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April 20, 2021

(parking, part II): I'll tell you where you can park that car, Mr. Po-Po

Officer friendly appeared the other day at my front door AGAIN. I've lost track of how many visits this is. This officer seemed fresh (not like he made a pass at me, more like just got his badge). He brought a more senior dude along. I gave them my usual, DOING THE BEST WE CAN TO KEEP THE CARS FROM BLOCKING THE SIDEWALK. PEOPLE ARE IN AND OUT QUITE A BIT. FOUR CARS LIVE HERE.

This is a photo of part of the chalk message I wrote a
 few weeks ago (um, need to buy Curly more chalk)
to whoever feels the need
 to call about our car blocking the sidewalk. 

I also launched into my rant about what I think of neighbors who would call and complain. I'm starting to think though that this isn't neighbors calling. 

A friend is an alderman for the city and she said it's an ordinance (which the officers reminded me of) and they are cracking down. Do cops drive around and try to enforce this dumb rule? I guess I should be grateful that there is very little crime in our little city. Our po-po have so little else to do. If that's the case why does the city employ SO MANY uniforms? See, I'm familiar now with the whole force as I get a different guy visiting each time. I'm assuming no one comes back for a repeat visit because they don't want to deal with Lady Cray-Cray. 

I told the fuzz that we'd move the flipping 'offending' car. As they walked away, Mini told me that she'd parked so that there was still plenty of space to walk around the car without leaving the sidewalk. 

Well. Hold. The. Phone.

This was from one of the initial complaint
days, but there is still space to walk on the sidewalk. Right?

I raced outside and sure enough, a 700 lb person COULD walk past the car without stepping off the sidewalk. The boys in blue were still walking to their car. I pointed out to them (and demonstrated by walking freely with my arms held out to my sides) that Mini had parked the car in order to make the sidewalk accessible. 

Now Mr. Tough Guy took the reins. "MAM, IT'S AN ORDINACE. THE CAR IS STILL BLOCKING THE SIDEWALK. MOVE THE CAR OR WE WRITE A $25 TICKET. YOU HAVE PLENTY OF CURB SPACE HERE TO CURB YOUR CAR."

That's when I thanked him for that newsflash and then I pointed (knowing full well that my mother taught me not to point, but blood boiling and all) to Mary Ann's house across from the curb of which he spoke. 

Me:  WELL THE WITCH THAT LIVES IN THAT HOUSE TELLS US NOT TO PARK ON THE STREET THERE BECAUSE IT'S BEHIND HER DRIVEWAY AND SHE DOESN'T WANT HER PEOPLE BACKING OFF THE DRIVEWAY INTO OUR CARS. LIKE I SAID:  WORLD'S WORST NEIGHBORS. 

Get the popcorn, because not a moment later Mary Ann walked out of her house, without her broom - too bad, because it would've been nice if she'd demonstrated her special powers. 

Mini moved the car and said she saw Mary Ann speak to them, but Mini's x-ray hearing (is that a thing?) wasn't turned on and she had no idea what the conversation was about. 

I came across this photo from the summer - look TWO cars in the way of the sidewalk. We could use the street parking more, but we are on the corner (see above curved curb), and there's a fire hydrant directly across from our driveway. That leaves us with the space that Mary Ann has requested we NOT park in. Of course there is no law against it.

I assure you that Mary Ann doesn't call to complain about our cars blocking the sidewalk. She never walks on this side of the street. She's incredibly self-involved. If you need evidence of that, I can supply you with many links to many posts detailing her self-centeredness. There's no way our sidewalk would be worthy of a complaint from her. It just doesn't impact her. 

Our city's motto is:  (INSERT NAME OF CITY), a nice place to live.

Coach came home moments later. He's like Lenny and Squiggy with the well-timed entrances. He JUST missed the badge-carrying peeps. I told him that I'm going on the Next Door website and announcing that our town is NOT a nice place to live. Take that, city. Time to come up with a new catchy slogan. 

Fire me up, will you?

Oh, and here's a thought. What if the po-po starts hanging out in the high school parking lot and directing traffic? That might be time well spent. 

12 comments:

Ally Bean said...

Wow. I'd prefer to think that in a nice place to live the police would have more important things to do than worry about where you park your legally-owned, well-maintained, no-one-is-living-in-them cars. But I guess not. So now that you are a known miscreant, whatcha gonna do?

Kari Wagner Hoban said...

