Let’s Talk About Parking Cars…

When I lived in Dunbar much of the residential parking was on the street, in front of the houses.  And it was a constant problem.  I can remember having to leave my car halfway down the block in the pouring rain, because there were no open spaces nearby.  It seemed like there was roughly one and a half cars for every one available space.

And some of the neighbors felt like the length of curb in front of their houses belonged exclusively to them.  It was a public street, open to everyone, but that’s not the way they interpreted the situation.  They’d bully and intimidate, and nobody would dare park there.  I had a few run-ins with those assholes, because of my failure to respect their “rules,” and eventually allowed them to win, so as to avoid another confrontation.  Who needs the hassle?

Yeah, it sucked much of the time, but I did learn how to parallel park at an early age.  That was probably the only benefit.  I did it multiple times, nearly every day.  I’ve met people who couldn’t put a Toyota Celica into a 25-yard parking space, but since I grew up in Dunbar… I’m a parallel parkin’ son of a bitch.

In California we lived on a cul-de-sac, and one of our neighbors (the one who DIDN’T work full-time for Adam Sandler) had five or six ugly cars from the 1970s.  They were all brown or green land barges, and there was a bunch of them.  He’d always be out there tinkering, and was apparently a hideous-vehicle enthusiast.

On weekends he’d start moving those junkers, and would eventually have them parked all the way around the circle.  This drove Toney almost to a state of apoplexy.  Nearly the whole street would be lined with these gigantic cars, manufactured during the Carter administration.

Toney and I would have minor arguments about it, because she always wanted to go over there and confront them about it.  But it only happened on the weekends, and besides… we had our own driveway.  It’s not like he was taking up our parking spaces.

“That’s not the point!” she’d holler.  “Look at that crap!!”

It was a bit obnoxious, admittedly, but I didn’t want to become like the old guys in Dunbar who lived to protect “their” section of curb.  I didn’t see how we had jurisdiction in the matter, and also didn’t really care all that much.  Why trigger an argument with a neighbor that might last for years, over something like this?

But it was one of those things that drove Toney straight up the wall.  God knows I have plenty of them, and am in no position to judge.

Over this past weekend, for instance, I was raging about the way people park outside shopping centers, and at grocery stores.  Some of them take up two spaces, because their car is extra special.  You’ve seen this, right?  They pull in at an angle, so nobody can park near them.  It’s all I can do not to circle around, build up some speed, and drive straight into the passenger door.

Careless parkers irritate me as well.  Careless, or simply arrogant…  You know, the ones who leave their cars really close to one of the lines?  They’re not centered correctly, so you have to do that sideways crab walk?  I hate those people, and hope they burn in hell’s eternal flames.

And my opinion of people who BACK into parking spaces is well-documented.

Some people get all worked-up about the folks who use handicap spots, but I don’t give that one too much notice.  I can’t use the spaces, so what do I care what’s going on with them?  I have no doubt some of the handicap placards are being used fraudulently, but karma will take care of it in time.  Masquerading as a disabled person for parking lot perks is a good way to end up with a severed-spine for real.  God reads O. Henry, I believe.

This was a quickie, but hopefully it’s not too evident.  For a Question, please tell us about your parking adventures, your altercations and arguments.  Also, what kind of parking lot assholism ticks you off the most?  Are you aware of any parking lot justice doled out by angry motorists?  Possibly you?  And have you ever had a vehicle seriously damaged in a parking lot?

Yeah, anything on the general subject will do.  And I’ll try this again tomorrow.

I’ll see you then.

Now playing in the bunker

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    • Joe T. says

      It must KILL you that that I was first, you little man. I’m a friggin’ rock star from Mars!

  1. Good2go says

    It is much safer to back into a parking spot and drive out, than to drive into a spot and have to back out.

      • dogbberryjr says

        What about the ‘pull through?’ Two empty spaces are head-to-head and you pull through one into the other so you are facing out. That’s permissible, isn’t it?

        • says

          I do the pull-thru and sometimes think jeff Kay would mock and deride. I think of you nutjobs sometimes, my virtual fellow reporters, and it makes me smile.

      • kristin says

        “asshat” has entered the common lexicon – they used it Being Human last night!

      • Valentin says

        I back into my driveway. It helps me to get out in the morning before its daylight. Plus during the winter months I can pull out with out having to defrost my back glass.

