Just Buy An Orange Cone Already

I am pretty sure you can get them for private use, though I don’t know how legal it is to stick them out in the street. If I were them I would try it. I mean my neighbors, they of the late and long-dying Oak of Damocles and the countless scrawled nastygrams stuck under wipers. I suppose some people just hobble into their eighties with a sour attitude, and no passion presents itself greater than that for lurking, vulture-like, at the window and swooping down on unfamiliar cars with little screeds admonishing parkers without local stickers and, during restricted hours, notice that the county enforcement people have been called. Enough people have connected these things with my address — on one occasion I received an indignant and lengthy response from a woman who turned out to be the vice president of the local Civic League — that I have been compelled to post this notice at my entrance:


This past weekend I received a surprise visit from the Olympian Zeus (onetime owner of the blog Zeus Is Watching on WordPress, which some of my readers will remember). Zeus was up in these parts smiting evildoers to the earth and collecting sacrifices of fat oxen, and on his travels found time to join me and the Cute Engineer for a supper of garlic-basil capellini (like any good Greek deity, he blessed us with olive oil upon arrival). My makeshift “it wasn’t me” sign was the occasion of much hilarity, but I reassured Zeus he was not likely to find a note on a Saturday night, well out of the workday 9-5 time range where we, ahem, enjoy parking restrictions.

No fear:

welcome wagon0001

Well, alas and alackaday.

My neighbors are flamboyantly (read: the grandchildren all went to the parochial high school and wore the horrible little plaid kilts) Catholic. I am not sure they understand the consequences of offending Zeus. Vulture rending liver in 3, 2, 1….

But perhaps the King of Olympus will be merciful. Everyone enjoys a good laugh.


18 thoughts on “Just Buy An Orange Cone Already

    • No shit, Sherlock! Fairly enough, the husband is the proud owner and operator of two artificial hips and surgical knees. But who ever is to know this? My greatest guffaw involves the admonition “Stop Parking” as if Zeus, with his out of state plates, had been in the habit of doing this.

      The driveway is occupied by a mulch pile. Not my problem.

      Still: Everyone needs a hobby.

  1. I also notice a total lack of please and thank you along with the ‘stop.’ Wow, hubby had to park ‘somewhere else’, but your visitor didn’t? How unfair, how rude, how un-psychic of him. I guess they’d know it was you if you bought one of those tiny cones they sell at sports shops (for skaters, or to use as soccer markers, maybe?) and wrote ‘parking for entitled assholes only’ on it, then deposited it in front of their abode at some sneaky time of night?

    • What a lovely thought. My heart yearns toward it, even toward having it made up as a proper curb sign where they probably wouldn’t notice what it said for weeks. But they probably would know it was me when they did.

      Interestingly, I don’t think it’s a BFD to the husband, who occasionally even manages to be kind of nice to me. But the missus lives for this shit. Never mind that their whole family have staked out MY curb as overflow parking for years — which really doesn’t cause me a problem. But then, I don’t own a fleet.

      • You’ve copied this note. Change ‘my husband’ to ‘my guest, my client’ etc, print it out, and pop it on the windscreen of the next of her massive Papist brood who dares park in front of your house. I don’t see how that is one tiny bit different that what she is doing. Can she argue? No. Will she still try? is the interesting question.

          • They pay em here too. It’s called the Child Tax Credit and the Internal Revenue Service allows up to a thousand dollar refund to anyone who makes less than one hundred and ten thousand dollars a year. Cause you know, if you have kids a hundred thousand a year won’t keep them.

  2. These guys must have lived in Williamsburgh in the 70s. Having spent the night in a B&B there, we woke up to find just that kind of paper in our windshield…with an added threath: will have you towed if you do it again.. Must be in the State’s culture.

    • Virginia is best represented by the image of an old flinty beldame on a veranda, in a rocker, with a shotgun across her knees and a vicious dog at her feet.

      Up here in the North of the state we joke often ab out seceding. Someday maybe it will happen and we will sent the note leavers down to Albemarle County and other places where they possibly eat their own dead.

  3. Ha! Drive around Baltimore rowhouse neighborhoods. They have far more houses on a block than parking spaces, especially when you subtract fire hydrants.

    Charm City peeps can be very possessive about parking spaces. And creative about reserving. I’ve seen everything from lawn chairs to sawhorses to stepladders used to block off parking spaces. Be particularly careful about trespassing on your neighbor’s parking space after a big snowstorm. He or she who shovels out the space now owns it until the snow melts.

    In fairness, most Baltimore parking space claimants are elderly or handicapped people who are known to their neighbors, and so the space is respected. The typical Baltimore rowhouse dweller will park eight blocks away at 3 a.m., and consider themselves lucky to have found a spot on the street.

      • No, they should be satisfied with their driveway or sell some of their cars. (I remember when my sibs and I all became old enough to drive. We all bought junked cars that could barely run. Sometimes we had six parked on the street. No driveway. I know the neighbors hated us.

        The Baltimore rowhouse neighborhoods are sort of unique. They don’t have driveways. And completely surrounded by concrete. Don’t know how people lived in them before AC. They mostly lived on the sidewalks.

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