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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Parking Up the Wrong Tree

I mentioned a while back that my wife needed a car for her new work commute, so we’re now rocking two vehicles.

This is all well and good. The only glitch is, we’re not rocking two parking spaces.

Not yet, at least. In October, we get another spot and we’ll be again balanced with the number of automobiles and automobile-sized repositories. Until then, not so much. So I’ve ceded the existing spot to the missus, for the time being. Meaning I have to find a place to stash my car for a while.

In some places, this wouldn’t be an especially tough problem. Find a space. Park car. Don’t move car for three weeks. Or possibly, park car in a different spot every day its needed, and maybe walk the extra half-block if need be, because you could sure as hell use the exercise anyway, ya lazy tub.

(Remember, this is my car we’re parking here, not the wife’s. Don’t forget who we’re talking to. And tell my in-laws to stop sending snarky messages already.)

Sadly, neither of those solutions is especially helpful here in sunny Brookline, Massachusetts, where the local constables and burgermeisters and such have decided it would be fun to enact and enforce — oh, believe you me, enforce — the following town parking mandates:

1. All parking spots, metered or otherwise, have a two-hour limit.

2. No overnight parking on the street, anywhere in town. None. Zero. Bupkis.

That’s just dandy, of course, if you happen to have access to the same number of parking spots as parkable vehicles. And also, an arm, three legs and an appendage to be named later to pay for said spots, because parking real estate in no-overnight Nazi-parking-town is at a tad of a premium.

But if you happen, say, to have an extra Prius lying around because a member of your household is now commuting halfway to Pennsylvania for work, then you’re more or less sucking tailpipe without a hybrid. That’s how they (cam)shaft you. Probably the town council people all ride bikes to work. Jackholes.

And so, I’ve been dancing the hokey-Nissan-pokey with our “old” car this month. It’s been all over, and we’re not done yet. I’ve had it in our current spot, when I can sneak a few hours there. It’s been in the ‘guest’ spot of an apartment parking lot a few blocks over — at least until the super started giving it the stink eye. One night, I left it at work and walked the four miles home. It was a hike — but still easier than finding yet another temporary and possibly hostile home. I feel like I’m peddling a foster child or something.

(In which case, the “leave it in the mall parking lot” strategy probably wouldn’t go over so big. I’m just saying.)

I’m not sure what the Brookline brass have against convenient parking, frankly. Maybe an occupied street spot killed their fathers, or something. Or they all have meter maid mistresses, maybe. Something.

Meanwhile, I’ve got a homeless car and roving gangs of ‘Parking Enforcement’ officers eager to ticket my ride into oblivion. Or possibly into Boston, where a garage will cost you three bags of cash and a testicle to park overnight.

(If you get in early, it’s only two bags of cash — but the testicle is non-negotiable. I don’t know what you do if you have to park over a long weekend. Bring a friend, I guess.)

So I’ll keep shuffling the car until October, when we finally re-equilibrate the ratio of parkable hunks of metal and the spots they hold so dear. Or I’ll exile my vehicle to the suburbs for a couple of weeks, and get some exercise making the schlep to the office.

Or I’ll park at a meter right in damned front of my condo, and ignore any tickets I happen to get. These are extenuating circumstances, so far as I’m concerned. What’s the worst that could happen?

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