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Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Parking - The Lost Art

Those of you who know me (a rapidly shrinking tribe, I might add), know that I like to occassionally sit in Starbucks and watch Americans park (note photo is actually from the Continent, courtesy of Haywardsheath.com). I will attempt to follow this more closely in the coming days, using my trusted Treo 650 camera phone.

Some observations:

"I have a really big car so it's not my fault"

Today, a fine person (could have been a woman, but that would be gender bashing) pulled into a space next to me in a large Chevrolet Suburban, with alacrity. The parking lines were oblivious...his/her passenger side door ended up about 8 inches from my driver's side door. She was parked sort of diagonally across the silly parking lines, meaning that if I backed straight out, I could likely clip her fender. Why is this ok? As a friend once said, many large SUV owners seem to think it's just ok to park in others because, well, they have a large SUV and parking it, don't you know...is really hard.

"I just pretend my car is a boat"

At least once to twice a week, I'll be walking into Starbucks for rocket fuel when I hear a loud scraping sound...the sound of a vehicle's spoiler or under carriage abrading concrete. Some believe parking is an exercise in driving a vehicle until it meets a barrier...kind of like parking a boat...except...cars don't have "fenders" to cushion the impact. But wait...cars do have tires...so, maybe you just keep driving it up on the curb until you pull the spoiler off (never mind that grinding sheet metal noise and the pedestrians fleeing in fear), waiting for the gentle thud of the tires hitting the curb.

"My door is a battering ram"

I recently returned a nice sports car at end of lease. A nice ding was added near end of lease by another nameless large SUV (ok, it was a Ford Explorer). Door was flung open, striking my passenger's side rear quarter panel. Thankfully, only a minor ding (although, is a ding ever really minor on a Porsche?) and I made the mistake of assuming that a "minor" ding would get past the end of lease inspection. Received Bill for $200 to "repair" ding. Fortunately, I was able to talk the leasing company out of the ding by referring to the lease contract. But it brings up a fair point. Why do so many people think it's ok to wield a car door like a battering ram? Try walking up to a well dressed woman at the mall, and taking $200 out of her purse. Same basic thinking.

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