This link is parked
December 5, 2007 7:35 AM   Subscribe : Got a notice? Give a notice. Contains Galleries for regular asshole parking to super duper asshole parking. Some of these offenses are benign, and indeed some are egregious, but let it be a lesson to you, bad things can happen to your car if you block the hydrant.
posted by psmealey (65 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
posted by DU at 7:40 AM on December 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

I get SO ANGRY over other people's parking.
posted by smackfu at 7:42 AM on December 5, 2007

Over Thanksgiving weekend I went to the Minneapolis Art Institute and saw a car perfectly straddling two parking spots at the immediate entrance to the parking structure, which would seem to imply that it was the first car there that morning. There were maybe four notes stuck under the wipers, including an official-looking business card that said something like 'Thanks for taking up two parking spaces. I had to park two blocks away.'
posted by shakespeherian at 7:42 AM on December 5, 2007

Why bother with passive aggressive print out notes? I think it takes a human touch to really get the point across. That's why when I leave a note I just scrawl the following across their windshield in lipstick:

You have shown that while you understand the laws of humanity and parking, you do not feel yourself bound by them. For this reason, I levy the following Curse upon you:

For the rest of your life, whenever you close your eyes to drift off to sleep, the following vision shall plague you - a mother giving birth, sweaty and straining - you zoom in to where the baby is crowning and there, fully formed and ringed by a dilated birth canal, is Nicolas Cage's face. He sees you, his blue eyes burning into your own, and smiles. "Conception is the metal of the universe!" he shouts. Your eyes shoot open, fully awake. You have an erection.

Please be more considerate when parking in the future, or it will only get worse.

Sure, it takes a bit to write it all out and finishing touches such as chicken feathers or chalk pentagrams can make the process take even longer, but the results speak for themselves.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:46 AM on December 5, 2007 [52 favorites]

I hate that dream.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:49 AM on December 5, 2007 [6 favorites]

See also I Park Like an Idiot, from the Threadless people.
posted by bluishorange at 7:50 AM on December 5, 2007

But...but...they aren't all SUVs. I thought all assholes drove SUVs. Now I'm horribly confused.
posted by rocket88 at 7:50 AM on December 5, 2007

I don't bother with the passive aggressive notes, I just key the car and keep going. If someone wants to be an asshole about protecting their perfect paint job, then I'm going to fix that problem so they don't have to worry about it anymore.
posted by splice at 7:50 AM on December 5, 2007 [9 favorites]

It seems like a lot of Audis are parked assholishly.
posted by Mister_A at 7:52 AM on December 5, 2007

Your eyes shoot open, fully awake. You have an erection.

Well, why wouldn't you?
posted by psmealey at 7:55 AM on December 5, 2007

I like the hydrant one, but many of the ones in the first link are not particularly dickish. So some guy parks his car in the end spot with the wheels on one side up on the curbstone - so what? It just leaves more room for the car in the next spot. I suspect a lot of the ones showing parking lots in winter are the result of the drivers not being able to see the lines, because when they parked, there was snow all over them. Later the snow melted, and now they're supposed to be assholes.

Parking a Hummer in a spot marked "COMPACT" is deserving of special disdain.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:57 AM on December 5, 2007

Back in the day, when it came time to throw out an old phone book, I would rip out the driving school ads and keep them in my glove compartment just for moments like these. Just slip it right underneath the windshield wiper.
posted by cashman at 8:05 AM on December 5, 2007 [11 favorites]

This brings me no closer to resolving that nagging question I've long left undecided, lingering in some dark recess in the depths of my soul, the question of which annoys me more; people who park like assholes, or assholes who think the lines painted on parking lots are inviolable boundaries which must be respected.
posted by sfenders at 8:20 AM on December 5, 2007

The bank across the street from the local theater lets people use their lot after hours. I do something at the theater once a week and most nights there is plenty of parking when I'm there. Once in a while there's a production at the theater that starts early and then parking becomes a pain. No big deal.

One night last winter there was plenty of parking when I went in to the theater but while I was there an event started. The parking lot was packed. Somebody must have decided they were going to take up two spots. My car, a little more than 1/2 space, other car.

Somebody must have come along later and been pissed off that somebody was wasting the parking spot because when I left the theater they had wedged their car into the otherwise wasted space. It was a nice Lincoln Navigator, but they had only left about 1" of space for me to get into my winter beater.

The driver side wasn't an option either since this space was right next to a wall. I was pretty pissed off, I ended up having to get into my beater through the rear hatch but I had a coffee table and an end table back there which I had to remove first. The extra annoyance didn't help me settle down any.

