“5 o’clock, bitches! It’s quittin’ time!” Carlos shut down his computer, collecting his belongings, and headed out to the parking lot. He grabbed his keys out of his pocket and approached his Chrysler Town & Country minivan, when he noticed several co-workers at the designated smoking area pointing and snickering in his direction.
“Oh shit, it was Carlos with the hack park job!” yelled Murray. “Dude, sorry man, but that’s whack! I’ve been standing here all day wondering who the hell parked their car high on drugs!” The other smokers in the group laughed.
Carlos took a step back and realized the true awfulness of his parking effort. The car was diagonal, at nearly a perfect 45º angle, almost totally blocking off the adjacent parking spot. He also appeared to not pull in far enough; the back of his van was at least five feet behind other cars, well into the driveway.
Carlos was stunned. How could he not have noticed this?! Worst yet, he was parked like this for over nine full hours. Everyone to pass through the lot had seen it, and many people recognized his vehicle.
“So what’s your excuse, man?” asked Murray. “I mean, this is literally the worst park job I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Carlos pondered for a moment. What was his excuse? Was he really this inept at parking? Was he distracted at the time?
Here are a few possible answers to justify a terrible park job.
- By far the best and most believable excuse is to say that other cars were parked badly when you arrived and in order to fit into that spot you had no choice but to park like that.
- Blame the parking lot. “There’s no damn room to turn this van into these tiny spots!”
- Likewise, say there was some obstacle in your way when you initially parked. Perhaps a turtle was in that spot and you were driving around it to spare its life.
- Remark that you needed to park at such an angle in order to load or unload something into your vehicle. “I needed that extra space on the left to unload a giant box of donations!”
- Say that you weren’t the one driving. It will require some creative storytelling, however. Maybe say you were too drunk from the night before and had a neighbor drive you to work, and then you paid for a cab to take them home. Elaborate, but it could be better than the incessant mocking you’ll receive admitting to being the driver.
- Similarly, say you lent your keys to someone else in the building and they were responsible. “Dang it, Julio! I let him borrow my keys to run an errand and this is how he repays me?!”
- Say you were experiencing a bathroom or medical emergency of some sort. “Oh sorry, I was bleeding like crazy. I was reaching in my bag for gum and accidentally grabbed a razor blade. My finger was all sliced to hell. I just stopped wherever and sprinted into the building. Guess I forgot how badly I parked!”
- Blame medications for a serious ailment. “Oh, my meds for kidney disease impair my vision a little when looking at parking lines. My bad.”
- Know your crowd. If those mocking you would be impressed that you drove to work high on LSD, you could claim that as your excuse.
- Claim that you’re not used to driving the car in question. “Oh, no man, this is my wife’s van. I’m used to driving my Porsche. I can never park a damn van!”
- Blame a weather event, like heavy fog, rain, snow, or sleet, if applicable. “I swear, I couldn’t see the damn lines it was so foggy out!”
- If the audience looks gullible enough, blame it on a conspiracy. “I swear, the feds are moving my car every day, even at home in my driveway. They think I know secret government information. It’s all a conspiracy, man!”
- Or simply fess up to an oversight and laugh at yourself. “Oh wow, that’s hilarious! I need one of those airplane runway guys guiding me into my spot from now on!” And then pull out your phone and take a picture.
In the end, Carlos took the easy way out and said the adjacent cars were parked like that when he arrived in the morning, and now that they’re long gone, he’s the only one left parked like that, making him look like a bad driver.
Hopefully, like Carlos, your atrocious job of parking was a one-time oversight. If nothing else, this eye-opening experience should cause you to pay closer attention to your future parking efforts.
My Hot Take:
I tend to do a terrible job of parking my minivan in standard perpendicular parking spots. Angled spots are fine and parallel spots are fine, but pulling a long vehicle in straight into a perpendicular spot without much of an available turn radius is problematic! I tend to blame myself and poke fun at my own bad park jobs before others get the chance to call me out. (Oh, and the photo associated with this post was me… I actually parked my old pickup like that overnight at my old apartment.)
Horrible park jobs can be blamed on a variety of factors, including blaming the way other cars were parked when you arrived or other obstacles that prevented a clean park job.