Thursday, April 10, 2008

Parking Lot Bonanza

Parking Lot Bonanza
Tim Long

Just when my hope for catching some good photos of bad parking before this weekend was waning, I went out last night and found a gift (many, actually) from the bad parking gods all in one lot.

That's my little white truck parked next to this poor fella. For me to park within the white lines, I would have had to be within 1 centimeter of his car. He's either 1. drunk before he got to the bar. 2. chubby enough to need the extra room to get out of the driver's seat. 3. blind.

Whoa mama! She (I saw the driver, and, yes, she is female) squeezed that big boat into its spot, though not so straight, nor all the way in. There was about 5 feet between the megatundra and the back of the parking spot. The thing could seat a small island tribe, but she drove it there by herself. Hope she enjoyed her dinner, because it must have cost her $30 in gas to get there.

Hmm. While walking an acquaintance out of the restaurant, we approached her car. I planned to be polite and spare her the indignity of being on my blog, but she insisted I take this photo. I've notice that people seem proud of their lack of parking ability (and it's startling). Thank goodness there isn't much need for parallel parking in Charlotte. There wouldn't be enough server space to hold all the photos...

Here we have an incredibly rare image that I was able to capture after nearly dropping my phone in the excitement and rush of adrenaline at the opportunity of spotting such an amazing scene...the "Trifecta" (three mis-parked cars in a row). The guy in the SUV manages the skillful "equator" (splitting two spots down the middle). What goes through people's minds when they get out of their cars, look back at them, and keep walking? "Wow, I'm a really bad parker."

Now I can enjoy my weekend. I'll be heading up to VA, so maybe I'll catch some images of how "northerners" navigate parking lots.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

White Line Wonders

White Line Wonders
Tim Long

Thank goodness for digital cameras. If I had to develop all the shots I take of half-witted driving and parking maneuvers, I'd be poor. I would like to get a dash-mounted camera for the action shots of dopes driving. I quit road cycling for the sole reason that I'm scared of the way people drive now. Cell phones, texting, music selecting, taking photos, no one seems to drive as the primary function while in the car anymore. I saw a guy spin his truck off the highway entrance ramp and into the ditch the other day. There was not another car near him.

Here my theory of human herding instincts is captured. One guy parks ridiculously, so another guy pulls up next to him and manages the "quatro" by taking up four spots. Why? Maybe I'm odd (okay, I'm odd, that's established), but I couldn't imagine wanting to park my vehicle like this.

Here we have the rare night shot. this is one of those dudes who picked himself up an old Mercedes with 400 million miles on it, and thinks he's something special because he's driving a car that costs $60k....two decades ago. He buys his dress shirts at Walmart for $12, then spends $20 a month getting it dry cleaned.

"It's the shopping carts! Oh my god, the carts!" If you'll notice, there are plenty of spots open. Why would you 1. park next to stray shopping carts? and 2. pull a near quatro trying to avoid them? Is that his assigned spot? If I owned a tow truck, it would be a blast to move this car to another spot (parked correctly). Knowing which town this shot was taken, the owner would likely believe aliens moved it.

Unfortunately, I take all these shots with my phone, so the details in this photo will need narration to enable proper understanding, entertainment, and appreciation.

First, where are we going with those tires? I would guess he lives on a remote farm and has to navigate a long, rugged, muddy, mountainous driveway to get home, though, considering the vehicle is spotless, it's doubtful. As we move to the roof, there are the following items: A red emergency mountain shovel, an ice mountain climbing axe, and some other weird tools I've never seen before (and I have actually climbed mountains). Also on the roof are 5 billion watt spot lights, just in case his head lights both burn out at the same time.

I was confused (as I always am) why there's a very heavy duty winch on the front of this lovely, and useful, vehicle. I could tell by the shiny hook on the end of the winch cable that it had never been deployed, and thus, never used. There's also a 12 ton gage steel battering ram protecting the grill. The whole package is topped off with a SCUBA diving sticker on the side window. When people put diving stickers on their vehicles, it tells me that they have the basic certification and have, at most, 3 dives under their weight belt. I can say this because I have numerous advanced SCUBA certifications with nearly 200 dives to my credit. I do not have a sticker on my car.

Fun little group of photos. I'm looking forward to warmer weather with sunny days and leafs on trees. These shots all seem to be taken on rainy days, and are a little gloomy, but funny non the less.

Please feel free to send me photos that you personally take of anything that illustrates that we have numerous rungs to go on the ladder of evolution as humans.