The P Word

Apologies if I’ve ranted here about this before, but this is such a significant issue that I think it deserves multiple rants.

Back in London I occasionally had to deal with engineers (invariably from Surrey) who needed to visit South East London. The question they asked with a depressing regularity was “what’s the parking like there”. As a non-driver (who could technically drive, but not legally) the answer I wanted to give was somewhere between “I don’t fucking know” and “who cares you sad twat”. The usual answer given was “it’s shit”, which was not only true but gave them something to think about.

In my newly adopted country, such answers are tantamount to treason. Christian fundamentalists are the usual suspects when people talk about flaws in American society, but they’re a big bunch of Jessies compared to the majority of car-drivers here. “Convenient parking” dictates the lives of so many Americans it’s not funny. People will avoid places solely based on the parking facilities! No matter how good the food in the restaurant, the quality of the play, the brilliance of the comic, the wonder of the brew, or the convenience of the public transport, if the parking is bad, people will stay away. Sad bastards.

When we opted to buy a house in Manayunk without a driveway or garage, people treated us like maniacs! There was a genuine belief that we would never be able to park and would spend eternity driving around like motorised zombies. Obviously, in real life we park in our street with no problems. The worst case scenario is we have to walk some minor distance from the car to home. To many ‘yunkers this is unacceptable, because they are twats.

If you want guaranteed parking then move to the suburbs where you can have infinite parking, and no pedestrians. If you’re profoundly addicted to Manayunk then deal with the fact that it was built before every arse owned a (or three) car(s) and move away. In a couple of generations you’ll be able to feel just as uptight about the bad changes to your gated community as you do about all the cars parking in your space in Manayunk. Enjoy your life.

“Parking” is now a word that gets me as uptight as “baptism”. Leave your dark-ages crap at home please, we’re in the 21st century now. We can build wireless networks, LHC’s, pocket computers and space ships.

Just walk a few feet home. It won’t kill you – in fact it may extend your life.


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