Parking Ethics

I came face to face with a bit of an ethical dilemma this weekend and I have yet to arrive at any comfortable conclusion. I was at a hardware store buying car soap and a bucket. I walked out to my car only to discover with dismay that the person who parked next to me did such a shoddy job that not only could I not get in my car from the driver’s side without significant calisthenics, I could not back straight out either without hitting his car with my side mirror.

What’s a girl to do? Wait, clarify that. What’s a girl who is short on patience and flush with revenge-seeking tendencies to do?

I debated waiting until the, umm, gentleman who parked in such an atrocious manner came back and moved his car. That would have necessitated waiting in the hot sun for an unknown quantity of time, though, so I quickly scratched that notion.

I briefly fantasized about storming into the store, grabbing the store’s PA microphone and making a very public announcement about the deplorable status of that person’s driving skills. That would likely have done nothing more than make the inconsiderate wretch blush alone in the plumbing aisle, though, so I discarded that notion of whimsy as well.

The solution I went with is where my ethical dilemma comes from. I opened my driver side door as far as it would go without hitting the car next to me and tried to get in. The door tapped the car next to me and smudged the dirt but didn’t scratch it. Therein lies my dilemma: Was it wrong to get into my car knowing that it would likely make contact with the car next to me?

I arrived at that course of action after reasoning that I was owed the ability to get freely into my car without having to climb over a gear shifter just to go home. Then again, this is using the assumption that I have rights as a parking citizen. Does the degenerate who parked next to me have the right to park like a blind person without worrying if his actions will result in a ding because the person next to him didn’t feel like vaulting over the parking brake?

I’m clearly torn. Where do you stand on this issue?

5 thoughts on “Parking Ethics

  1. -Wes, Well said. I suppose that’s as good a reason as any for doing pretty much anything, isn’t it?

  2. What did they do in Anger Management? Break the window, release his parking break so his car moves… then, include your insurance information to pay for it.


  3. Break into his vehicle, move it, steal personal information, and then make it look as if nobody had broken in. He’ll think he’s going crazy, a notion you will reinforce through a protracted campaign of gaslighting. Entering his house at night and rearrange things, change his presets in his car, make phone calls to other people pretending to be him which will then be returned causing him to wonder if he called those people in the first place, changing all his soda to diet, replacing vodka with gin or water, etc etc. After several years of working at this several hours per day, you will drive him slowly but inevitably insane, and he’ll be committed to a mental hospital with terrible conditions and worse food. And ugly nurses.

    Oh, and he parked too close, not you. I parked too close to someone today, and when I go out to my car I will not feel I have been unjustly served if my car is smudged.

  4. -Matt, Good one. I had no idea an Adam Sandler movie could teach me so much! Knowing me, though, I’d spend too long trying to figure out how to break his window (Can I pick up and use that trash can? Would my First Aid kit do the trick?) and then he’d come out and see me glaring at his car and the whole exercise would have been wasted as, instead of “wrathful avenger”, I would just be “disturbed lady.”

    -Dane, Essentially the Amelie approach, yes? I see where you’re going with this, and it’s a good place. I’m particularly impressed with how thoroughly you thought this out, I even nodded my head after reading your comment and said, “Nice” right out loud. I do wonder if it would be satisfying for me, though, as I would not be on-hand to witness the havoc. I’m not good at delayed gratification, you see, and it’s entirely possible that setting fire to his sanity might end up making me more crazy than him, which would be entirely beside the point.

    Also, I have a critical question: if I switched his booze, would I then get to keep the vodka…?

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