THE WAFFLEMAN: Parking In Snowy Philadelphia

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FAMILIAR SIGHT on snowy days in Phila.'s dense inner-city neighborhoods where on-street parking is the rule.

FAMILIAR SIGHT on snowy days in Phila.’s dense inner-city neighborhoods where on-street parking is the rule.

Yo! My friend Charlie S. tells me about the practice of illegally reserving parking spaces.

During a recent snowstorm, a guy shoveled the snow from his steps, sidewalk and street in front of his own house. After about an hour and a half and apparently satisfied with his effort, he then yelled something toward his house. The members of his family appeared carrying a couch!

His wife, three daughters and two young sons carefully brought this large piece of furniture down the front steps. Then, the kids in the front slipped, lost their grip and the couch went flying down the steps, knocking everyone down.

Finally, the tribe managed to maneuver the couch into the parking space in the street. After getting it exactly positioned, the whole family sat down on the couch out in the cold street to catch their collective breaths. “Mr. Shovel Guy” then walked away with intentions to return with his car. The family sat patiently on the couch out in the snow, occasionally waving off potential parking-space poachers.

Suddenly, a snowplow made its way through the street. The waiting family and couch, with the open end facing the road, became partially buried in three feet of plowed snow!

Mr. Shovel Guy returned later, but not with his car. It seems he got involved in an accident. When he finally did get home from the hospital, he had a very hard time with his two next-door neighbors for shoveling snow onto their property.

And what about the couch? The family had left it outside in the street, full of snow. Two days later, on the normal trash pickup day, the couch was removed from the street by city sanitation workers.

And here is another story about people shoveling the snow for a parking space in front of their house. What happens is somebody will slave away for however many hours it takes to shovel out a car-sized space in front of his or her house. When he goes back to get his car in order to park it in the newly cleared space, he finds the space has been taken by another car. He is, well, upset.

What most people do is write nasty notes, etc. and place them on the windshield of the offending vehicle. Where the police get involved, however, is the occasional case where the individual vents his wrath in somewhat more violent means. Tires and throats have been slashed over this and gunshots sometimes ring out.

This fellow, however, got creative. Instead of doing the usual nasty stuff, he got out his garden hose and watered the automobile down … real well. The water, of course, froze solid. When the owner returned, instead of a car, he found a car-sized Popsicle. The note on the car read, “You really want the parking space? Here, it’s yours until spring!”

Here is an interesting point of view. If you claim as your personal “do not park” space reserved for you and only you because you cleared the snow from it – then by the same rule, if you clear your sidewalk, would you get upset if someone walked on it?

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