February 4, 2011

Asshole Car Owners Ruin the Snowpocalypse for Everyone

I. Shoveling Snow Back Into the Street

Today, I was having a pleasant morning, sipping my coffee and reading my e-mail, when I heard screaming out front. My cat and I went over to the window to investigate, and we saw this. Two asshole drivers, parked next to each other, were shoveling out their cars and dumping all of the snow into the street.

The yelling started when a woman saw them and told them to fucking stop it. They would not. They are still doing it, messing up one of the only streets in this neighborhood that was plowed clean, because they can't be bothered to carry the snow to the area between the street and the sidewalk like everyone else. I imagine they had a conversation that went something like this:

"Holy shit! The city plowed the snow right into our cars!"
"Those bastards! They fucking inconvenienced us!"
"Let's show them by putting it all back into the street!"
"Yeah! That will teach them to plow public roads!"

Yesterday, I went back to my car and saw that, as I expected, the plow had come through and left a wall of snow against the side of my car. I shoveled it out, one load at a time, with my little emergency car shovel -- by myself -- in about 90 minutes. I put all of the snow in a pile off the road, and then I even shoveled some of the road around my car. It was cold and difficult, but that's life when you own a car in the city. And these big strong men can't be bothered to do the same thing? Unbelievable.

The pile is bigger now, since they have been shoveling for about 30 minutes since I took the photos. It's certainly enough snow to mess up my little car. I hope the police drive by and give them tickets for asshole behavior. There has to be some ordinance that applies.

II. Dibs

Until I saw the douchebag shovelers, I thought the worst winter parking offense was a practice called "dibs." After people shovel out their cars, they put furniture in the space to indicate "I shoveled this space! So I get to reserve it all day while I'm at work, because god forbid I should have to shovel a different space when I get home. God fucking forbid. Oh, and if you park here I will key your car."

Calling "dibs" means that the driver is simultaneously claiming a parking space at work and a parking space at home, making two spots unavailable in a city that already doesn't have enough street parking for the number of drivers that need to park. It also means nobody can drive to our neighborhood and park there temporarily, because all of the spaces are either taken, covered in piles of snow, or "reserved" with lawn chairs.

Defenders of dibs talk about how it's a "city tradition" but tradition does not excuse selfish asshole behavior. Public streets are PUBLIC FUCKING STREETS. Shoveling out your car does not entitle you to claim ownership of a public space for the rest of winter.

I can see how it feels unfair to spend an hour shoveling, and then find your space taken when you get back. But it's not a grave injustice -- it's what happens when you park on a public street. You have a duty to remove the snow around your car for the entire public, not just for you. It's the only way we're going to get 20 inches of snow off the roads.

III. Conclusion

So many neighbors have been lovely to each other during this blizzard. A stranger helped me to shovel out my car, and I helped a stranded driver to shovel around her car when she was stuck on an unplowed side street. All over the neighborhood, you can see people helping each other out, shoveling sidewalks that aren't theirs, offering assistance to strangers. But some douchey entitled people have to ruin it for everyone. Those people suck.


  • I live in Australia, we've just ended Summer and never get snow anyway, so I have no idea what living in a city with snow is like; but those guys sound like such assholes.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/6/11, 6:08 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home