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You Wouldn’t Know It From Reading This Blog, But…

7698 - Ephrata - MainSt from StateSt

If I parked like this, I would go around with a bag on my head to hide my shame. (Image via Wikipedia)

A long time ago I taught my son that most people who spend time telling others how good they are at something are not as good as they say.  Talented people have no need for talk about their abilities. They just hone their skills to the point that they are apparent to all. The need to brag raises questions about how capable the braggart is. I’m proud to say that my son seems to live without bragging.  I’m telling you this so I can be honest and say that today I am breaking my rule.

There is no one who is better at parallel parking than me. I am the King of Parallel Parking.

The Boy Who Would Be King.

When I was of age to start thinking about getting my driver’s license, there was a lot of talk about how tough the parallel parking portion of the driver’s test was. I knew several people who came back from the Department Of Motor Vehicles without receiving their license. I was determined not to suffer the indignity of being denied my driving privilege.

Knowing that people who flunked the test were doing so on that particular part of the test, I went to work to make sure I didn’t make the same mistake. I got my parents to take me out to practice. When they tired of watching me park over and over, they set up a practice spot for me on the street in front of our house. I spent hours circling the block and backing into my broomstick delineated parking spot. I parked over and over, until the neighbors called my folks and asked them to teach me the way out of the neighborhood.

When I took my driver’s test I swung the car into the parallel parking spot with ease and then threw it into park. The examiner opened his door, looked down at the curb and nodded. I’d passed.

It’s Good To Be The King, Mostly

In order to bring in the rink, Sochi had to sh...

Sometimes, when I park other stuff, people get in the way. (Image via Wikipedia)

So what does being the best at parallel parking get me? It is really a blessing and a curse. I can drop my car into a tight street parking space. I get to park in places people without my gift have to pass by. Being able to take those spots helps me get places fast.

My passengers never have to step in the curbside gutter. My car is typically so close to the curb that they step right up onto the sidewalk. No awkward tripping or wet feet for people who ride with me. They appreciate that and seem to respect the level of commitment it took to bring my talent to the level I’m able to display today.

But it is other people’s reactions that are the dark side of having taken the time to hone the ability that I was born with. Sometimes I lose the time I have gained with my parking skill because I have to stop and talk to bystanders. There have been occasional crowd control issues.

The thing that is the most troubling is deeper than a few moments lost to fans. I live with a tremendous burden of guilt because of the damage I know seeing how well parallel parking can be done has to the relationships of others. There have been times when I have parked, gotten out of my car and heard arguments start between couples after one of them says something like “why don’t you park like that?” or “if you’d pulled right up to the curb I wouldn’t have a wet foot”. I don’t mean to bring other people difficulty through what I do. It is an unintended consequence and one I don’t think I can help. I feel awful when it happens.

There are trade offs with anything a person does. Being the best there is at parallel parking isn’t an exception. Yes, I probably could park an oil tanker, but I always have to keep in mind what the effect of that act would be on the people around me.

I am such a tortured artist.

And it still isn’t cool to brag.

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65 Comments on “You Wouldn’t Know It From Reading This Blog, But…”

  1. See now that is something worth bragging about! of course one cars can self parallel park but I bet you are better than they!

  2. shoutabyss says:

    Perceptive. I believe that those who brag a little too must be compensating for something. Of course, in our me-oriented society, a little bragging is necessary, otherwise people who can’t see beyond their own noses will never know what you can do.

    In high school, I had a friend who was seriously into cars and spent all of his free time in the body shop. He decided to convert a Ford Pinto (of all things). He completely tricked it out, made it completely orange (including the upholstery), and did murals on the hood and sides and called it “Orange You Impressed.”

    He didn’t exactly parallel park. What he did was fling the steering wheel hard while simultaneously yanking on the emergency brake to induce a 180. That car was swing around and end up perfectly parked right next to the curb.