    • henderson says

      In Singapore, everyone seems to back in, but not in one shot. It was usually backforthbackforthbackforthbackforth. I actually yelled at a guy once “Are you gonna park in that space or just F*&K it all afternoon?”

      • says

        Since I tend to own what would fall into the land barge catagory (but in normal people colors) I back in so that when some asshat fails to fully pull into their parking slot I don’t need to fuck around with it. Just drive away.

        And thats one of my biggest pet peeves… people who fail to stick their vehicle to the inner edge of their parking slot.
        I also hate people in trucks (and land barges) that park in slots that leave part of their vehicle sticking in an obvious travel lane, go move to the less densly used areas you fucking lazy bastard. Sheesh. A little courtesy.

        • Dave's not here, man says

          Park the ride in the front like a sick one,
          Just in case, we gotta bust a quick one

            • t-storm says

              I’m a pull througher. It’s safer as someone above said (like backing in, but without the showboating. If I can pull through, I do. If I can’t I get over it.

              I never back in. However once I finally get this stinking house I’m going to have a very long driveway (100ft or so) with minimal clearance on either side to pull into and then back out of. Good times.

              According to my rough CAD sketch it’s 111 ft.

  2. Terri says

    I’m not a good parallel parker so I try to avoid areas that I have to do that. Where we used to live, everyone parked on the street. Hubby cleared the snow in front of our house so we could park. Of course when we came home later the guy across the street had parked there. Hubby was pissed and used the snow plow to completely box the guy in with three foot snow banks. He never parked in front of our house again! Some people are just assholes and you can’t fix it.

  3. Phil Jett says

    My dad had a 1963 Galaxie 500 in the late 70s that was his “extra car”. He got me a job when I was 17 during the summer working nights at the local newspaper as a helper in the print room. He was going to let me use his car until I made enough to buy my own.

    My very first night the only spot open when I got there was at the front end of parking lot right at the entrance off the street.

    About 2am we heard what sounded like an explosion in the parking lot and went out to see what happened.

    Some drunk going about 60 swerved off the street and t-boned the Galaxie. My Dad blamed it on me and my parking choice of course . I rode my bike the five miles to and from work for the next month until I saved up enough to buy a 66 Nova with 200K miles on it.

  4. Rick says

    My beef is with the idiot in front of me yesterday evening who stopped 25 feet short of the traffic light line, causing a bunch of us to have to go around him and turn the other way because he wouldn’t pull up and trip the sensor. Whaddadouch!

  5. Rick says

    And Jeff, do your feelings about the backers-in also extend to the pullers-through? :)

  6. Iowaidiot says

    I share a driveway with a steep hill with my asshat neighbor who feigns disease and inability to shovel snow off the damn thing. He then uses my side that is shoveled to get up the hill in order to park. I really want to dump buckets of water down the drive right as the sun goes down and shit begins to freeze.

  7. Ognir says

    In Pittsburgh, it use to be a custom to put a chair out in the street to claim your spot. Living in a town that has more cars and people than parking places, I often see a lot of shit go down when it comes to parking. I don’t own a car, but I have two parking spots. I should rent them out.

  8. Root 66 says

    When I was in college, I commuted. The college didn’t have any surface lots, so parallel parking was the name of the game. I got pretty good at it until some doofus decided to park about two inches from my front bumper. Honestly, it took me about 5 minutes of rocking back and forth enough to get to the point where I could get out. As I put my foot on the brake to put the car in drive, my foot went straight to the floor–one of my brake lines committed suicide! Fortunately, I was able to use the parking brake (or as we say, “emergency” brake) to get home. I was scared to death and furious at the same time!

  9. cashoe says

    Spent too long driving a delivery van to be bad at parking, makes me shudder when I see a youngling or some feebleskilled adult doing a 37 point turn to back their sub-compact into a space big enough for 20 foot vehicle.

    As for the Krackle bar Jeff, Hershey changed their formula on that and Mr Goodbar, you only find them in the bags om miniatures that are now labeled “Made with real chocolate.” Apparently they are now more vegetable oils and waxes than chocolate so they have to be called “made with…” I tried one shortly after they made the switch, and i’d rather not ever try another. If you have a hankering for a Mr Goodbar, they now make a Hershey bar with peanuts that is still all chocolate, maybe somewhere they make a Hershey bar with crisped rice now too, for the people who actually want real chocolate.

