The Ultimate Guide to Parking Anything

A funny picture of a bad parking job.I’m sure you remember the last time you saw a poorly parked car that was getting in your way. It probably made you angry. You may have even fantasized about doing something to that car. In fact, you might have even done something to that car. And if you hypothetically may have done something to that car, you probably discovered that the car is harder than your foot.

As you limped away, you vowed one thing to yourself: you would never, ever park that badly.

Then you started driving, and you discovered that parking is exactly like rocket science. This is because both you and the rocket scientist will make mistakes. You know what they say: if at first you don’t succeed, reverse, drive, reverse.

Thankfully, there are lots of ways to improve your parking skills, such as bringing a jar of white paint and re-painting the space around your car.

Regular Parking (Cars)

Most of the time, you’ll need to pull into a space that is perpendicular to the road you’re on. For those of us bad at geometry, perpendicular is the one where they show you two lines that have dramatically speared each other through the gut at a right angle.

This isn’t all that hard. You simply turn, pull forward, and somehow magically finish perfectly straight, even though .1 second ago you were three quarters of the way in and at an angle sharp enough to cut yourself on. The magic part is what seems to really stump people, so that’s what you should practice.

Backing In (Cars)

Maybe your car has a hot-pink trunk. Maybe your car likes to watch the other cars go by. Heck, maybe you’re expecting a tsunami and want to be able to make a quick getaway. Whatever it is, you need to have a good reason for backing in, because it is much harder than regular parking.

Most experts recommend that if you’re going to try and back in, you find a reference point to look at so you know when to start praying for more magic. Oftentimes, the reference point is simply one of the lines of the space you’re aiming for, but if you can’t manage that, you can also try to use the shadow of a butterfly, or, at night, Orion’s belt.

Parallel Parking (Cars)

This is a special type of parking reserved for those select people who spend their time making life harder than it needs to be. Sadly, the global population of pacifists also encourages it, because parallel lines are much less violent then their perpendicular war-hawking cousins. So, you might have to parallel park.

Many people will tell you this is a game of angles. “You’ve gotta think the angles, man,” they’ll say. They are only mostly right, as angles are a natural part of life. Want to eat something off of a fork without stabbing yourself through the roof of your mouth? You’re going to need some angles.

Otherwise, angles are not going to be helpful. If you actually calculated all of the angles, including those where you don’t hit the car in front of you, you don’t hit the car behind you, you don’t hit someone in another lane, you don’t hit the curb, you don’t hit a bicyclist, you don’t hit that stupid crow eating trash in the parking spot, you don’t hit the policeman who showed up and wants to know what’s holding up traffic, and you don’t hit the passenger jet 30,000 feet above you, you’re going to end up with some sort of 8 digit, square root of a negative number angle.

Just like every other parking job, you’re going to need some magic, some luck, or a lot of forward-reverse-forward-reverse-neutral-why aren’t I going anywhere, oh god did I break it?-forward-oh hah I was stuck in neutral I knew that-reverse. It sounds involved, but after you’ve totaled six or seven cars (including three that weren’t yours), you’ll get the hang of it.

Parking at a Rack (Bicycles)

Bikes are much nicer than cars when it comes to parking. This is because you are able to lift a bike up. Therefore, you can threaten it: “If you don’t magically park yourself correctly, you’re going to get thrown off a roof, buddy.” You can’t do that with a car.

Oh, you can also just pick up the bike and set it down where you want it, but that’s a lot more work. Besides, 99 times out of a 100, threats will do the job just fine.

The real trick to parking a bike is making sure that it doesn’t get stolen. If you’re in a big city or bad neighborhood, something, no matter how small, will get stolen. It might be your whole bike. It might be just the frame, leaving you with two wheels. You know those little caps that cover the air valves on the wheels? Sometimes, only those will be gone.

You can try to prevent major theft by using a bike lock. Thanks to the internet, though, just about any bike lock can be cracked, picked, sawed to pieces, melted, dissolved, atomized, sub-atomized, or chewed.

So, if you actually care about your bike, you’ll just park it and then stand next to it, treating anyone near you as a potential thief (including the lady with two screaming children. The best criminals use the best cover). Once you’re bored with that, you can un-park your bike and ride back.

Parking in a Bush (Scooter)

It used to be mandatory for every child to own a razor scooter, and you’ll still see various scooter-gangs around town (with their intimidating juice boxes and size 2 sneakers).

Sometimes, though, riding your scooter is the best way to get somewhere. For example, if you have no car/license, have no bike, have a pulled hamstring and can’t walk, have sensitive knees and can’t crawl, and have nothing against publicly humiliating yourself, you should scooter.

Parking is easy. Fold up the scooter, watching all of your fingers very carefully. Actually, that doesn’t make much of a difference; you’re going to get pinched no matter what, so you might as well accept that.

Once it’s folded up, you can carry it around with you. However, if you’ve ridden your scooter to the federal court building, they probably won’t let you take it in. They might not even let you in, if you let them see you riding a scooter. Dismount early, fold it up, and place it somewhere out of sight, like a shrub with branches close to the ground.

Parking is an art. And just like art, it may drive you to insanity, which is often signaled by an urge to slice off your ear. Surely, a good parking job is worth it, however. Just think of how many stubbed toes you’ll be saving. Plus, you’re also potentially saving people from getting chipped keys, wasting peanut butter, using up their last roll of cling wrap, wasting eggs, or dulling their best knife.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Additional Resources

Want more?

Like this post? Want more just like it? Have a strange rash on your arm that is slowly turning into an alien life form? Subscribe to get more-convenient and free (yes, that is even the solution to that last question).

Grab our Ebook!

Our ebook cover

Want more hilarious content? Get our ebook! It's 5,500+ words with 19 exclusive pictures. You can pick up your copy on our ebook page.

Grab the Badge!

my badgeIf you want to share this blog with your readers, you can copy and paste the html code below.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: