What did those kids do to that nice lady?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Parking Wars



Such a heavy word. Such a heavy thought. Sometimes you just need a vacation from thinking about parking.

Like when I go to my home state of Iowa to visit family and we happen to “head into town,” as we like to say, and there, before my eyes, are endless rows of empty spot after…empty spot. Is this some sort of trick, I wonder to myself? You can just roll on into town and…park?  I frantically search for a parking sign…any parking sign. There has to be one! There have to be RULES here, people!  

But there are none.

We park. 

And walk away from the car.

Not a care in the world.

It feels so good. So good.

Oh a whim, I happened to ask my dad what the cost of a parking ticket is  and he said, pausing to think about it, maybe $4? 

And I’m pretty sure I said I WOULD NEVER FEED ANOTHER METER AGAIN. And then laughed an evil cackle that made people stop and stare and then think-Oh, that’s his one visiting from California. 

But we’re not in Iowa anymore, Toto.

We’re in California. In close proximity to the beach where parking is always a bitch. But I have only three words for you:


And when you live in an area where parking spots on your own street are an endangered species-especially during the summer months- it does not take long for you to become an Insane Parking Nazi. So if you find yourself cruising the neighborhood of the Gelato Family looking for that perfect spot this summer, know this:

I am watching you.

I am watching you park your car in front of my house and I am noting the day and time because if your ass is there one second over 72 hours, that bitch is getting towed. I don’t give a shit if you got arrested or went camping or whatever it is that has happened in your life that resulted in your car sitting uselessly in front of my house for days on end-I am not sympathetic towards you. Go pick it up at the tow yard. How would you like if I just parked in your driveway and didn’t move for three days? YOU WOULDN’T.  

And don't be surprised by the presence of Very Official Looking orange city cones on our block; we have a secret stash and we’re not afraid to use them. If we don’t know you-you don’t need that spot. Move the cone and park anyway-well-you do that sort of thing at your own risk.  And, yeah, it’s a free country and I guess there’s technically no law saying you can’t park in that empty spot, but the laws of My Street say if you park like an asshole and take up more than one spot you will be told to get back in your car and try again. Let’s use our brain when we park in a busy, populated area. Even my 8 year old son points out the Terrible Park Jobs, shaking his head and proclaiming-why would they park like that? Which is code for: what a selfish fucking idiot.

(And while we’re it-slow the hell down. My Street is not a Nascar race track, so stop driving like it. Drive like it’s YOUR kids playing outside on the block.)  

I understand that the Parking Wars are simply a result of living someplace where many want to be, especially in the summer months when the mighty Pacific is calling those near and far, and since we are luckily near-we have to sacrifice our street to strangers coming from far. I also understand that there are problems that far outweigh some jerk parking his car on my street and going on a 5 day cycling trip. But, see, I got 99 problems and this is just one of them. We’ll talk about the others another day.

So, you have been warned. Just know that although we may smile at you as you come back up from a long day at the beach, watch you load all your gear into your precious little car that has been baking in the sun all day and give a little wave as you finally abandon that spot-not very deep down our only thought is:

I hate you.

Happy Almost Summer.

Game on.

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