6 Horrible Ways to Park Your Car

honking a metaphorical horn at all you awful parkers

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Beth Czech

It will surprise you to learn there are things at which I am slightly below average. For instance? Frisbee golf. I am not so good at that. Waterskiing? Just awful. C++ computer programming? Laughable. Freestyle rap battling? Don’t get me started.

Many people seem to be playing a fun little game when they park. The game is called “Exactly How Crooked Can My Car Be Without Actually Being Sideways?”

What about parking a car, you ask? I wish you hadn’t asked. At parking, I believe I’m passable. I won’t be winning any awards. My wife says I’m horrible, to which I reply, “Hey, I haven’t actually hit another car in, like, years.” Sure, I might end up a little off-center in the occasional parking spot, but I get the job done. I might need to jockey back and forth for 10 minutes, but the vehicle ends up in park, and it’s rarely if ever an obstacle to other motorists. What more do you want from me?

Now, while my parking prowess might be described as “slightly below-average,” that assessment is relative. I think I’m OK on a national level. However, as far as the Chippewa Valley is concerned, I feel like a certified parking genius. Because many of you people ... you’re just horrible.

Let’s identify the Chippewa Valley’s various categories of awful parking.

1. JUST REALLY CROOKED

Many people seem to be playing a fun little game when they park. The game is called “Exactly How Crooked Can My Car Be Without Actually Being Sideways?” You get 10 points for every fellow driver you tick off. You need 800,000 points to win. These people are either over- or under-medicated, and their family and friends need to do something soon: destroy their car keys.

2. ON THE EDGE

I’m sure you’re well aware of people who own expensive, well-waxed cars and park them directly over the line betwixt two parking spots, in the hopes the people with whom society forces them to share space will not ding their car. I’m not talking about these people. Park your car as close to their driver-side door as possible, and call it a day.

I’m talking about people who park with at least one tire (any tire) directly upon any of the three borders outlining a given stall. What could possibly cause this? And even more baffling, what would cause someone to park this way, get out of their vehicle, walk off, and not even notice what an unbelievable ass they are? What amazing curiosities could possibly be held within Walgreens as to bewitch an otherwise normal person into acting like a big, dumb dummy? I have no answer.

3. BUTTING INTO THE AISLE

A lot of drivers pull into a space, and once they are about halfway in, they think, “SCREW IT CLOSE ENOUGH.” And they promptly leave their car to enter Target and purchase a second selfie stick (one for the car).

4. ‘HEY LOOK! I BACKED INTO MY SPOT!’

Technically, this is not a category of bad parking. It’s a technique usually practiced by men over the age of 45 who have made it their life’s goal to park facing out because it is infinitesimally easier to pull back out. They’ve spent years honing their amazing back-up skills. And this is extremely annoying because I can’t do it without denting at least four other cars.

OK, that (kind of) covers parking lots, but let’s move on to parallel parking situations, shall we? Observe ...

5. THE DIVIDERS

OK! Let’s say you need to park on a busy city street. Nearing your destination, you realize that – hey! – there’s a huge, three-car space right out front! You promptly pull into the middle of the space, bisecting it into two much smaller spaces because you are a demon wearing human skin.

6. THE SMOOCHIES

This particular motorist thinks it’s OK to park so close to you that the bumpers of your cars seem to be kissing each other in a big, sloppy, horribly clumsy, and very much unwanted kiss. Short of backing up onto the curb, it’s almost impossible to escape from this awkward vehicular embrace.

Come on, Chippewa Valley. Your car parking ability is well below average. And while I don’t mind how you make me look better by comparison, you and your cars should be very ashamed. Now, go sit in the driveway and think about what you’ve done.

Press and hold the up/down arrows to scroll.