    Alas, his career was cut short by the local police. For some reason they noticed his car more than the average bear and they didn’t care much for his parking technique.

    I used to be pretty good at parallel parking and I got my license on my birthday the year I became eligible. Since then, though, I haven’t practiced enough and my skills have slipped. The usual procedure these days it to pass up a good spot if it requires parallel parking and park somewhere else with more room, usually a few blocks away.

  3. I used to be a great parallel parker when I drove normal size cars, then I bought a big pick-up truck and gave up. Of course, where I live there’s not much opportunity to parallel park.

  4. I think I lucked into a successful parallel park during my driving test. I’ve avoided it at all cost ever since that time.

  5. Spectra says:

    Though my Parallel Parking Skills remain only ‘above average’, my K-turns are LEGENDARY. And I don’t care whose feet I have to run over or whose bumper I pick off in my “process” of nailing the perfect ‘K’. (It’s not bragging if it’s true. Or if, at least, you Believe it to be true)

  6. Good for you, King! I’m a good parallel parker 90% of the time. 10% of the time, usually when I’m having a bad day, I fudge parallel parking up, which makes my day even worse.

    Kiefer is an excellent parallel parker as well. It works out nicely because I can get out of driving: “Oh, we might have to parallel park? You should drive the whole way there…all 2 hours.”

  7. This has Greek tragedy written all over it. The hubris, man, the hubris! To wit, in showing off your parking skill, you just couldn’t resist posting the make and model of your first car, could you? And now, armed with that information, someone is going to hack into your bank account and drain the Wienermobile / Blimp/ Mariachi Band Fund, thereby dashing all our hopes of free Weinermobile and blimp rides and futures as egg-shaker girls. Way to go, Parallel Parking King. Way. To. Go.

  8. Jane says:

    This article serves as a dream-maker for those of us who are less adept. I am planning to dust myself off, get back in the car, and head downtown for a practice session.

  9. madtante says:

    When I try to parallel park a crowd gathers, too, but that usually involves rescue vehicles and emergency response workers.

  10. Pauline says:

    I haven’t parallel parked in ages! Clearly I have a bit of catching up to do! 😉

  11. Kim Pugliano says:

    Yeah but can you parallel park by hauling ass down the street and stepping on the brake really hard while spinning the steering wheel to the left and landing perfectly in the spot in between the two cars on the OTHER side of the street?

    Call me when you can do THAT.

    (I just wanted to knock you down a notch because I’m jealous is all. Noah makes fun of me every time I attempt to parallel park and tap the car in front, behind, in front, behind, in front, behind and then pull out of the spot and partk across the street where there are no cars).

  12. Laura says:

    My car has a back-up camera. Whenever I parallel park, I feel like I’m cheating.

  13. Todd Pack says:

    I’m a decent parallel parker. I can’t squeeze into the smallest spaces, but I do OK. What I’d really like to do is learn how to do that thing you see in movies sometimes, where you’re racing down the street, slam on the brakes and skid into parking space with about 6 inches to spare fore and aft.

  14. gmom says:

    Omawarison you are truly the king of pparking.Congrats on that.
    Me. Not so much.
    I can get into the spot to park okay, it’s getting out that has me stymied. I rather just sit there. Even if someone is waiting for me to pull out.
    I’ll check all my mirrors. Put my seatbelt on. Touch up my make up. Have lunch. Go through stuff in my purse. Clean up the floor. Call all my friends. Pulling out now that’s hard!

  15. Betty says:

    I’m trying to figure out what’s wrong with the parking job in the first photo.

  16. Lenore Diane says:

    Oooo. I’m excellent at parallel parking, too. Though I was not excellent during my first driving test. I hit one of the cones. The instructor scolded me, telling me I hit a car. I corrected him and said I hit a cone. He was not amused. I did better the 2nd time. Talked less, too.

  17. spencercourt says:

    Having a small car like a Corolla sure helps in the parallel parking department. But parallel parking is a dying art.