  10. Root 66 says

    In our current parking garage, the spaces were made for like a 1974 MG Midget, or something…mighty small–even for my Corolla. Why then, do people drive their friggin’ land-yachts to work, knowing the spaces are so narrow? I’m still pretty careful when I’m trying to get out of my car while parked between the ‘Titanic’ and ‘Lusitania’, but not as careful as I used to be.

    By the way, we refer to the “sideways crab walk” as a “Dukes of Hazard Move” when trying to climb out of our cars!

    • clintcurtis says

      Root 66, you bring up a very interesting point regarding the size of parking spaces. Have you, or anyone else noticed that Eastern U.S. parking spaces are more naroow than those on the West Coast? I have never actually measured, but I swear it’s true.

      • chill says

        I couldn’t speak to east -vs- west, but the spaces here on the east coast have certainly been shrinking over the last 10 to 20 years. Some time in the late 90s or early 2000s, somebody figured out that they could repaint the lot and get 55 spaces where there used to be 47. This coincided with the introduction of the Ford Excursion, for better or worse.

        • Root 66 says

          Optimist that I am, I believe the spaces are smaller so the garages can cram more cars in and make more $$$! They don’t give a flyin’ flip about my door getting dinged!

          However, if you work at a place that has narrow-parking-garage-type spaces, the least you could do is leave your crew cab dually at home!

  11. hardoxdan says

    When I was in college, the McClure Hotel had “All you can drink” for $10 on Thursday night from 8:00 to 10:00. Came out of there plastered one night and found my 1973 Chrysler Land Yacht completely blocked in, maybe had two inches between my car and one in front and one behind.

    I decided to push the car ahead of me up a little to get out. Cheers from my drunk buddies prompted me to push the car in front of mine about 30 additional feet out in to the middle of the intersection blocking 2 lanes of traffic. I think we laughed about it all night.

  12. Nate says

    totally off topic (and I’m sure you have mulled this over already), but it would be cool if you could put ‘sharing’ links on the bunker cam pics. like today, most of that stuff is very funny and would be a great way to direct traffic from FB back to the wvsr. just my 2 cents.


  13. says

    I bought a new car after I started my first real job out of college. I mailed the first payment and stopped at a store at the local strip mall for something.

    When I came out, I got in my car and as I put it neutral and let my foot off the brake I rolled back and noticed the big assed caddy in front of me shift noticeably. Some old lady had used the bumper of my car (which was completely enclosed by the parking lines) to come to a full and complete stop. She must had immediately shifted into park and left the cars pressed together hard.

    Naturally her tank was ,undamaged. My front bumpe was unmarred, but pushed back just enough to change the fit between it and the fender on the right side. Still pisses me off.

    That car was a magnet for other cars. It was backed into twice while parked on the street (two different streets, two different morons) requiring new drivers side doors.

    My big gripe is people who can’t fit evenly between the parking stripes. I don’t care whether they’re facing in or out, just get it right between the lines. I am usually dead center, but it makes me nuts to come back to my car and find some asshole who can’t find center just overlapping the line and making it nearly impossible to open my door enough to get in to my car. And forget about having enough room to put The Peanut into car seat.

    Lastly, my wife can’t back out for shit and often parks poorly on her first attempt (and knowing how this bugs me she will pull out and try again). I sometimes tease her that she drives like a slightly inebriated, one-eyed, elderly, Asian woman. She doesn’t appreciate my humor sometimes.

  14. Nurse Ratched says

    Just yesterday in downtown Scranin’ I witnessed a spectacle that went from hilarious to horror fairly quickly….A Waverly-looking debutante attempted to parallel park her Audi A4 in a spot larger than Paul jr.s nostrils….At least a dozen totally inept attempts….Nobody could go around her because of the oncoming traffic….The honking was getting really loud when a guy left the sidewalk and crossed the street and said something to her….She floored it and almost ran him over….It was close….I made an unscheduled stop at Farley’s for a Black & Tan.

  15. says

    Living in Chicago made me a master parallel parker, but it was the hunt i hated. Coming home from work and circling for a spot for over 30 minutes was so bad that I shelled out $160 a month for a spot in my building’s lot. That’s an obscene amount of money for a slab of asphalt, but the peace of mind made it worth it.

