Friday, August 9, 2013

Gears - By Jeffrey J. Thivierge

Ferrari parking.

You know, the people that treat their 2006 Honda Civic like it’s a 2013 Ferrari and use between two and four parking spaces.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a hater of the 2006 Honda Civic.  Nor do I hate the 1992 Ford Thunderbird.  I appreciate these fine automobiles for what they are… a means of transportation that, if maintained and cared for properly, can provide years of enjoyment.  Heck, my favorite car to this day was my trusty 1992 T-Bird that survived a moose collision in Cyr Plantation back in 1995.  I also owned a 1985 VW Jetta with 375,000 original miles that astounded the technicians at the dealer when I took it in for maintenance.  (Most astounding was that the car hadn’t had any maintenance between 275,000 – 325,000 miles and it still ran like a top.)

These vehicles are not Ferraris, though, so they should not be parked as such when at the local big-box retailer. 

There are entire episodes of “Seinfeld” based on Jerry, George, and the gang finding the perfect “spot”.  Personally, I hold the belief that almost everything in life can be related to an episode of “Seinfeld”, but I digress.

In 2009, my wife went away on a cruise with her parents for a few days and left me alone.  I got a little irritated so I went out and bought a Mustang GT while she was gone.  (In hindsight, it was not my brightest move.)  During the time she allowed me to own it, I made it a point not to park like a complete creep.  To avoid dings on my doors, I’d simply park it far away from other cars.  I also never let my wife drive it to work. 

We live in Vacationland, and we see our fair share of people from “away”, so we get to see a plethora of interesting parking jobs.  These types of parking jobs go far beyond what my wife can do when she pulls the nose of her SUV an inch or two over the beautifully painted white line, encroaching into the empty space in front of us. 

A few weeks ago, my commander (wife) gave me orders to go down to one of the membership-style club stores and get some bulk items.  Easy… I hopped into my truck and in a few minutes was met with a bunch of tourists that appeared to be headed towards Old Orchard Beach.  (Thankfully, they hadn’t donned their Speedo’s, yet.)  I support the Maine tourism industry.  It gives thousands of jobs to Mainers every year, as well as millions of dollars.  I don’t, however, support Ferrari parking.

This is what I found...

A three-quarter ton pick-up with a camper in the bed, towing a boat that was parked in the “prime” parking area for cars taking up five parking spaces.  There was plenty of room on the outskirts of the lot for the truck, but this person decided to take up five of the spaces that are almost closest to the entrance to the store.  Was there a handicap placard or plates?  Nope.  Being the passive aggressive person that I am, I decided to park my truck in front of them, effectively blocking them in, and then took my time shopping, something that I never do. 

I’m pretty decent at all types of parking.  I’ve only gotten better since we have one of those fancy back-up cameras in our car now.  While my wife would say that I’m indecisive about finding a spot, she would not be able to call me a Ferrari-parker.  If I catch a Ferrari-parker, rest assured, I’ll do everything in my power to make things difficult for them to maneuver out of their spaces. 

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