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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Snowy Selfishness

This post comes from my "evil thoughts I have at random" file, thanks to a week or two of annoying snowy weather (which means in snows for two days and then panic and mayhem set in for another week at least before any of the snow can have a chance to melt away and let us calm the hell down.

Walking in the snow is a bitch.

I'm sure that driving in the snow is a bitch as well. Well, most of me figures that driving after it snows is NOT a bitch because you're inside with the heater on and warm dry feet - but the factor of putting up with the snow and how it affects your car BEFORE you're driving effortlessly through it later makes up in the bitch rating.

I understand - your car is covered in snow. The road is covered in snow. There's a whole lot of snow and ice around and it drives you mad having to deal with it the first time. You sit there and dust your entire car off. Then you have to de-ice things. Then I'm betting you have to dig a bit to allow space for your car to have access driving-wise to the road itself. And once you've pulled it out, you decide to shovel off the rest of the area so your car can theoretically pull back in without requiring post-worktime shoveling.

Here's where you lose me, car-drivers: putting your own property in the space you shoveled as though to claim it for yourself.

I've got news for you, Lewis and/or Clark: you're not a pioneer out claiming untamed wilderness for your own. You've done a nice thing by clearing out a parcel of land where a car could park, but you don't get to stick a flag in it and claim that country in the name of the Griswold family. You've dug up a fresh spot of public land, which is the opposite of private land, and it's open to the public.

While owning a home means ownership of that parcel of land, allowing old-timers the right to yell at kids to stay off their lawns, the street is up for grabs. Any city-dweller knows this, having undoubtedly spent ten minutes on various occasions to find one damned parking spot and it's three blocks away. Because the street parking is open to the public and you're not allower to tell people to move their goobermobiles just because that stretch of curb is the closest to your building and that space three blocks away is Goobermobile Parking Accessible.

Here's the insane part: putting private property on public property, expecting that it turns the public into private rather than turning the private into public!

You know where else you can find private property in public places? The alley behind buildings where furniture doesn't fit into garbage cans. And guess what? Open to the public! Hobos can root around for cans all they want, but that discarded kitchen set could go perfectly in a little crap shack like mine!

So why aren't there more people out there fighting the power?

You pull up to your block, and come caring individual has shoveled out a clearance spot that your car could fit perfectly into. I mean, if it weren't for those two lawn chairs in the middle of the space. What's stopping you from picking up that trash left in the street and tossing it elsewhere, making that parking spot PERFECTLY clear? And maybe those are some nice lawn chairs that would look great in your son's basement collection of crappy furniture on which he and his pot-smoking friends can waste their days lounging? Up for grabs, I say!

Oh, those were YOUR lawn chairs?

I'm afraid I'm going to have to cite precedence in the case of Finders v. Keepers.

Every post-snowday, I have this fantasy of riding in the back of a large pick-up truck and just grabbing all the furniture we can haul. It doesn't belong in the street, and it shouldn't be used as a flag to claim public land as your own private garage. That's why people built garages - to have a private property area to park their cars. I give it a ten-block radius and twenty minutes of driving and I could come home with thirty lawn chairs, fifteen orange cones, and a couple of bucks worth of scrap metal or fodder to start a post-modern art gallery and sell demolished parking-space holders for thousands of dollars.

And then I wake up from my daydream because the bus is here and I have to get to work.

Do you all have these same visions of chair-snatching grandeur? Or are you a car-parking menace trying to pass as an emissary who needs to claim this land in the name of your family?

1 comment:

Statutory_ed said...

Well I must inform you that here in Chicago if you would dare to touch one of those 35 year old lawn chairs marking a parking spot, open season would be immediately declared on your car, and you'll be lucky if you only get your tires slashed or windows broken. It's just a Chicago tradition.

And driving on snow and ice IS a bitch. No, you're not cold and wet but trying to control a 3,500 pound piece of metal on a sheet of ice that's covered in a foot of snow during a blizzard where you can't see anything during rush hour traffic is a pain in the ass. Those are the days when your 15 minute commute during normal conditions takes 1 hour.