    The parking lot’s lines were faded, so you had to estimate an equal distance from the car next to you. I used to hate when someone would park crooked so I would park crooked, then they would leave and I looked like the idiot. Eventually they repainted the lines, but it was on a day that I parked next to somebody crooked who left, so it looked like I was parked in a jumbo spot because they couldn’t paint around me. Whoops.

  16. says

    When I lived in Chas., my parents also thought the space in front of our house was theirs alone. One space for their car and one for my boyfriends!! I know how tight the parking can be in Dunbar. I have a aunt there and often have to park 4-5 blocks away if I go to visit.

  17. Limey says

    Parking lot assholism? The mind numbingly selfish assholes who, when they’ve finished with their grocery cart, leave it right there, next to their car or in the adjacent empty space. Once, I returned to my car to find a grocery cart BEHIND my car, blocking me in – presumably an adjacent asshole managed to push their cart *just* far enough for them to leave, fuck anyone else. These people can all just die. This behavior seems endemic in a neighboring state – which out of politeness I won’t name – but it rhymes with Spew Mersey.

    Also :) people who circle a lot looking for a space 100 feet closer to the door than the empty spaces. Invariably these are fat fucks. I wonder why?

    • says

      A woman once left her cart next to my drivers door… While I was sitting in the car. I says to her, ‘it’d be nice if I could get out of my car’ She ignores me. So I dash out (I was a skinny fucker then) grab the cart and lay it down infront of her car so she couldn’t leave by giving it a shove (see that to), with a “you forgot something…” and got back into my car. She wasn’t happy “I was going to return it”, “so why did you get in your car and put on your seatbelt?” She grumbled and did what she should have done in the first place. Lazy bint.
      How come women are the worst offenders at blatent cart abandonment?

    • girlgoyle says

      I was going to post the exact same thing. It makes my head explode. How hard is it to push and empty cart 1/2 of an aisle to put it in the corral?

      I don’t want to hear about parents with little kids, been there, done that and I still put the cart away.

      When I was a kid growing up in Philly you couldn’t take the cart into the lot because of theft. So you lugged your paper bags 2 at a time to the car.

      We are a lazy society

    • Knucklehead says

      Amazingly, I haven’t once seen an abandoned shopping cart in Italy. Everyone returns them. They all have a wonky wheel though, and are impossible to push. Every. Single. One.

        • renn says

          Here in the south, I have noticed that Cart Abandonment is a multi-racial, multi aged offense. If I am walking into a store as someone is actively abandoning a cart, I cheerfully offer to take it into the store with me. Their look of embarrassment is well worth it for me.

          All of the men at my office back into their parking spaces. I refer to it as the Douchebag Derby. In front of them.

          • chill says

            I’ve done the opposite. I was going into the store to pick up one small item, and so didn’t want or need a cart. On my way in, a man was finishing loading his car and said, “hey, would you like a cart?”. I declined the offer and he continued to press the issue. I finally grudgingly agreed to return the cart for him,after he pleaded. So he first presented this as him doing me a favor, but ended up admitting that I was doing him a favor. I noticed that he was wearing a badge showing him to be a county government employee. Probably irrelevant.

  18. Lee Harvey Ramone says

    I can expertly parallel park a car while telling hilarious dick jokes.

    Much like Charlie Sheen, I am bi-winning.

  19. henderson says

    A couple of blocks walk for parking in Dunbar? Pfffffft. A bad day in Seoul had me parking over a kilometer from my apartment. The tough part was finding the damn car again. There are no street signs and everyone, and I mean everyone, drove a dark colored Hyundai. I eventually stopped washing the car so I could tell it apart.

  20. fryguy says

    I back into my garage, back into the parking space at work and back into or pull through most parking spaces. I can back into a spot but HATE to back out.

  21. kristin says

    This past summer, an asshole parked his HUGE SUV about 3 inches from my driver’s door, forcing me to crawl over from the passenger side. I’m really good at writing backwards, and his rear window was dirty. :)
    I’m just disappointed I didn’t have a sharpie.

    And nothing to do with the above story -but I am a kick-ass parallel parker.

