Thursday, June 23, 2011

Strategy For Drivers With Parking Rage

Another in a series of tales of driving in the big city (previous installments include this one, this one, this one, and this one).

A few weeks ago, I was looking for a parking space in Manhattan. Luckily, a car just ahead suddenly started up and signalled that he was pulling out. I pulled behind him to wait. Meanwhile, I noticed a car halfway up the block wildly backing up. The driver was waving her arm frantically, pointing backward toward the space with sharp jabs.

Like most city drivers, I've seen this scenario before. And I knew I'd get the spot, because the backing-up car's path to the spot would be blocked by the pulling-out car. I might not find myself with room to parallel park as the crazed idiot pushed back, and, also, it might take some time for the pulling-out car to escape, because backing-up crazed idiot would be in his way, but I was the only one positioned to claim the space. The crazed idiot would see this, give up, drive away, and then I'd parallel park.

In this case, the backing up driver was an intimidating-looking woman who was about as angry as I've ever seen another human being get. Though she'd clearly missed the spot, she'd decided it was
hers, and that made me pretty much the worst person in the world. She was ululating mad.

I planted my car into the spot, and she jammed her transmission into park, flew out the door and started pounding on my hood with her fists, wailing about how I needed to get out of her spot immediately. Her carrying on was, without exaggeration, what one would expect if I'd just murdered her child. At one point she literally tried pushing at my car with her shoulder, aiming to move it out of the space via sheer force of will. A crowd was gathering. Finally, realizing she'd lost, her chaotic rage coalesced into an icy kernel of compressed seethingness. As she returned to her car, she vowed, back over her shoulder, to return later and "fuck up" my car.

So I shouted back something - the only possible thing which ensured that absolutely nothing would be done to my car. Any guesses as to what I said? If you think you know, leave a comment. I'll give the answer tomorrow.

(more info: she was driving a late-model sedan with window signs and accouterments indicating that, scary and insane though she was, this was a middle-class New Jersey suburban family woman, and her car was neither a rent nor a loaner).


Richard said...

"I have a picture of your plate"?

Jim Leff said...

Very close, but not quite!

Anonymous said...

"Can you hold that thought just a moment while I call my cousin, Nicholas "Little Nick" Corozzo?"

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