Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Significance of a Parking Space in the Love Relationship

Even if completely oblivious to the car problems of noise, pollution, and oil consumption, no one can deny the space problem. And I don’t mean outer space, I mean the kind we occupy on the planet.

(Not to discount the space program, but honestly, if we’d spend the money on saving the planet, we wouldn’t need to develop an escape plan. I know our president is very supportive of the space program. NASA could at least show their appreciation by making us the first country to launch a president into space. I wonder if NASA checks into the blogosphere once in a while. Are you paying attention, NASA? Could you hurry? You want to see a dramatic surge in public support for the space program, this would do it. Most of the known world would chip in.)

But no, today I’m talking about the vast amount of space occupied on the earth by the CAR, whether stopped or in motion, from its birthplace at the factory to its final resting place at the landfill. I could at this point divert into a variety of tirades about the effects of the car on urban planning in modern civilization, but I only have fifteen minutes left to post something.

To be specific, I’m talking about the ordeal of finding a parking space. Which is what Lindi and I were trying to do last night. I know what you’re thinking – what in the world were we doing in a CAR anyway? You know there had to be a good reason – namely, we needed to schlep three or four wine-sized boxes of stuff. Not impossible by bike, but requiring a cargo trailer the like of which I don’t yet own – though as you can tell I’m definitely moving in that direction, of becoming a totally hard-core, no excuses bike user. So back to last night: we decided to reward ourselves (I’m very big on the reward system) after the loathsome task of packing up and moving these boxes of stuff, by going out to dinner on our way home with said boxes. After consuming extra gas by circling around the block in search of a spot, we lucked upon one in the process of being liberated by another smog-belching vehicle about to depart the area. After several minutes of the prerequisite parallel parking pain, we managed to squeeze ourselves into it when just at that moment we saw the most amazing thing.

All we could make out in the second it flew by us was that it was some kind of human-powered vehicle with a horse’s head.

[uh-oh. Must interrupt momentarily. Will return soon with conclusion of story]

I'm so sorry, I'm not going to be able to post the rest of the story today, even though I'm only a paragraph and a photo away from the ending. Today is absolutely booked solid, a scheduling situation I steadfastly avoid but occasionally cave in to. Unless I can squeeze it in before dinner, further blogging today is out. But do check back, because in the end I actually manage to get a photo of the eccentric steed -- but at what cost!

Friday, 8:19 AM -- continuation & conclusion

But that fleeting glimpse was enough to hurl me into a tizzy of curiosity, compelling me to beg Lindi in the most urgent tones that we peel out of our perfect spot and speed down Broadway in pursuit of this merest apparition. With only a slight roll of the eyeballs, she sportingly agreed to star in the bike chase scene for my impromptu grade z movie. Thanks to her latent racing skills, we finally caught up with the beast, a feat of daring and courage requiring precise timing and alacrity on the accelerator, as the creature had by this time gained six traffic lights on us.

Here is a photo taken from the passenger seat of our car while the subject protested, demanding money. I offered him fame instead and he agreed, begrudgingly.

Unfortunately, I failed to communicate to him the relevance of the information displayed on the blog business card I extended to him at arm’s length through my window (as annoyed drivers slowed behind us), and declined to accept it. He may never realize the extent of his own notoriety. If you know this man, or see him riding around town on his mobile three-wheeled recliner with fuzzy pink horse’s head, you might give him my blog address.
And by the way, think not that I am unperturbed by the troubling paradox that countless oodles of precious fuel were consumed in the endeavor to capture an image of this non-fuel-producing vehicle to post in my anti-fuel-consuming blog,

I now realize that this posting is not, after all, about finding a parking space, but about the ultimate expression of love, namely the supremely selfless act of Giving Up a Parking Place in support of another – specifically, in support of the hare-brained, nut-case whim of another. If you have someone who would do that for you, hang on and never let go.


At 7:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't leave us hanging like this. It's like a soap! What is it, this mysterious thing?

At 9:19 AM, Blogger kate gawf said...

I'm so sorry, I know it's cruel... gotta go.. read note added to end of posting.

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Tuco said...

Hey Kate, I'm putting a link up to your blog from mine, under a "cycling blogs" section.
Take care!

At 2:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Space consumption isn't simply intuitive. A vehicle parked in a parking lot consumes 3000 sq. ft. of space (larger than some apartments). Traveling at 30mph a car consumes 30,000 sq. ft of space (0.7 acres). Even transportation planners are beginning to realize that the vast space consumed is simply too expensive .


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