Sunday, May 19, 2013

Of Mice & Parking Men

There are two things I dislike intensely (because, as Mother Painefull says: we don’t hate, we just dislike intensely).  Actually, there are many things I dislike intensely, the damn list of them seems to grow daily – I harbour a dislike, bordering on intense, for said imagined list itself.  But it is here, at this moment, that I want to stop and point aggressively at two of those things (pointing, I was once told by an army reservist, is rude… but so am I by most standards, so what’s a dog to do but bark?).

You know I can totally pull off that entire look

It is here that I would like to note my intense dislike of bullies and cowards.  Said note must come with the admission that I have been both on several occasions.  Haven’t we all?  Most of my retrospective regrets relate to displays in one, or both categories, that I only later recognised for what they were.  The bully uses force to get what they want from another, the coward is often the one standing to the side watching it happen.

I made a series of strange and frantic phone calls last week.  They weren’t emotional, or filled with revelation, I wasn’t trying to track down a missing pet, or asking someone to come and help me move a body.  I didn’t bother with greetings or niceties (one must be intrinsically ‘nice’ to pull of niceties, which I am not, so they invariably turn into an interlude in awkward whenever I give them a try), and each went a little something like this:

“Are you home?  It’s free!  Can you come around right now to visit for a tea?  You don’t need to have a tea – just park and I’ll drive you home.  Or park, and go away, whatever.  We don’t need to see each other.”

My furtive calls could be traced to an incident that happened only a few days earlier.  It was a Wednesday night, and I was arriving home at 11:45pm from a meeting.  After doing a loop of the inevitably packed one-way street parking, and laying my sweet, sweet Yaris to rest curb side on the closest available spot to home (around 20 metres down the road), I alighted from said vehicle as another car approached.

Said car, maroon with envy, had a driver who pulled up beside me in the middle of the street, got out of the car, and asked/demanded that I move my car.

Initially confused, I assured him I wasn't covering a driveway.  He replied that the perfectly legal street park I had taken was right outside his house, and therefore his park.  Apparently he parks there 'every day' so it was 'his'.  I asked him if he was joking.  He accused me of being rude.  So no, he doesn't have an obscure, but ultimately harmless sense of humour... just a sense of entitlement.

Eventually, after an argument of escalating ridiculousness, because I couldn't get him to stop talking to me and get back into his car, and because this guy was over 30 and a little intimidating... and now knew exactly where to find my car if his sense of entitlement turned sour... I actually did move it.  I should mention that a woman, who I assume is this man’s wife, watched the entire exchange passively from within the Parking Douche’s automobile.

It is at this juncture that I should reveal that I have long held the irrational belief I could hold my own in a fight (and am destined to solve crime), so needless to say the sensation of giving into a bully such as this was rather galling.

But I haven't dedicated 2 years of my life to watching Revenge for nothing.

Thusly, after taking several days off to hone my own sense of self-loathing for giving in to such a douche, I decided to alleviate my rage and feeling of disempowerment the only way I knew how.  I sent a photo of the street park in question (filled with his car... because his car owns that spot apparently), and street number to everyone who has ever driven to visit me at home.  The offer I made was simple - I will personally cook dinner for anyone that manages to park in that spot while visiting me at any point this year (photographic proof required), I will also keep a tally should many people manage to do this, and will award a prize in December to whoever does it most often (bonus points if the car holds the park for over 24 hours).

Petty?  Yes.  Soothing?  Definitely.

But, as Emily Thorne also discovered, once you set about enacting karmic vengeance, fresh complications can ensue.  It seems, put out by my presumptuous attempt to usurp his rightful vehicular throne, the Parking Douche has decided to start using his motorbike and his wife’s moped, which neatly combine to take up one spot beside the Maroon Devil Car, to block off anyone else looking to utilize his car’s park should he decide to go for a drive.  Yes, did I mention his hereditary claim apparently covers TWO parking spots for him to use at his own leisure?

When I made those frantic calls to several friends not long after it was because the Parking Douche has momentarily slipped and allowed the space to become free.  Sadly no one was available to take up my kindly offer to ‘park, and go away, whatever’.

But just you wait Parking Douche.  Just.  You.  Wait.  The game of cat and mouse continues.  The grand chess match.  The epic battle of wills.  That he’s totally unaware of.  Yes, I recognise I am currently on the character arc of pretty much every villain from every super hero movie.  I’m okay with that.

The one thing that reassures me about bullies is my blind belief that karma will eventually slap them back into place.  And if karma needs assistance with delivery of said service, who am I not to lend a hand?

Painefull Out

1 comment:

  1. Oh I had a neighbour like that once. He was a horrible old man who would yell at us whenever he saw us and leave notes on our car telling us not to use 'his' car space. And he had off-street parking that he would never use! I did take some delight in occasionally parking-in his car but it was really rather pointless because he didn't drive it that often...