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Charlie Hatton
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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!
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Parking is for the Birds

I recently changed roles at my job, which now has me reporting to a different building, and in another part of town. A busy part of town, with lots of schools and hospitals. And very little parking. I suppose the students are supposed to be too busy studying to have cars, and hospital patients are meant to arrive by ambulance only. Visitors to either are apparently out of luck. Maybe they hop a cab down and stay in the dorms, or park their Chevys between unused gurneys in the maternity ward.

Whatever they do, it isn’t any help to employees and staff who need to ‘visit’ the premises regularly. Like me. So, many of us end up parking several blocks away and trekking a path to the workplace. When it’s rush hour on most roads, it looks like a pilgrimage on our sidewalks. In the morning, throngs of nurses, assistants, administrators, vendors, trainees, and phlebotomists tromp towards the medical area from all directions. In the evening, they disperse along the same routes, back to their cars stashed in remote and saner areas, with treelined brownstones and ample parking.

“If it takes thirty years of working a rib spreader or jamming your fingers up people’s poopers to get a parking spot, then I’m quite content to get my walking exercise.”

The doctors, of course, are mostly exempt from this migratory procedure. The senior ones, anyway. They get spots in the garages — and frankly, that’s okay with me. If it takes thirty years of working a rib spreader or jamming your fingers up people’s poopers to get a parking spot, then I’m quite content to get my walking exercise. Unless I get to choose the poopers. But I’m pretty sure I don’t. So, no thanks.

(Also, I honestly don’t know if there are phlebotomists among us in the crowds streaming to and from the hospitals. I wouldn’t even know how to identify such a creature. A special tool they carry? A secret handshake? Beautiful plumage?

Mostly, I just wanted to work the word ‘phlebotomist’ into conversation. And now I have. So I’ll leave it alone.

Right after this:


So, the driving and the parking and the walking really aren’t a burden — he says this in spring, remember; ask me again how I feel about it in January, when I’m freezing my sneaks off in three feet of snow. But even now, there’s a small-yet-frightening inconvenience of sorts with which I’m having to deal: bird flop.

I say ‘small’ inconvenience because the car has been dung-bombed occasionally by the rogue cardinal or robin for years. We don’t have a covered garage, and there are plenty of trees around to launch from. So certainly, we’re no strangers to unexpected shit stains on the outside of our vehicle.

(Luckily, since we don’t have children, the shit stains on the inside of the vehicle have been kept to a rare and bare minimum. The dog may have had an accident or two in the back seat, but that’s it.

Other than the ‘Taco Bell Gordita Incident of 2002’, of course. But we don’t speak about that. Not in mixed company, anyway.)

But I say ‘frightening’ because the poo being pooed on our car at home is nothing compared to the torrential turds being flung where I’m parking for work. In terms of size, number, spatter radius, and — lord help me — consistency, our old suburban turds just don’t measure up.

And if you think I’m joking about the consistency part, ask to see my rear driver’s side window some time. At first glance, I thought we’d been caulked by a roving plumber. On closer inspection, I was convinced it was spackle; it looked more ‘stucco’ than ‘stinko’.

I have no idea what these city birds are eating, but from the looks of my window, I’d say it probably includes bubble gum, Silly Putty, and Elmers’ glue. If anyone out there has a kid with a paste fetish and a thing for Bazooka Joe, maybe we can compare notes on these poops. And while you’re at it, maybe you can give me a clue just how in the hell to get this stuff off my car. Because outside of industrial solvents or small thermonuclear devices, I’m out of ideas over here.

Permalink  |  2 Comments

2 Responses to “Parking is for the Birds”

  1. Lori says:

    I used to work at a place like this – problem was, my shift was 8 hours but the parking all over the area was 4 hours max, so we’d all be taking our “potty breaks” to run and move the car. It was like a giant musical cars game.

  2. Pooke says:

    I think I saw something at 5:40am called “shitbegone” advertised on QVC.

    Meanwhile, Confucious has a saying for this. I think he said “he who live with pigeons, may be shit on” or something like that.

    -World Lit class – some public education system.

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