I backed out without too much difficulty. I even folded back the driver side mirror so I wouldn't scratch up the shiny black Lincoln.

I then went around the Lincoln and deflated all four tires. It was an asshole move, but at that point I had talked myself out of doing any permanent damage but not out of causing some amount of grief.
posted by substrate at 8:23 AM on December 5, 2007 [9 favorites]

My friend's dad got one of these not too long ago, and judging by my experiences with him driving, it was probably for good cause.
posted by fermezporte at 8:30 AM on December 5, 2007

I then went around the Lincoln and deflated all four tires.

Bravo. I've wanted to do that a few times.

A few months ago, I had a really rough morning commute because of about a sixteenth of an inch of rain. The underground parking garage in my office complex serves two buildings; you can drive between the sides through a not-quite-3-car-wide lane. I pulled into the garage on the wrong side (since it avoids a really obnoxious left-turn) and found an Expedition or Navigator or whatever the hell it was parked right in the middle of the passage. I squeezed past--tucking in my driver's side mirror--parked, and, furious from the hour-long, 14-mile commute, scribbled "Not a fucking parking spot! Die in a fire, cocksucker!" onto a Dunkin Donuts napkin (in red, fine-point Sharpie).

I walked over to tuck it under the offender's wipers and found not one, not two, but three other notes already there. Mine was the most vulgar, though.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:31 AM on December 5, 2007 [2 favorites]

The only asshole involved in this picture is the guy who took it, thinking there's something assholish in the way the car is parked.
posted by dersins at 8:37 AM on December 5, 2007

I had to go and make sure that none of these were photos of my attempts to parallel park. PHEW.

I'm a great driver, but I'm wretched at parking. I blame this at having grown up in a state where "parking" is "wherever you decided to stop the car, perhaps next to that cow."

I personally would like to have signs for driving that say things like "No, the person turning left does NOT have the right of way!" but this is pretty cumbersome.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:42 AM on December 5, 2007

(Ooooh, the photo of the fighter plane on "I Park Like an Idiot" is fantastic. I honestly LOLed.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:43 AM on December 5, 2007

dersins -

Agreed. One of the selling points of the Smart is that you can parallel park it straight in.
posted by MythMaker at 8:51 AM on December 5, 2007

When I lived in L.A. and went to a movie in Marina Del Rey, there was a BMW that straddled two spaces. I parked my trusty Ford Tempo about 1" from his driver side door. The missus and I went in for a yogurt before the movie. When we came out, I noticed someone else did the same thing on the other side. Mind you, both of us were fully in the parking spots, not straddling any lines ourselves.

After the movie, our two cars were there, but the beemer was gone. I would have LOVED to see him getting into the car.
posted by Doohickie at 8:57 AM on December 5, 2007 [2 favorites]

I work for a nonprofit; our building is in an office park where we're surrounded by other buildings occupied by venture capitalist companies. All of the parking spaces are labeled (e.g. Visitor; Company A; Company B, etc.).

Now, I don't know the cars of every single one of my co-workers, but I can tell you that no one here drives Hummers, Porsches, late-model, high-end BMWs, or the like. We're a Honda/Toyota/VW kind of place.

And every damned day, some illiterate millionaire or millionaire-wannabe parks in our spaces. I feel completely irrational when I get so furious about it, but I can't help it. It's such a brazen display of entitlement and "I have an Important Meeting and will therefore park wherever the fuck I please" that I just...splutter.

Thanks to robocop, though, I now have a solution. I am going to copy that out and go down to the parking area to decorate some improperly park vehicles.
posted by rtha at 9:00 AM on December 5, 2007

The missus and I went in for a yogurt before the movie.

Is that what they're calling it these days?
posted by uncleozzy at 9:05 AM on December 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

dersins & mythmaker - suppose you owned that small blue station wagon. How would you get it out of that space? If it were me, I'd do it by getting a friend or two and moving the Smart car to a place where he'd be sure to get a ticket. Because you can park it 90 degrees to everybody else doesn't mean it's always a good idea.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:14 AM on December 5, 2007

...getting a friend or two and moving the Smart car to a place where he'd be sure to get a ticket...

Better not do that in Texas, you'll be probably be shot.
posted by Djinh at 9:27 AM on December 5, 2007

I got one of those passive-agressive notes on my car several years ago. Funny thing was, I couldn't figure out anything I had done wrong in parking. My car was entirely inside the marked space. It was perhaps a bit closer to the line on one side than the other, but not in a way that would have made it difficult for someone in a car in an adjacent space to get out, if that car were also parked entirely within its marked space.

