parking spaces! At that moment, I weigh the choice of eating a mystery meat sandwich at a county lockup for dinner that night because I vandalized that Pontiac in broad daylight and rendered it inoperable… or biting the bullet and getting drenched running into Kroger’s because I had to park so far away from the door.

Sometimes, while waiting for the rain to die down, I think of creative ways to get back at the inconsiderate slob that took up spaces others could use. One of my favorites is for the storeowners to have a metal box like you see in buildings where you break the glass and pull the alarm to notify the fire department or remove the fire extinguisher inside. Except the metal box in the parking lot would contain hardened tungsten ice picks. The sign on the box would read Break Glass When Drivers Use More Than One Parking Spot. People who have been blocked out of having a parking spot would break the glass, remove the ice pick, and proceed to scratch in graffiti so that after an hour the miscreant vehicle looks like a box car sitting in a rail yard. Until the owner had his vehicle refinished and repainted, the whole world will know that he’s a thoughtless male body part.

Another fantasy is more a test of military technology. The M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank has a 120 mm main gun capable of hitting targets almost 10,000 ft away with pinpoint accuracy. I think the Special Forces, as part of their anti-terrorist training, should be deputized to cruise larger parking lots, like supermarkets and shopping malls, looking for “Communists” who take up multiple parking spaces. When they find some they should put them on a flat bed Deuce and a Half truck, and drive them to the closest military base that utilizes heavy artillery. Instead of using obsolete tanks and trucks as targets they should be able to use vehicles like that bright, shiny, new Lincoln straddling multiple spaces. The towed vehicles should be placed on platforms almost two miles from an Abrams tank, and the gunners should be proficient enough to vaporize the errant vehicle in three shots or less.

A more realistic fantasy would have the owner of the ill-parked vehicle inside the store shopping, and the vehicles on either side of his car have left. In the meantime, two J. B. Hunt 18-wheelers parked so close to the front and rear bumpers that there’s less than an inch of separation. When the owner of the car reappears and sees his dilemma, he gets all red in the face, but is sensible enough to realize that the drivers of those big rigs are probably ex-Marines, have a “Mother” tattoo on one arm and a Don’t Tread On Me tattoo on the other, and Confederate Flags on the front bumper of each of their K-Whoppers. So he loads his bags full of perishable foods like ice cream, frozen dinners and potato salad in the back seat, and decides to wait out the first trucker who comes back.

What this butthole doesn’t realize is that the trucks are parked there for the weekend and the drivers were picked up by their “women.” Short of hiring a Sikorsky Sky Crain, Mr. I’m Entitled is there for the duration. (Did I mentioned that the truckers, God bless them, took one of their tie-down chains and broke all the windows in his car?

There is no excuse to feel entitled to parallel park across several spots even if there aren’t many people who would be careful to avoid banging their car door against the vehicle next to theirs. But if they do, it’s no more undesirable than somebody taking up three parking spots—especially in inclement weather. If you feel that your vehicle is so precious that you want to avoid being too close to another, there’s probably plenty of spots at the far end of the lot. You’ll get some exercise, preserve the integrity of your vehicle and avoid pissing people off at the same time. Just remember, Barry… paybacks are a bitch, and the one who is going to carve her initials in your paint could be one herself.

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