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Remember When Parking Included Making Out?

When did parking the car get so complicated? Comedian Gail Forrest muses on the inconveniences of modern parking.

Parking the car has become too complicated.  Where will I park keeps me home, resistant to eat out, visit friends, or shop.  Making out in the back seat or contorting yourself to have sex is history as there is now nowhere to park.

The meters with which I grew up have been replaced by ominous metal boxes that require following directions and reading.  I don’t want to read to park.  The damn box needs too much information and I don’t have the answers.  I’m relegated to rummaging through my purse for glasses in order to see the directions, finding my credit card to pay and knowing my license plate number — all this just to park my car.  I want a meter!  They took change.  I nostalgically remember pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.  I had bags of them just for this occasion. Now I have a demanding box.   

And what’s a bigger waste of money than a parking ticket?  It costs more than a mani-pedi.  I have gotten three in the last six months which added up to no haircut or color. It seems I didn’t read the teeny tiny print on the sign regarding alternate side of the street parking.  Teeny tiny I say! It’s a revenue scam, and they pulled it on me in front of my own house.  I didn’t alternate my car by 7:00 am and BAM a ticket.  The sign is very ambiguous even for an English major.  The second Tuesday and Wednesday of every month requires moving your car to the correct side of the street or you’re screwed…$75 screwed.  I spin around confused and talking to myself, “Is today the second Tuesday, or first? Is it a different month already?”  I need meds or a tab of acid.

Then there is the big kahuna of parking violations, getting towed.  That is a moment to just stand, scream and call an ambulance. A Valium drip is the only way to soothe yourself while desperately trying to figure out where they dragged your car. It’s always to a lot far far away where they only take cash. No cash, you’re shit out of luck and calling Uber. This could be a good time to declare bankruptcy as the ticket and tow might be more than the car is worth.  There is no greater waste of a day or money than trying to locate the car, praying it’s there, hasn’t been stolen, and still as tires.  I can assure you the catalytic converter is gone. 

Spot Hero I’ve heard could be my parking savior.  I wish it was a real person dressed as an action figure who finds me a parking spot but alas it’s an app with directions.  

Step 1: Look for a spot by entering the time and location you would like to park. …

Step 2: Book your perfect spot and access your parking pass right away. …

Step 3: When you’re ready to park, follow the instructions in the parking pass to redeem your spot

To me these instructions say, “Stay home.”  There’s no hot super hero, just more reading.  

I have learned to love Valet parking.  At the moment I don’t care what they charge and if you knew how cheap I am you’d be calling the paramedics.  It’s my newest requirement in going out.  No valet, no go.  My friends implore me to try public transportation but I don’t know how.  Seriously.  The El train has too many colors to decipher:  the blue line, red, brown, green, purple, and yellow.  I have no idea where or when they go.  I never learned to read a map so staring at the one on the platform is futile.  This requires a former Girl Scout not someone who left them in shame and badgeless.

Breaking News:  I may not be able to read a map or a meter box but I can still ride a bike.  This is the key to the parking kingdom. It only requires a rack or anything to which I can lock it. I excitedly acquired a beater bike and off I went to distant stores, restaurants, and friends.  I think of myself as the Wicked Witch of the West flying down the street.  Sadly every man, woman, and small child passes me regardless of my magic powers. 

So long to valets, apps, meters, and unfortunately making out.  

8 COMMENTS

  1. You nailed it as usual. The worst are the meters that have instructions to find a website on your phone and pay that way. I absolutely cant see what the directions are so off I go to hopefully find another spot

  2. Brilliant, Gail, hilarious and spot-on as usual. Parking agonies, if not the foremost reason for my leaving the city for the sticks, were definitely on the list. I’m not sure how well I fared in that respect.

    No parking prob near my house. OTOH, no sidewalks either, and the roads, when they’re not gravel, are liberally potholed. When I do drive into town area, yeah, I do see those ominous metal boxes, but I finally mustered up the nerve to deal with one, while thinking “it’s just as scared of me as I am of it”, and, you know, it didn’t turn out too badly. Only thing is that operating the ominous box in winter in 6 deg F. with wind chill is horrible because it takes so long to process your payment. And I might be parked on a 45 deg incline gorge hill, not great for the nerves.

    I have actually considered getting a scooter, an old Vespa or something. Maybe you should too.

    • Well it is scary enough on a bike , a scooter would be more precarious as it would take me months to figure out how to operate it in traffic. I feel your winter pain however arghhhhh. Thanks for the compliment…greatly appreciated.

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Gail Forresthttp://www.gailforrest.com
Gail Forrest is a comedy writer and stand up comic. She studied at Second City in Chicago and has performed at Pretty Funny Women and Flappers in LA, as well as Second City to name a few. She has a published book Gonepausal on Amazon about women in midlife and is working on a new which includes men and promises to be just as funny with even more insights on aging.

 

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