Since then, I have concluded that the passive-agressive notes say a lot more about the people who leave them, than the people on whose cars they are left. I pity their sad little lives.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:29 AM on December 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

suppose you owned that small blue station wagon. How would you get it out of that space?

Same as you would if someone parallel parked that close to you-- back and fill and back and fill and back and fill and back and fill and so on.

You're never driven or parked in a place like New York or San Francisco, have you? Parallel parking (and pulling out from spaces) with only a few inches to space on either side is not only par for the course, but expected.
posted by dersins at 9:30 AM on December 5, 2007

Gotta agree with Kirth here. If the Smart had AWD or even front wheel drive I'd buy one in a minute. I'd still be just as much an asshole if taking advantage of it's wee size to park meant that somebody else was boxed in by my efforts.
posted by substrate at 9:32 AM on December 5, 2007

This note was left on my car a few years ago. The funny thing is, when I parked my car, there were no other vehicles in any of the adjoining spots. I added the red ink.
posted by sciurus at 9:42 AM on December 5, 2007 [6 favorites]

Yes, as dersins says, parallel parking is one of the indispensible skills for people in high-density cities. A few years back we went to my wife's parents' place in Jersey City for Thanksgiving; drove around the block a few times and couldn't find a place to park. There were five of us (my wife, me, and 3 kids) crammed into our '95 Neon, and my son, then age 4 months, was asleep, it was cold, and we had packages and things to carry in. We really didn't want to park a half mile away.

I saw a spot that looked like it might be just a mite too big, but I figured, what the hell, I'll give it a try. As I backed in, my front bumper just cleared the rear bumper of the car in front of me as my rear bumper tapped the car in back of me. I put it in 1st (5-speed manual tranny, natch) and crept forward an inch, wheels pulled hard toward the curb, and tapped the car in front of me. Backed up an inch. Filled an inch. It took about 3 minutes and 40 gearshifts, but I shoe-horned that car into that space. There was literally about a 2-inch gap to the front, and my rear bumper was right up on the car in back. I noticed a bemused crowd (OK three people) had gathered to watch this virtuoso parking performance and I felt a rock star thrill. I am the best parallel parker these guys have ever seen, I thought to myself. And to this day I remind my wife of this Thanksgiving Miracle, and she laughs at me.
posted by Mister_A at 9:48 AM on December 5, 2007 [3 favorites]

**NOTE: does not support
making the notices provided into stickers in the intent
to adhere said notices onto offending assholes.**

Heh, I hadn't thought of that! What a great idea.
posted by R. Mutt at 10:10 AM on December 5, 2007

I have several photos to contribute of serious asshole-y parking. Neat!
posted by drstein at 10:18 AM on December 5, 2007

sciurus (and probably DevilsAdvocate too): it was probably given to the correct car, whose driver then assholishly transferred it to your wiper instead of just throwing it away.

People have done the same to me with parking tickets. I always check and make sure they're really mine.
posted by dhartung at 10:21 AM on December 5, 2007

My friend and I used to make up several notes with sorry I scratched your car or sorry I dented your car or something similar written on scraps of paper. We would ride our bikes downtown and place the notes under windshield wipers. Then we would find a spot and sit back and wait for the fun to begin. People would come out to their car and see the note. They would angrily circle their car looking for scratches or dents. It was good cheap fun.
posted by Sailormom at 10:29 AM on December 5, 2007 [3 favorites]

That's possible, although my car does look like a piece of crap.
posted by sciurus at 10:29 AM on December 5, 2007

I was at the grocery store once and saw that some asshole parked his shiny new Ferrari in such a way to that it took up six parking spots.

I did what I do with any ridiculously parked car and spit a giant smokers lung chunk of yellow and brown phlegm on the drivers side window.
posted by Totally Zanzibarin' Ya at 10:41 AM on December 5, 2007

Better not do that in Texas, you'll be probably be shot.

Wait - you're telling me that someone in Texas would buy a Smart car?

Dubiously yours,
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:01 AM on December 5, 2007

dersins, of course I have lived in places where I had to saw my car back&forth to get out of a space. We call it the Boston Bump. However, If I do that while getting out of that space with my little blue station wagon, the side of your Smart car is going to look like hell when I'm done. Ask me if I'll feel bad about it.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:04 AM on December 5, 2007

Passive/aggressive filter.
posted by Dave Faris at 11:09 AM on December 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

I got one of those passive-agressive notes on my car several years ago. Funny thing was, I couldn't figure out anything I had done wrong in parking.

