There are about nine people living in our house, in three separate apartments. Which means that where a backyard might normally be, we have parking. On the plus side, we have two driveways – one on either side of the house. On the minus, that means people sometimes feel it’s totally legal to parallel park with their rear bumper edging out into the driveway, or even park in the driveway itself. You can always use the other side, right? Stop, people. Repent.
Because there’s so many of us, there’s not a lot of maneuvering room behind the house – so if you pick the blocked driveway, you might just have to put the car in reverse and drive it out of the “wrong” driveway, across the back lot, and out the “right” driveway – all in reverse. Uncommon, fortunately, but it happens. Which is why we don’t like people parking in/in front of our driveway. Aside from the fact that it’s illegal. That’s also a concern.
This morning, I did just about everything right. I warmed up the car, ate a good breakfast, came out and brushed all the snow off, and drove carefully out the north driveway. Halfway down the driveway, I stopped to observe a rare specimen of human absurdity.
There was a 4-door sedan parked exactly perpendicular to our driveway, smack-dab in the middle – not only of the driveway’s path – but also of the street. Apparently, traffic is slow enough on our street that someone can park a car in the road and nobody will notice. And then I noticed that the engine was running – nobody inside, but the engine running. No driver in sight. What are you doing, sir?
I closed my mouth, grumbled a bit, and put the van in reverse. I’m still getting used to a vehicle this big – and it was pretty snowy – so I took my sweet time trying to get around the tight corner at the back of the house. (And by “sweet time,” I mean “minutes.” And by “my,” we’re looking at about 3-5 here.) As I was just about to head (backwards) for the south driveway, I saw a man come out of the apartment complex across the street, get into the running car, and pull into an open parking space on the side of the road.
What are you doing, sir?
I put the car back in drive, pulled forward, and watched him try to parallel park – another entertaining sight. I thought about honking. I thought about rolling down the window and asking, “My good man – what gives?” I thought about putting on some old-school leather gloves, slapping him across the face, and challenging him to a duel. As I passed his car, he looked over at me, and I went with the first impulse that came into my head.
I smiled and waved.
What am I doing?! ♦