One of the greatest nemeses of Voice of Society Man is the Thoughtless Parker.
Thoughtless Parker takes many forms, both male and female, but the license plate will usually read "New Jersey" or "Connecticutt." That's because, for the most part, City dwellers know how to park and also respect how hard it is to find a space; they're thrilled if the space they're trying to squeeze into is 8 inches longer than their car. Out-of-towners are more accustomed to awarding themselves at least 4 feet of extra room.
I was passing by as a man parked his car on 84th St. and Columbus Avenue several years ago. The space he was parking in had obviously just been relinquished by someone driving a Sherman Tank, and his Escort had almost enough room to park there and then do a full somersault. Nonetheless, Thoughtless Parker placed his car in the exact middle of the spot. This not only deprived some other poor soul of a space but also threatened to wreak havoc with an entire block of parked cars. What, I thought, if the person behind him pulled out later and then someone else parked in the middle of the ensuing space? Thoughtless Parker could throw that block out of whack even after he'd headed back to his chlorine-scented home. Voice of Society Man had to do something.
I approached the car gingerly and decided to employ Tact. This would be, after all, the first time that Thoughtless Parker had ever been forced to think about his actions, and that can be a scary time. Sarcasm was not yet called for. Knocking on the driver's side, I made the universal sign for "Please lower your window," a sign, my father has pointed out, that makes no sense in this day when people no longer have to roll down the glass. As soon as the window was down, I asked Thoughtless if he could move the car up a foot or two so that another car could fit in. He replied, "Sure. Are you waiting for a spot?" When I explained that I was merely trying to save a space for some future car, he nodded reflectively, biting one side of his lower lip, and gave it a thought. Even had our interaction ended there, VoS Man's mission would have been accomplished. In this instance, however, my piercing and irrefutable logic had gotten thru, and the man actually turned his car back on and moved a few feet forward. It was a great victory for Voice of Society Man, and one that I have treasured ever since.
Incidentally, the VoS badge for dealing with Thoughtless Parkers looks like the back half of one car and the front of another, with about 4 space in between. It may be puchased in the shop.
- ▼ 2007 (28)