See, that sounds like it would be fun. Giving assholes notes that tell them they're assholes doesn't do anything. Giving non-assholes the notes, now that's something...
posted by smackfu at 11:33 AM on December 5, 2007

Well the first link I clicked on was the hydrant one, thinking it would be a picture of somebody's car with a hose running through it... what was surprising was that the photo was actually taken in my neighborhood, about a hundred steps away from my front door. Which was sort of awesome, because people do that kind of thing all the time around here, and I always wonder why they never get ticketed.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:39 AM on December 5, 2007

re: the Smart car pic, I own a Smart so I know the dimensions pretty well and I think the perspective on that photo is a little tricky. I reckon there's a good 40-50cm between the Smart and the blue estate, and probably about that much on the other side too.

For the record, I rarely park sideways like this as I'm too wary of a truck or other wide vehicle clipping the front since it's sticking out too much. Plus I'm hardly ever that desperate for a space anyway.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:05 PM on December 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

I was sitting on my front stoop one day having a beer, and watching a lady try to parallel park her car.

She had at least two feet of clearance, and she was driving some forgettable sedan, not a boat or a giant SUV, but she couldn't get the damn thing in the space. It was incredible painful to watch. It got to the point where I was either going to go up and tell her to get out so I could park it myself, or go inside. I went inside. When I came out half an hour later, her car was in the spot, about a light-year from the curb, with the back end hanging out into traffic. Gah!
posted by rtha at 12:06 PM on December 5, 2007

There are few better ways to pass the time while waiting for the El than to watch semi-drunken people try to parallel park outside the bars down below.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:17 PM on December 5, 2007

incredibly painful, that is. Gah!
posted by rtha at 12:23 PM on December 5, 2007

There's also a Flickr Group.
posted by ekstasis23 at 12:24 PM on December 5, 2007

I'm good at parking, and try to park politely, but some jackass caused 1,000 worth of damage to my car last year with his shitty truck that was big for the space, to say nothing of his parking job. That sucked a lot. So, substrate, I take great joy in your resolution of the issue.
posted by theora55 at 12:31 PM on December 5, 2007

I've mastered parallel parking after living two years on my current block. Filled with bars and traffic, it's impossible to find a spot after 8 at night without parallel parking my vicious aircraft carrier sized minivan.

However, honing my parking skills has lead to my straight backing (ie. driveway leaving skills) to go through atrophy.

I haven't tapped anyone parallel parking in years though.
posted by drezdn at 12:36 PM on December 5, 2007

Wait - you're telling me that someone in Texas would buy a Smart car?

Yeah, there's one in my neighborhood in Fort Worth.

me: The missus and I went in for a yogurt before the movie.

uncleozzy: Is that what they're calling it these days?

Yogurt. You know, the stuff they sell at TCBY. (Are they still in business?)
posted by Doohickie at 1:41 PM on December 5, 2007

When I lived in Manhattan, I parallel parked at least once with zero clearance front and back. Don't ask me how, although it obviously involved lots of back-and-forth and I did actually have to push the cars in front and in back of me several inches with each squeeze. Hey, that's what bumpers are for! Well, that was certainly the pinnacle of my parking triumphs. Just wish I'd taken a picture! Anyway, parking with only 1-2 inches of clearance was routine in Manhattan, let me tell you.
posted by PigAlien at 2:05 PM on December 5, 2007

Those that want a Smart should really petition Honda to bring back the CRX. I can't count how many times I've parked my beater in the space between two other (curbside) cars. It's great going to a ball game, since the sports-fan crowd skews heavily to SUVs - they take up two normal parking spots, feed the wrong street meter, and I park (Close!) for free.
posted by notsnot at 3:21 PM on December 5, 2007

dersins, parking like that is illegal where I live. Unless there are marked spots or signage indicating angle parking, it's parallel parking all the way.

Agreed, there's probably a good 1/2 meter or more between the Smart and the wagon (which, having just looked it up, isn't enough where I live anyway - "If the driver does not park in a parking bay, the driver must position the vehicle at least 1m from the closest point of any vehicle in front of it and any vehicle behind it."). The guy behind the wagon, though, is a bit of an arsehole - right up his tail, backside out in the street.

What I want to know, though, is why the sudden explosion of double parking around my way? Major suburban street, 1 lane each way, and suddenly it's OK to just stop in the street during peak hour because "I'm just nipping into the shop, I'll only be 5 minutes!"