    I happened to be reading the paper of a small town west of me. There was a front page story about proposals for downtown improvements, including parking. Part of the discussion involved converting about a half dozen “parallel parking” spots into angled spots to increase the parking spaces. Someone objected to “narrowing” the street lane because of angled parking. The *Mayor* was quoted as saying the six current spots were a complete waste because “you can’t find six people in the City who can parallel park.” Talk about City pride….

  18. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    My mom taught me how to parallel park. She sat in the passenger seat holding a yardstick out the window to measure the required distance between the right front bumper and the victim/other car. We did that for a while but eventually had to move on to other neighborhoods. People aren’t at all kind to beginning drivers. I did learn how to peel out fast. Oma, you’re my hero. I salute you. Now humble up, man.

  19. Binky says:

    I prefer parking in a driveway. It’s much easier, and I don’t have to deal with that parallel thing.

  20. The Jagged Man says:

    When I was learning to drive we had street parking only: Read too poor to own a place with a driveway and a garage. I learned this skill in a 1969 four door Chevy Impala. So now when I park my mid-size sedan it is almost as unfair as stealing candy from a baby. A side note: I ask my niece how the parallel parking part of her test went and she said/grumbled/grunted something that vaguely sounded like ” We don’t have to do that anymore”. Really? What’s the world coming to cars that park their selves?

    • omawarisan says:

      Oh yeah, they don’t touch it in driver’s ed either. That just opens up more spaces for you and me.

      Yeah, if you could do it in a 69 Impala, the stuff we’re all driving today should be a piece of cake.

  21. Blogdramedy says:

    I rock at parallel parking. It’s a shameful secret I’ve kept hidden for years.

    Thank you for outing yourself. You’ve made life a little bit easier for those still in denial. 🙂

  22. I haven’t had to parallel park for years. In Japan, they don’t parallel park at all… It’s all parking lots. You would shed a tear.

  23. pegoleg says:

    I was so nervous about the parallel parking part of the driving test, I almost threw up. The driving test guy gave me 3 tries to get into a tiny space in front of the Carus Red Lion chili-dog place downtown, before he snapped “Oh, forget it!”. I can’t believe I passed. To this day, parallel parking and chili dogs make me sick.

  24. Katybeth says:

    Glad to acknowledge your Brilliance (my new favorite word) at parallel parking. I have heard though, that it is hard to be king–

  25. planetross says:

    I’m good at some stuff, but I don’t brag about: bragging isn’t something I’m good at.

  26. Pie says:

    I don’t drive, but in my mind, I parallel park like a god. As you’ll appreciate, my bragging about this particular skill will be in front of an imaginary audience in my head.

  27. […] (aka Omawarisan): I have a talent for parallel parking. So, too, does Burt. In his post, “You Wouldn’t Know It From Reading This Blog But…“, you find out Blurt is also good at parallel parking. You also find that Blurt has several […]

  28. I am impressed! I practiced a bunch of times right before my driver’s test. I was flawless. Then during the actual test I started hyperventilating and hit the curb. I thought it was all over, so the tears started welling up and the guy actually let me try again and I passed. I learned a powerful lesson that day: tears can get you far in life.

  29. Well, there you go, Oma…you were looking for a new career after you retire…I think you’ve found it! You can teach people to parallel park…maybe you could use your Weinermobile!

    Wendy

  30. […] without hitting other cars is very admirable. Kudos to him for being able to do it. As we know, I am the king of parallel parking, but this guy does some top-notch parking and has my respect for […]

  31. […] long time ago, I wrote about how good I am at parallel parking. I told you then that I don’t like to brag. That’s still true. Bragging is so […]

  32. […] lend themselves to showing you here. Because of that, I’ve had to tell you that I am the King Of Parallel Parking and that I am exceptionally good at peeling oranges. I’m going to have to go against my […]


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