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I wish someone WOULD move my chairs

The snow stopped.  Next came the sound of people shoveling after snowplows have barricaded their cars behind dirty-white levees.  The other sounds go something like this: “I shoveled it, so it’s my spot” and “I wish someone WOULD move my chairs.”

“Parking chairs” are on the rise.  So what the hell is a “parking chair”?  According to Wikipedia, it’s a chair used by a vehicle owner to informally mark a parking space as “reserved.”  Other objects are also used for this purpose, including trash cans, ironing boards, ladders (they don’t usually stay put for very long), and other similar-sized objects that are commonly found in households.  The most effective parking chair I’ve ever seen in Baltimore is a filthy toilet.

snow parks reservedIn February 2010, The Baltimore Sun reported that Mayor Rawlings-Blake announced that the city would not enforce an existing ban on the practice of reserving parking spots.  She said that it could not be stopped, just like “people saying ‘hon'” could not be stopped.  The Mayor said citizens would be allowed to place chairs, stools, plastic cones, and other items in the curbside parking spaces they shoveled for themselves, to prevent the spaces from being claimed by others.

So maybe the city should start selling parking chairs.  You could pick up your official parking chair at Home Depot when you’re buying your salt or ice-melt.  The plastic chairs (bright yellow?) could be sold for $9.99.  Of course, you’d need to buy two, and they would have to be attached with a rope because, well, people need some sort of restraint placed on them.

Once you get your parking chairs, you’ll need to get a new stamp every year to keep your parking chair properly registered — yeah, just like your car.  The renewal sticker could go for $6.99.  All “unofficial” parking chairs would be confiscated and or the owners’ ticketed — another revenue source for the city, just like the speed cameras.

But most of all, parking chairs would decrease the level of tension between neighbors after a big snowfall.  Why? Because these reserved spots would no longer be “informal.”  “Informal” is at the heart of the tension.  It’s not you saying that a spot is reserved for you: it’s the City saying it, so it’s official.




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