  22. Nurse Ratched says

    We seem to be taking it pretty easy on Charlie….I’ll tell ya that I can process that motherfucker

  23. WB in OH says

    The front parking lot at work has a slight curve to it making a handful of the parking spots run at a slight angle. It’s almost impossible to get in them centered and straight.

    Charlie Sheen can parallel park a snow plow in a spot you couldn’t park a Cooper Mini.

            • Gretchen says

              I got only 2 out of 10. My error was defaulting to Gaddafi whenever the statement sounded way looney tunes. The 80s are tripping me up again. Hell, dude may not even be alive at this point. It was said he had numerous body doubles. But maybe all the plastic surgery is creating confusion. About a year ago I saw Gaddafi in the news (or someone purporting to be him) and I wondered aloud if someone down at Henson studios was suddenly running around flush with cash. Sweet hand puppet Jeebus!

              Anyway, congratulations Charlie Sheen, you’re crazier than a box of frogs and a batshit insane Middle Eastern dictator! Cocaine’s a hell of a drug!

              • johnthebasket says

                Yeah, I only managed 3 out of 10. I didn’t realize until I read Gretchen’s comment that Charlie was whacked on cocaine.

                What I’m not so sure of now is whether the fact that a well-paid “actor” from a good family who has given his life over to coke being indistuinguishable from a fully crazed secular African leader who has given his life over to power says more about the actor, the drug, the crazy donkey leader, or our shared perception of the world as a giant parking problem.

                You’ll never know the hurt I’ve suffered in trying to make all the clauses and phrases in that last sentence agree.


  24. bikerchick says

    “Saving” parking spaces on public streets in Pittsburgh is very popular, as Ognir said. And it’s funny that people actually oblige by keeping distance from the chair for enough space when the “chair owner” returned to park. Want to piss someone off? Park right up against the chair. That’s grounds for getting shot around here.

    I learned how to parallel park early as well. We lived right in the middle of a college town, IUP. Many houses were apartments for the students who all had cars. Even though there were two spaces in front of my parents house, other people would park there. My mother use to split right down the middle she’d be so pissed off. Especially when she had loads of groceries to carry.

  25. jennifer says

    Years ago when going to pick up my sister from the airport my mom let the 120 mph wind catch her door and hit the brand new snaz-ola SUV next to us. It had a dent about a foot long that you could have lost a good chunk of your hand in it was so deep. Our truck door was, naturally, unharmed. After ushering us inside the airport my dad turned to me, handed me the keys, and then continued on with my mom. No words needed. I moved the damn truck and we never spoke of the gigantic hole again. (I did tell my sister later and we howled about how you could grow up here in one the windyest places on earth and somehow on top of a bluff with air raging around you manage to let go of the door. really?!!)

  26. Ozzie Bucco says

    I grew up in the suburbs, so I didn’t really need to parallel park. when I lived in NYC, my wife would always park the car because I was so spastic. I’m much better now; having a smaller car helps.

    As for the inconsiderate ones who take up multiple spaces, I usually spit on the driver’s side window, or if it’s dark and deserted, a quick piss on the door handle makes me feel better.

    • Limey says

      I’m going to print out a bunch of those “tickets” but they don’t cover the offense I frequently see at my local grocery store… where the disabled spaces (naturally nearest the store) are spaced very, very far apart, so you could get your wheelchair in/out of your side loading van easily. These big gaps between the handicapped spaces are marked with chevrons. Which, if you’re an asshat apparently mean “specially marked asshat parking” – I’ve seen cars wedged in between two disabled driver’s cars.

  27. chill says

    1. Using a turn signal to “claim” a space has always bugged me, but I’ve mellowed in my old age to the point that I accept it. UNLESS – unless the in-duh-vidual in question is blocking the aisle, preventing me from going around him or her.

    1a. People who sit and wait for a “close-in” space. I’ll park out where spaces are easy to find, and as I’m walking to the store I’ll pass by the waiter, who is still waiting.

    2. As part of the turn-in maneuver, some people swing wide to the opposite side just before turning into the space. This has caused me a number of near-misses. I see the same behavior on the road. I’ll bet they don’t even know they’re doing it.

    3. Endless backing and filling in the effort to get into a space they can’t really fit into (usually by a gargantuan SUV or housetrailer-length pickup).