Holy heck, this is giving me a headache. It seems you're going to have to build a parking garage. Something tells Mary Ann isn't going to like that either. :)

Martha said...

I have never heard anything so ridiculous and your neighbor sounds like a real winner. I can't wait to read more about the fun you have with her!

Kara said...

That's such a weird location for a sidewalk. It's like 8 feet up from the street, and totally infringes on your private driveway. We have to play car jenga at our house too. Four cars, but admittedly four car spots. The Van and the Truck cannot park on the same side or they do hang into the sidewalk (which is built right next to the road, not 8 feet up from it). We have an extra spot by our RV gate, but we get yelled at by the HOA if we park there for more than 48 hours - it's a "transitional space" not a permanent parking spot.

Ernie said...

Ally - It does seem like such an odd focus. With the various number of officers who've stopped by, it seems like our police force is over-staffed. Not that I really know much about it, but the size of our town feels like more of a 4 or 5 person gig.

I should make it clear that we are NOT allowed to park on the street overnight. That is one of the reasons we don't park on the street more - who wants to haul butt outside and move a car to the driveway at night? And if you forget? You get to pay a ticket.

If I had more energy I'd honestly start a petition to change the ordinance. My friend is an alderman for our city, so I might pick her brain a bit and see if she can address the pettiness of it at a meeting.

Ernie said...

Kari - Funny. Guessing my neighborhood wouldn't approve that. Perhaps we need to move to the middle of no where. It seems in those rural places, people can park multiple broken down cars on their lawns. I've honestly thought about adding to our driveway to the side that is close to our backyard. It would make for a bigger b-ball court too. Shh, I haven't told Coach. He LOVES my ideas, especially those that cost money.

Ernie said...

Martha - Don't get me started on Mary Ann. She's a piece of self-involved work. I often think of writing a book titled: WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE. Because some people are weird, and while I consider myself a good judge of character - people sometimes surprise me. I knew Mary Ann before we moved in. Her presence wasn't much a selling point for the house, but since moving in I realize that her 'IT'S ALL ABOUT ME' issues are only the tip of the ice burg.

Ernie said...

Kara - I think that is a normal place for a sidewalk in the midwest. Part of our problem is that our driveway is short, because our house is on the corner and our driveway sticks out of the side of the house. It's nice when it's time to shovel snow, but it doesn't allow for multiple cars to be parked there. Backing out the Great White is not happening without sufficient space.

Pat Birnie said...

Wow - on many fronts. I live in a medium sized city and cannot imagine coppers coming to our door because of a car parked a few inches on the sidewalk. What a waste of resources!! and Mary Ann - I'm thinking a response like "well thank you for that suggestion, we'll consider it. Goodbye" close door gently. I know it means remembering to pull the cars in at night, but with you guys coming and going, it makes the most sense.

Ernie said...

Pat - A waste of resources is exactly right. Parking on the street in the dead of winter with so much snow is also not ideal. People can't enter the car from the snow bank side and we are usually driving someone somewhere. Of course it's not that hard to bring the car around to the driveway, but the other thing is VERY FEW PEOPLE ARE OUT USING THE SIDEWALKS IN THE DEAD OF WINTER. That's when all this started. Mary Ann told me that we shouldn't park across the street from her driveway years ago after Lad backed off our drive into a parked car (that wasn't one of their cars -different neighbor). She did the WAIT, HOW DOES THIS AFFECT ME THING, . . . "hey, you guys shouldn't park behind OUR driveway so we don't back cars into your cars." She's such a thoughtless twit.

Suz said...

Hmmmmm, I wasn't going to comment at all because it's offensive to me when someone calls an officer a pig.
They are doing their job, even if it's bothersome and silly to someone.
Surely someone in your hood is bothered by this because I can almost bet money that they aren't driving around looking for silliness like this when there are asshats on every corner. (even in a nice town)
The way your home is situated (near Mrs. Wonderful) really puts you in a parking pickle.

Ernie said...

Suz - Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I got carried away in my joking-around mode. I honestly meant no harm - it was careless of me though. Didn't mean to trivialize such an essential career. Where would be without police? I do know that the officers were just doing their job, but I can't help but think their time could be better utilized. We thought leaving enough space for people to get around the car was a solution. Apparently not. Reg is learning to pull cars off of our driveway and park them on the street. I can only imagine how our warm, fuzzy relationship with Mary Ann might turn sour if he runs into her mailbox.