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parking break

Every Sunday, when parking switches from the south to the north side of my street, alert neighbors knock on the doors of those who have forgotten and remind them to move their cars. It’s a service we provide one another. Without fail, it falls to me to remind the young man who lives next door. If I did not, he would surely get a ticket, because he simply cannot seem to remember the switch-over.

Here’s my problem. The kid expresses no gratitude at all. He seems sort of annoyed. And the rest of the week, if I run into him on the street, he doesn’t even say hello. Should I keep putting myself out for this ingrate? If so, why?


The Gay Perspective: Actual annoyance? Let him get a couple of tickets, for educational purposes, and then remind him again. If his attitude hasn’t adjusted, to hell with the ingrate.

The Hipster says: I forget to move my car all the time and I’m lucky if a neighbor or a friend reminds me. I say just “forget” to remind him one time and see what happens. Maybe he’ll remember on his own or maybe he’ll realize how much he appreciates you.

The Revolutionary says: When are you people gonna wake up? Parking rules are just another one of the tools used by THE MAN to keep you down! I used to be one of those people who ran around knocking on my neighbors’ doors to let them know it was time to move the car to the other side of the street. NOT ANYMORE!

Oh yeah, I ran across more than a few of these jerks who would come out of the house in his pajamas on Sunday afternoon, shooting me daggers because I disturbed his precious repose. It used to bug me. Then I realized that it was just another instance of THE MAN turning us against one another. I realized the only thing motivating me, or anyone else, to move a car to the other side of the road in the middle of the day on a sleepy little side street was the threat of a fine. What public good does a stupid rule like that promote? None, brothers and sisters, none. It’s simply a trick used by THE MAN to extract money from us poor folks who don’t have driveways. Think about it.

What you and your neighbors need to do is RISE UP AND FIGHT THE POWER! Form a human chain at the end of the street before the parking violations truck can come down. Oh, the fight against oppression is gonna be a long one. But I say to you that nothing could be more important than taking a stand. Tell the powers that be that you will park your car wherever and whenever you please, as long as it doesn’t interfere with anyone’s life, liberty or persuit of happiness.

And if you get ANYBODY to go along with you, please, let me know how you did it.

The Straight Skinny: First of all, you should never resist a generous impulse, which is what compels you to help out this ill-mannered kid to begin with.

Second, recall the lesson Thomas Becket learns in T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral: The greatest temptation of all is to the do the right thing for the wrong reason. Are you helping out this kid for a thank you? If so, surrender that payoff, no matter how paltry it might seem. Keep telling the kid to move his car because it’s the right thing to to. Rise above. Let him worry about his own soul.

Ruthless says: Of course you should stop putting yourself out for this ingrate. You know, if you were really ticked off what you could do? You could let him get a ticket, and then sneak out there and take it off his windshield. Do that a couple times as he sleeps in blissful ignorance. Wait about a month, and wait for the men with the “boot” to arrive. See then if he sleeps through the tow truck, coming to get his car...

No, don’t do that. It must be illegal.

Top Secret says: I live on a very tight street in Allentown, and we have the same problem. When it’s 5:00pm on a Sunday or a Wednesday, I try to give people the heads up. When it comes to people I don’t know, I wait until 7:00 or so, then I call the cops. A goof ticketing blitz keeps the street pretty clear for at least a couple months.

So I say try this, let the kid get a ticket, and perhaps then he will be a little more appreciative of your thoughtfulness

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