    I learned young how to parallel park mainly because my dad considered it to be an essential part of driving, right up there with how to use a turn signal (hint: it’s not for claiming a parking space). Now I consider parallel parking to be like driving a stick shift: if you can’t do both of these things, you don’t actually know how to drive.

  28. says

    Backing in up here is common. It was mandatory when I took drivers ed, and it may have even been on the road test for your license. I’m told it’s a throwback to the old days when batteries dying were more common. If you drive in it’s harder to for someone to nose-up to the front of your car and give you a boost. I simply find it safer and easier to back in.

    I HATE people who take up more than one space. I don’t care how much you paid for the car, dents are a risk you take. One Christmas the underground parking at the mall was full, but right by the elevators was a Mercedes parked across three spaces. People had been walking by and spitting, scratching, dumping drinks, and God knows what else to that car all day. By the time we left it looked like Costanza’s car from Seinfeld when he parked in the handicap space. I so wish I’d hung around to see the guy’s face when he came out.

  29. chill says

    I have no problem with those who back into a parking space, and I’ll do it myself now and then. Usually I “front in”, but that’s mostly because I’m too lazy to back in, or because I plan to put stuff in the trunk and I’d like to have it easily accessible.

    I used to back into my own driveway – makes the getaway easier and safer. But the “new” (2 years old now) car has a low-hanging air dam which drags on the pavement if I back in, so I don’t do that anymore.

  30. Great Googly Moogly says

    What pisses me off to no end is people who after parking have no regard for the vehicles next to them. They’ll pull up next to you and fling the door wide open full force and smack their door into yours. People allow their kids to do the same thing.

    First new vehicle I ever bought I had owned for about 4 hours before it got a door opened into it. I parked out away from the rest of the cars in a parking lot to avoid that very thing when a woman pulls her decrepit beat to hell shitbox right next to me and allows little junior sonofabitch to fling the door open and bounce it off my brand new pickup leaving a long gash in the paint and creasing the sheet metal . There were 8 spaces between me and the nearest car but she had to pull right next to me. Instead of walking around to open the door for her demon spawn the lazy cow let it just shove the door open . To say I was pissed was an understatement.

  31. TR says

    2 days ago, I walked out of a Kmart to find a cart barreling towards my brand new car at warp speed. I swear I sprinted as fast as I could to catch it but it was too late and I watched it slam into my car. I was furious! I cant stand lazy fuckers who cant put their carts back. Yeah and I have a 2 year old and I always put my cart back so having kids is no excuse.

    I pulled into a Burger King recently and there were exactly 2 cars in the lot, parked directly in front of the door of course when another guy pulls in and actually waited for someone coming out to leave so he can have that spot. I couldnt believe my eyes.


  32. t-storm says

    I once got an extremely angry letter left on my car in St. Louis. I was wrong, but I honestly didn’t see the no parking sign (or the huge garage door I was blocking). I still have the note on my fridge, and this was 2006.

    About 1.5 yrs ago I had a note left on my car that said “Why did you park on my car?”. Umm, I have a toyota echo, I can’t park ON shit. Maybe a skateboard, or a lucky owl. I still have that one somewhere, too.

    Not really a parking story, but I was stopped at a red light in Chicago and an SUV took a turn too wide and took out my driver’s side door. I had to chase the guy to get his license number.

    I get irritated when people don’t just take the first available spot. If you circle you might end up 5 steps closer, if you see a spot just take it. It REALLY bothers me at the gym.

  33. clintcurtis says

    Okay, here’s MY best parking story. (warning, I look like a total jerk here.)

    Anyway, circa 1985, I was returning movies to the Safeway store in Redmond, WA. It was raining hard, I was driving a motor home, and I had my 8 month pregnant girlfriend beside me.

    So, I accidentally pull into a vacant spot in front of the store…and get halfway in when I see the hanicap placard attached to the front wall of the store. So, I put it in reverse, and back out of the slot.

    Right then, a cop pulls up behind me and proceeds to write me a ticket for parking in a handicap space.

    Yes, I was MORE than pissed, and the guy had to call for backup while he wrote me the ticket. I went to court on it, the cop didn’t show up, and I told the Judge my side, and he believed me and let me off. Ironically, it was the same Judge who threatened to throw me in jail for contempt of court over my appraisal of his guilty verdict in my Reckless Driving conviction several years earlier.

