Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Road Rage

I ran over a parking chair today. I don't feel badly about it at all. Some of you might be thinking, "What the hell is a parking chair? Did she mean to say rocking chair?" That's because not everyone lives in a place where people stake claim to public roadways by abandoning porch furniture.

After the big snow, it at first seemed totally justified to claim your 10 feet of shoveled space. I mean, it took upwards of 2 hours to dig out a hole big enough for a car. I know because I did it twice. With a baby! So people in the city started putting out things to mark "their" turf while they went to work or the store or wherever. A lawn chair here, a garbage pail there, every now and then a sawhorse. If you have brief business to conduct on that street and need to park on the public roadway there, tough beans.

Every now and then I can have pity on people who do this and think it sounds acceptable. Sometimes people live on Negley, for instance, where parking is hard to find in the best of times. Some people get home from work late at night and don't want to march for twenty minutes when they finally find a space to stash their coffin/car/giant SUV. Others live in neighborhoods that didn't get plowed out until, like, yesterday, making driving and parking a treacherous endeavor.

Most of the time I just feel like this is silly. It's a city street. Anyone who pays taxes, and technically anyone who doesn't, is free to legally park there. Should you have a true medical need to park in front of your house, you probably have a yellow line on your curb and a handicapped sign outside your house.

Also? I talked to our mail carrier. She can't find anywhere to stop her minivan while she does her job because all open spots are filled with lawn furniture. I have been letting her block the bottom of my driveway. Sure, she could double park and get out, move the furniture, park the van and repeat when she's done. But she doesn't have time for that crap. Recent cuts have doubled her route and she doesn't get paid overtime right now. Parking chairs impede the postal service!!!

I digress. It's been weeks since the last big snow and we had a string of melty days that took care of many of the heaps of snow between spots, freeing up lots of curb for easy parking again. I, myself (sufferer of parallel parking anxiety), parked on Centre twice this week without difficulty. If I can do that, you can park near your house without a wicker loveseat to guide you home.

IT'S TIME TO PUT AWAY THE PARKING CHAIRS. Here is what happened today. The streets are filled with potholes. They resemble the bombed out dirt roads I saw in a video of street conditions in Gaza. There's a bit of wind on this gray day. Miles and I were heading along Black Street, home from the Toy Lending Library.

A big gust thrust a bag chair into the air. It tumbled end over end and landed in the middle of the road, skirting a sinkhole. My choices: drive around the chair, through the pothole, possibly sinking through to China; continue onward and crush the chair, which is just a big piece of litter in my opinion. I cursed and drove right over it, smashing its legs to bits. I should have stopped the car and stolen the chair, abandoned as it was in the middle of the road. Next time!


Amy said...

I have a lot of parking chair rage. Also, I got a note on my car asking to please return someone's chair. I know I have rage, but I also don't steal? Can't wait for this to be over.

Katy said...

Even if you did take the chair, it wouldn't be stealing in the legal sense. Putting furniture in the street is abandoning the furniture, littering if you will.

freya said...

I wanted to drive around the city and collect the chairs to take to Goodwill.
I'm sorry that it took you 2 hours to clear out your spot, but it also took me 2 hours to clear out the spot that I just left open for someone else to park in. GET OVER YOURSELF. OTHER PEOPLE EXIST.
(obviously, I am way behind on your entries! There would be more vitriol anger if this was the beginning of March still)