It’s been a week since the big blizzard, and here in Boston we’ve had several consecutive days of unseasonably warm weather (coinciding, spectacularly enough, with my return. You’re welcome).
The biggest ramification of any good post-blizzard melt is that street-side parking returns to normalcy. In neighborhoods such as mine — where, during a blizzard, parking on one side of the street is forbidden — cars can now safely park on both sides of the road. Meanwhile, on the other side, the little peninsulas of snow between parking spots have shrunken enough so that they no longer force cars to parallel-park into the spaces which were “created” during the blizzard itself.
It is it precisely this point in the life-cycle of a blizzard that snaps into focus one of the great cultural debates that polarizes Boston like few others: the decades-old tradition of “saving” parking spaces after a blizzard by placing lawn chairs, garbage bins, etc. in them.
The arguments for and against this practice are well-known and merit no further discussion, and The Snooty Observer is certainly not an appropriate (or willing) forum for re-opening the debate.
But at this precise point in the “melt-down” of the most recent snowstorm, this is exactly the place to debate those who continue to reserve the spaces they shoveled those long six days ago.
The question posed to them, quite simply, is how much longer? How much longer will you claim this piece of public property as yours? All of your other like-minded, godless, space-saving brethren have brought inside their plastic furniture; one must assume that while they are clinically retarded, they still retain enough good sense to know when enough is enough. Paraphrasing Johnnie Cochran: When the snow-peninsulas shrink, I’ll bring my stuff in, I think.
Do you wait until the snow is all gone? Logically, you can wait that long and longer! Because an offshoot cult of your followers has no problem reserving parking spaces before the blizzard even comes (photo, right) !
I’m not sure which makes my pre-blizzard blood boil more: the fact that in Somerville, you can (and I have) receive a parking ticket for $100 several hours before a single flake of snow hits the ground… or the fact that I breathe the same air as this particular brand of Masshole.
The main question all space-savers have to answer is this: When do your stupid little unwritten rules expire? You wouldn’t keep on reserving that space until May. So at what point do you deem meteorological circumstances no longer worthy of space-saving?
A couple of years ago, Mayor Menino enacted the 48-Hour Rule, but that has been completely ignored by The Masses. Without a uniform, widely-known set of standards, you will always continue to be a joke in my eyes, because by reserving a spot you have bestowed upon yourself a responsibility that no man is capable of: determining exactly when a street is offcially clear of snow.
When I began writing this blog, I was besieged by people begging me not to try to change the world. To simply write what I felt, and keep it fresh and energetic. To not fall into the trap of burdening myself with the reponsibility of improving the General Condition for my fellow man. So with hat in hand, I drop to my knees and ask as earnestly as a man can ask another man: Hey you, parking space-reserver: Do you think you’re God?