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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Bad Parking Revenge

I've seen them; you've seen them.
Everyone has seen people who park miserably.
It's a fact of the modern world.

I've also seen people who appear to intentionally park badly.
People who feel that their status in the world, or their car, grants them an automatic guarantee  of privilege in the parking lot; a right to more space.

People whose sheer narcissism makes them truly believe that they are better than everyone else.

I hate these people.

For the last half of my college career I worked in retail (plenty of other stories on that can be found in my writing). When I finished school I moved to Ohio to be with my (then) girlfriend while she was in grad school. I had no job prospects so I transferred to a store local to where we were going to live. I couldn't afford a newer car so I was still using my beat-up, 10-year-old Honda Civic. This car had dents in all of the panels on the driver side and half the panels on the passenger side. The rear bumper was hanging. There was no passenger side mirror (never had one). The hood had a dent in it and it would not open without someone pushing down on it when the release was pulled inside the car.
My car was a solid and reliable piece of junk.

Now, I'm not a "car guy" and I never have been. I can't identify specific makes and models easily without reading the insignias off the car directly. I'm ok with this and I have always been ok with this. But I can tell a fancy, shiny sports car when I see one. I can guess at an expensive car when I see one.

One day, as I arrived at work, there was such am expensive sports car in the parking lot. The car itself would, and has, faded from my memory. It was black (that's literally all I remember about it). The parking job, however, was a masterpiece of asshattery that I shall never purge from the bowels of my recollection.

The parking lot was mostly empty so this particular car was easy to spot. It was the lone usurper of the block. It was standing in its glory; a beacon to wealth and self-importance. The sun was glistening off its perfectly clean exterior. It was also parked directly on the line dividing two spots.

The car, in and of itself, was not something I took offense to but the audacity of conscripting two spaces in a lot that would soon be full to protect its shiny exterior from the slightest ding infuriated me. So I decided I would make a point of the situation.

The shiny bastion of conceit was not perfectly centered between the two spaces and that provided me my opportunity. My car, small as it was, left a wide margin of space around it when I centered it into a single parking space the size of those in this lot (it had to accommodate a lot of large pickup trucks). I lined my car up and stopped, stepping out to examine my work carefully. When I was certain of my positioning I slipped quietly into the space I had chosen. That space was the very same space that the driver's side of the shiny monument of presumptive pride was trying to usurp for itself.
My car fit perfectly in the center of the spot with the other car where it was. My car fit so perfectly that I still had the full margin around it to get out of my driver's door with ease. My car fit perfectly with about three inches to spare between it and the shiny assholemobile.

I took a moment to admire my work and strolled over to my store to open.

Within a half hour the parking lot was filling and both cars were still there.

I wish I had been able to see when the owner of the other car came back to see what I had done because the look on their face would have been priceless. Their realization that I had called them out on their egocentricity and vanity should have elicited a vengeful peak of rage. That rage should have elicited an intent to vandalize my car which would have generated a crestfallen moment when they realized that my car was so shitty that there was little they could do to it that would make it appear any worse. Sure, they could dramatically vandalize it but they must have known that I, quite likely, took their license plate. They could call the police and reveal that my car was parked perfectly. They could try to have me towed and find the same statement of reality about my parking being perfect.

I know that they had two potential solutions to their self-created predicament: have their own car towed out of the spot so they could get in OR climb in through the passenger side and carefully back out of their space.

I know not which path they chose to take and I do regret I never got to observe it happen.

I hope, though, that this experience was as significant to them as it has been to me. I hope, too, that it was significant in the right way although I am certain that they just have a story about "that asshole who parked me in" instead.

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