    …but I swear, the Handicap Parking ticket was totally bogus!!!!

  34. t-storm says

    I once parked in front of the DAAP building at the University of Cincinnati to pick up a friend. I parked on the street that lead downhill toward the interior of campus and a few buildings.

    When we came out my car was gone (1992 Saturn, manual transmission). I figured it’d been towed. We waled farther out of the building, looked around, and found it, at the bottom of the hill.
    It must’ve popped the parking brake and rolled down the hill, jumped a 6″ curb and proceeded to make love to a sapling.

    We tried to get out of there quick but a campus bike cop came up just then. I didn’t get a ticket but he said I might have to pay for the tree.
    Next day the tree was fixed and all was well.

    2624 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0001
    On Google maps satellite view you can see my tree. I parked near the crosswalk on clifton ct to the left of the Geo/Phys building and my tree if the single guy by himself on the little triangle-ish protrusion to the right of everything.

  35. Nezrite says

    I have a legit disabled permit (or, as my ex-husband called it, “cripple sticker” which sounds like some sort of demonic cattle prod for the disabled). People constantly question its legitimacy, so I finally came up with a couple responses to “you don’t look handicapped.”

    “Yeah, well you don’t look brutally stupid, but you play the hand you were dealt.” or

    “I am, I’m legally blind.”

    • Gretchen says

      Exactly. Just because a person doesn’t “look” disabled (or sick) doesn’t mean they aren’t.

  36. johnthebasket says

    I was just over at Rod McKuen’s site, “A Safe Place to Land”, observing a conversation about the merits of technological advance in a world divorced from conscience. Then I meandered over here and found entries filled with vituperous ravings about human behavior with regard to — parking?

    I know this place makes more sense than Rod’s — it sure is noisier — and I guess ranting about parking is more applicable than going on about what’s on TV or the loss of collective human conscience, but I sure get tired of all those reality shows.

    In any case, most of Rod’s demographic is dead — you could look it up. This is the day of the dance.


    • renn says

      Rod’s demographic isn’t totally dead; I’m still here.

      My mum (May She Rest In Peace) raised me on a steady diet of McKuen in the 70’s. I still have the records [“Earth”, “Joanna”] to prove it.

      I can pretty much quote “The Mud Kids” verbatim. That was my favorite.

      • johnthebasket says


        Yeah, I figured there were a few, and that they’d remember the time and place. That’s why I used the Casey Stengel paraphrase and the McKuen line together in the last paragraph. The Rod line was from forty year old memory, so I guess I listened to a little myself.


  37. says

    I hate the shitbags that drive around the parking lot for 30 minutes so they can find a spot 20 feet closer to the door.

    I saw a great parking rage incident at a grocery store. This lady was wating for someone to back out of their parking spot and once they were out some ass zipped in there in front of her. Once the guy was inside the store the lady walked over to his truck and poured fingernail polish all over his hood. Then she took her keys and carved “asshole” all over the side.

    My neighbor drives me nuts with his car parking crap. He has about half a dozen live ins and they park all up and down the curb. That’s not a huge deal, but he puts his trash in my yard so the garbage men can get to it. He’ll often just pile shit up, with no can, and it blows all over my yard. He also likes to take his Harley out very early on Saturday mornings and rev it up for half an hour. Burns my ass.

  38. Greg says

    Jeff –

    Ya know, I have held my tongue about this for years, but you had to bring it up again – so here goes. Backing into parking places makes a lot of sense. Why? When backing in, it’s easier to see other cars in the parking lot and avoid hitting them then when your backing out – especially if you are parked between a couple of Ford Excursions or some other rolling tombs. This of course assumes that you are skilled enough for the maneuver to do it in one try.

    • Kevindust says


      It’s also better for your vehicle to be shifting and maneuvering when it is all warmed up.

  39. madz1962 says

    I have a small Kia sedan. I hate when I park my car, come back out and there are 2 behemouth Monster Trucks on either side of me and now I have to back out. And I can’t see around the fuckers. Especially if it’s a busy parking lot.

  40. Jeffy B says

    I’ve been known to wipe a booger on the handle of a car parked across two spaces.

  41. Sponge says

    I always back in when driving my truck, because that is often the ONLY way I’m getting into a spot