Friday, September 15, 2006

Coloring (or Parking) Within the Lines

News Item, The New York Times, September 12, 2006: Regarding Pope Benedict's visit to his hometown in Germany:

"Hans Peter Kammerer, a Bavarian police spokesman, said that at least 70,000 people attended the [Pope's] Mass. He said that 20,000 people drove there in private cars, following special parking rules and thus revealing more than a little of the nation's character....

'The rules we gave were followed so precisely that we had to tow only two cars - and those were because they weren't between the lines,' he said."

Gulp.

They weren't between the lines? Just two?

Granted, the Times rather reveled in a stereotype of a Germanic predeliction toward order and neatness ("...the [German] nation's character..." was the way reporter Ian Fisher delicately phrased it), but one could rationally argue that a certain general truth is being exhibited, correct? (You can just hear those eggshells cracking and splattering, the ones I am walking on, spilling out their albino albumen and all their gooey, mucous promise of fertility. [Hey, let me get a little Joycean on you in advance of our imminent trip to Ireland.] Speaking of breaking eggshells by trampling sensibilities, the Pontiff himself is apparently in need of some cracked-eggshell mending as a result of some Other Religion Observations he made on the same trip. I will leave that one for other emphemerists to comment on.)

Okay, fellow bloggers, writers, pundits, and members of The International Order of Underappreciated Ephemerists (IOUE), have at it:

Give The Laughorist some other examples, albeit stereotypical:

Americans: Not only don't park between the lines but have fierce arguments about whether to park to the LEFT of the lines or the RIGHT of the lines and debate what this means for the history of civilization.

Canadians: Set up goal posts between the lines to get in some street hockey, eh?

British: Sorry, I suppose you wouldn't mind if I park here now, would you? Sorry.

Italians: Fongul. I'll park where I want. Forget the lines.

Your turn.

Send 'em in.

Just for fun.

Laugh. Or....
Else.

17 comments:

Dr. WhoAmI said...
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Odat said...

Me thinks that your Eyetalian example is really NYC! No lines..no curbs...they just double park wherever they want to...

JR's Thumbprints said...

As a Catholic, it is my experience that when leaving the church, you risk getting run over. Everyone's in such a hurry to get out of the parking lot. Ladies and gentlemen, may you go in peace and start your engines.

Michael C said...

How about cab drivers: lines and stoplights are for everyone but the yellow people herders. As Will Farrell said in Elf: "Watch out, the yellow ones don't stop."

Oversized truck and SUV drivers: lines are but a general template upon which to place your giant vehicle within the vicinity of.

Great post!

jbwritergirl said...

California Parking: We don't park--We Valet!

JB

Allie D. said...

Seattle: Parking accidents escalate to unfathomable levels as the sun makes its annual appearance...

heartinsanfrancisco said...

In San Francisco, all rules of the road are taken as mere suggestions. And there is usually a whole line of double parked SUV's outside the designated parking along the curb.

Yesterday I pulled into a diagonal space and was getting out when a woman in a Mercedes SUV pulled in next to me. She was so close that she couldn't open her door. She began to honk at me and when I looked over, she screamed that I should move my fucking car. She demonstrated by again opening her driver door into my passenger door. Since I don't carry an ouzi, I moved my car, which meant that I was now halfway into the space on my left while she was taking up her own and mine.

I think maybe she was offended that she had to park next to a mere Toyota that wasn't even an SUV.

mist1 said...

Lines are just a suggestion.

Meloncutter said...

I thought about mentioning Cubans parking, but thier cars keeps sinking between Cuba and the keys and the Coast Guard guys won't let them drive their boats. But that would have been mean.

Then I thought about Illegal aliens from Mexico and their parking habits, but their cars are all at the bottom of the Rio Grande. But that would also have been mean.

Then I thought about French immigrants and their parking habits, but in true fasion of the French, They "surrender" their cars at the border. But that is a mean thought too.

Then I thought about old people, but they forgot to bring their car or why they were there in the first place. But that would also have been mean.

So to avoid offending anyone I just will not say anything at all about parking habits and lines.

Thank you.

Later Yall.

monicker said...

Lexus driver: what's this weird dashed line on the interstate mean? Oh well, I'll just drive on top of it. Why's everyone honking at me? Stupid proletarians!

Sheila said...

They weren't between the lines? hows about they go to a Target or Meijer and grab those idiots who try parking three wide like it's freckin NASCAR

Binty McShae said...

Ha! I wish your Brit one was true... the reality is more like "Oi, you f***ing c**t! I saw that f***ing space first! If you don't f***ing move I'll slash you b***ard tyres, you piece of f***ing sh*t!"

In my current City of Residence it's much the same, but in Mandarin...

shadow falcon said...

London - First you'll be Charge you for bringing you Vehicle here and congesting our City then you'll be given you a ticket wherever you Park even if it legal and soon you'll be fined for even daring to think about parking anywhere other then Scotland.

enigma4ever said...

oh dear....so germans are anal retentive ?hmmm...well, I guess in the states it also depends are you east or west ?
love your blog....

Me said...

French parking: Parking spot too small? No problem... they'll make it fit. Tiny hint: Never use your hand brake when parking your car in France!!!

And if they think there are too few lanes in the traffic circle around the L'Arc de Triomphe, they just open up a new one (there are no lines on the street...).

macoosh said...

Irish: you can park on whatever side you want, just don't run over my beer.

oh, and it'll cost you 76,000 Euros no matter which side you park on.

On German neatness: My british friend and I were commenting on it the other day after some of our German dormmates...some stereotypes are actually based on truth. Our german friends are up, washed, dressed,and ironed at the crack of dawn, and give off the impression they've invented a new chemical while you've just woken up and given your ass a few scratches...it's amazing.

Nick Napoli said...

American: You can't tell me how to park my SUV! This is the Land of the Free! (Overheard in the fingerprinting line at Disneyland.)

French: Park here, park there, what does it matter? The difference is purely semantic.

Austrian: The Germans made us put those lines in--we didn't want to do it!