Meanwhile, the 120 space carpark right underneath the store is only half full...
posted by Pinback at 4:16 PM on December 5, 2007

A few weeks ago, I'm walking to lunch, past this one parking lot that is used partly by people going to the nearby park, and partly by people who work in the neighborhood. There's a truck almost completely blocking the entrance to the lot. There were lots of notes on the window, but none of them seemed to have noticed that the truck had been RAMMED into the log it was resting against, and abandoned days before, such that my assumption was it was stolen. It sat for another couple days, getting more tickets, before the city finally towed it. I can only imagine the scratches/kicks it got, all the time some poor guy is wondering "where's my car", and it's getting trashed.
posted by nomisxid at 4:25 PM on December 5, 2007

MetaFilter: you blog like an asshole
posted by bwg at 5:27 PM on December 5, 2007

Just to put asshole parking in perspective: remember that when you pull into a spot, sometimes the cars on the left and right are a bit lopsided already, which of course makes you grumble about "what a couple of assholes". But then you go and do your thing, but your neighbors meanwhile leave their spot, and the next guy/gal pulling into the spot next to yours grumbles at you for being an asshole, though you didn't cause the original problem, but he/she has no way of knowing that. It's kind of like when you use an already-stinky one-person public restroom, and when you leave the guy after you thinks you caused the stink.

So when you see this parking assholery, you can never be sure just how far back the orginal, true asshole was.
posted by zardoz at 5:46 PM on December 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

Back when I lived in Hoboken, I was at some bar where there was some event / promotion / etc. to benefit AIDS, and some gal was giving out condoms to everyone there, so I left with a few in my pocket.

Strolling up in front of my place, where there's room for 2 cars on the street if people park considerately, I found, as often happened, yet another idiot parked in the middle of the two spots.

I used to leave notes, but that night I realized that a nice lubed condom unrolled and hung on the antenna gets the message across pretty clearly too.
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:12 PM on December 5, 2007

We call it the Boston Bump.

We called it Parking By Braille.

Know what works great? One of these + keyhole.

Passive-aggressive is for pussies. Active-aggressive has more of a chance of making people change their bad behaviors.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:32 AM on December 6, 2007

Putting epoxy in their keyhole is still passive aggressive. You aren't telling them what's wrong, you're harming them in some random way and hoping they draw the connection. And they usually don't, and blame "stupid kids".
posted by smackfu at 5:44 AM on December 6, 2007

You aren't telling them what's wrong

Like hell. You get epoxy in your keyhole, and all of a sudden you have to involve lots of other people (AAA guy, co-worker, whomever). And if you're too dense to see that your car is taking up two spaces, I'm sure one of them will clue-it-out for ya'.

You could also use one of these and write "LEARN TO PARK" on their hood.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:55 AM on December 6, 2007

Even if you park perfectly, bad things can happen.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:39 AM on December 6, 2007

allkindsoftime, read zardoz's post above yours. It's possible the driver parked in a single spot, but the two behemoths in front and back of him left and were replaced by compacts, making it appear he's taken two spots. Then again, he might have been an asshole.

Hey, can I bring up how I feel when people try and save spots they shoveled out after a snow storm?
posted by Crash at 8:28 AM on December 6, 2007

Who still uses a key to get in their car? I'd guess 99% of people wouldn't even notice epoxy in their keyhole for months, if ever.
posted by Crash at 8:29 AM on December 6, 2007

Can't access the site, but I get the gist. I'm torn, though. It really bugs me when people act so rudely. And a passive-agressive "keying" won't do anything. But I like bluishorange's bumper sticker idea. Still a little PA, but there's a chance the offender might learn.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 9:33 AM on December 6, 2007

Thank goodness there are people in the world who will pursue bizarre and pointless crusades
posted by thefinkler at 11:44 AM on December 6, 2007

Hey, can I bring up how I feel when people try and save spots they shoveled out after a snow storm?

Depends. If you think people somehow gain magical territorial "rights" over public parking spots just because they shoveled snow they would have had to shovel anyway to get to work that day, then no, you can't bring it up.

If, on the other hand, you feel that shoveling snow doesn't entitle you to a parking spot, then yes, you may bring it up.

Who still uses a key to get in their car?

Good point. Instead of epoxying their keyhole closed, you could epoxy a small sign to their windshield that says something like "I can't park. Also, I love little boys."
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:08 PM on December 6, 2007

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