Randy Weeks

Published on September 19th, 2018 | by Randy Weeks


The View from the Balcony: Parallel Parking: The Final Word (for now)

I was going to leave this subject alone for a while. Enough’s enough, right? Evidently not, for on Friday, August 3, 2018, The Balcony Parking Commission and a few guests witnessed the most egregious attempt at parallel parking know to humanity.

It happened directly in front of Old Venice. Four college students tried to park in the second space from the front of a line of four well-marked slots. At first it was funny. Then, after following the dictum of “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try again,” it became embarrassing – nay – shamefully pathetic. Three of the four got out to offer directions. No go. They changed drivers. Still no go. Finally, they threw in the towel and left two or three feet of automobile encroaching on Van Buren. Somebody throw the yellow flag!

Exhausted from bemoaning the tragedy of licensed drivers who cannot parallel park a Mini-Cooper in a cornfield, we decided to stop griping and start helping. So, we offer to the general public and to four lost-soul students, The Balcony Parking Commission’s Definitive Guide to Parallel Parking. (The friend who penned the instructions asked not to be lauded for their gift of public service. The guide has been edited to make it available to a PG-15 audience.)


Preamble: When you see a vacant parking spot, you say to yourself, “Self, this crap never happens,” so don’t muck it up!

  1. In your motor vehicle (Vehicle #1), pull up parallel to the motor vehicle (Vehicle #2) behind which you wish to park, until the back bumper of Vehicle #1 is even with the back bumper of Vehicle #2.
  2. Turn (or “cut”) your tires toward the curb (curbward).
  3. Place Vehicle #1’s gear in reverse.
  4. S-l-o-w-l-y drive Vehicle #1 in a backward/curbward direction.
  5. When the back bumper of Vehicle #1 is close to the motor vehicle behind you (Vehicle #3), s-t-o-p.
  6. Turn the tires of Vehicle #1 in a streetward direction and pull forward until the front bumper of Vehicle #1 ALMOST touches the back bumper of Vehicle #2.
  7. S-t-o-p.
  8. Turn (“cut”) the tires of Vehicle #1 into a straight position.
  9. Pull Vehicle #1 up slightly, then place Vehicle #1’s gear into P-A-R-K.
  10. Stop sweating and smile.

Successfully negotiated, you may find yourself receiving accolades from The Balcony Parking Commission. P.S., Should you have questions, watch Episode 21 from Season 3 of “Seinfeld”. Should you still find it difficult to properly parallel park, my good friend, Leon, an inciteful man, summed up the entire directions in five words: “Don’t park like a pecker.” (Actually he didn’t say “pecker”, but I didn’t think TLV would print the “D” word.)

If all else fails, call Captain Happy Heart at Shotgun Chevy. He’s aching to sell you a motor vehicle that parks itself. I had one of those decades ago. It parked me on the side of the road more times than Jed Clampett said, “Weeeeeeee doggie!”

(Permission is granted for these instructions to be reproduced, laminated, mounted and/or chiseled in the dashboard of your motor vehicle, Vehicle #1. This has been a public service column from The Balcony Parking Commission, where our motto is “Parallel Parking: The Final Frontier”.)

…and that’s The View from The Balcony.


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About the Author

Randy Weeks is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Certified Shamanic Life Coach, an ordained minister, a singer-songwriter, and an actor, who lives in Oxford, Mississippi. He may be reached at randallsweeks@gmail.com.

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