Saturday, April 18, 2020

Parking Saga

There is an on line forum called Quora where people ask questions, answer questions, and tell some pretty good stories in the process. I've learned a lot there. There was a question ‘Have you ever blocked someone using your assigned parking space?” I posted the following.

In the 50’s 60’s and early 70’s, my father had The. Best. Parking. Space. In Downtown. It was easy to pull in to and get out of. (the curb was, maybe, an inch and a half high). The space was about a half block from the office, which for a lawyer having to travel to various court houses was almost ideal. And there was a HUGE sign “Private Parking Day and Night” etc.

Unfortunately, if my dad wasn’t in it, some idiot thought they could use it. The location of the space was also such that he could block the offender in and not inconvenience other parkers. So he did.  Sometimes the offender would appear in the office and apologize profusely – my dad would move the car and let them out. If they were demanding or abusive, he’d tell them he left at 5:00 and would move it then.  Once he took a cab home.

Not only did he block them in, he had special peel-and-stick signs printed – 8.5 x 11 inch signs with legend “YOU ARE PARKED HERE ILLEGALLY” printed in bright red. And the signs were the old fashioned plain paper bumper sticker type that would NOT come off easily but instead in 1” pieces.

My dad was so famous for this that neighbors of the parking lot would warn off any interlopers.

When I was in college I had a 1970 Ford Maverick.  I had installed a car alarm -- old fashioned siren on motor -- that could be heard blocks away (and it saved some electronic equipment but that’s another story). One day I was downtown, saw he had someone blocked, and went into the office to ask if he wanted to switch cars and I set the alarm. Instant evil grin on his face, and I went to switch our cars. While I was doing this the neighbors called the office to see what was going on – my dad just said ‘watch and enjoy’.

A short while later the happy couple came back. Wife was a battleax type, husband was a meek Walter Mitty type. Dad was in the middle of dictation (olde school stenographer) and heard the siren.  So he finished his dictation and went to the parking lot, walking down the other side of the street.  Neighbors were watching – Battleax decided she’d pick off the stickers (he usually put 2 or 3 on a windshield) and Walter would move my car which I had kindly left it unlocked.  He opens the door and the siren starts up – and it won’t stop until you put the key in the switch. After another minute of the ear-splitting siren he goes over, shuts it off, and the happy couple leaves.

That stunt was talked about for years.

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