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Monday, February 03, 2003 AD
Blocked Driveways
On January 16, I arrived home at about 11 p.m. to find someone parked in front of my driveway. This would not ordinarily be a big deal, because there's usually a spot on the street, but on this particular evening, the snow was falling and a pretty significant accumulation was predicted. It is imperative to park in the driveway during a snowstorm because a) I have to do less shovelling to get out and 2) I don't have to be tempted to murder if someone steals my spot on the street. (And don't think people don't shoot each other over stuff like that. And don't think I don't sympathize with them.)

Now if I'd had any sense, or any Ranger genes, I'd have looked at the snow to see if there were footprints from the car leading to one of my neighbor's houses, knocked on the door, and asked that their guest move his truck. But instead I got cranky, huffed and puffed, and called 311 (the kinder, gentler version of 911). Being as my brother's a cop in the district where my house is, they recognized my last name and promised to send somebody out. Being that they are still the Baltimore City cops, and that they have real crime to be dealing with even when a colleague's sister has been inconvenienced, they had not come by 45 minutes later when I looked out the window again and discovered that the truck had moved. So I called them back and said forget it and went out and moved my car into the driveway.

It turned out we only got about half an inch of snow, anyway, after all that.

On January 21, I arrived at my friend Joan's house at around 6:10 p.m. I was going to celebrate the fact that it had became her house (or at least her mortgage) just that day. I chose a spot across the street, being careful not to park in front of the fire hydrant and parking hastily because I was supposed to have been there at 6 and I didn't want to keep Joan and her sister waiting. So I went in and we celebrated and banged on the kitchen wall because our friends Jocelyn and Greg live next door and we wanted them to know we were there. We laughed and had a fun little celebration and Greg came over for a bit to share in the festivities. After about 45 minutes we headed out, Joan and Barbara walking back across the street with me to where they currently live.

My car looked funny. As we got closer, the reason became clear -- somebody had egged it. It was then that Joan noted what I had not noted earlier -- I was blocking somebody's driveway. Now there's no way of knowing for sure if that's the reason my car was egged or of those were the folks who did it, but Joan commented that the folks in that house had been nothing but trouble since they moved in, though they were supposedly Christians. The three of us talked about it for a minute or two, with me throwing in the final comment: "And I hope they don't have anything for breakfast tomorrow!" Then I pretty much emptied the windshield washer fluid trying to get the egg off with the wipers at least well enough so I could drive home.

Over the next few days, I never got around to dealing with it more thoroughly. For one thing, I was extremely busy. For another thing I wasn't feeling terribly well. And for a third thing, it was the coldest week of the winter and I didn't want to be outside washing my car. I figured the egg would be frozen and fairly inert, causing minimal damage to the paint. Finally on Saturday, knowing that I needed to pick up Paulo for Brian and Stacey's wedding, I went at it with an ice scraper and got the worst of it off. I also refilled the washer fluid and did a somewhat better job on the windshield. My plan was to go to a carwash before fetching Pau, but with my usual fine time management skillz, I didn't get to it before the hour appointed to pick him up, so I skipped the carwash. Once Paulo was in the car, I asked if we could stop someplace to at least buy paper towels and some kind of cleaner. After discovering that the Rite Aid he recommended had been razed to the ground, we ended up at the Sav-a-Lot, where I parked in a loading zone while I ran in; fetched towels and Windex; ran back out; and frantically sprayed and scrubbed while Paulo helped, a homeless guy shouted advice, and a business owner stood and scowled at us. A couple minutes later we'd gotten the worst of it off -- enough so you'd have to look really close to realize there was more than just average dirt on the car -- hopped back in and sped off before any trucks were inconvenienced by my illegal parking.

I think it was the next day that we got another little bit of snow, which proved to be a good abrasive for cleaning off remnants of frozen raw egg.

So be careful where you park your car. Be gracious when others haven't been careful where they parked theirs. And be grateful for friends who are available with sympathy and elbow grease to help resolve the problem.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/03/2003 09:18:00 PM • Permalink

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