By MARY WARD
“Okay, Mary, we’re just going to park. That’s all we need to do. Yes, the cars are building up behind us, but don’t panic. We’ve got this! We just need to leave this motor vehicle on this road in a way that does not obstruct traffic. Or a driveway. Or leave anything wedged under your tyre. Particularly something that will scratch the underside of your car. Or sue you.”
This is not a comic monologue. This is me. Talking to myself last Monday. Desperately trying to fit my sedan between two other cars on the side of the road in a manoeuvre the RTA likes to call a ‘reverse Parallel Park.’ I prefer to call it ‘Satan.’
Hello there. My name is Mary. And I am an absolutely rubbish parker.
I should preface this by saying that I am not necessarily a bad or dangerous driver. Quite the opposite, in fact. I could probably win an award for being the most boring driver in the country. I drive at 55 in a 60 zone, check my blind spot like there’s a chance it’s cancerous and indicate off even the smallest roundabouts in the most isolated locations.
But I just cannot reverse park.
I do plenty of stupid things to avoid leaving my car on a street that I can’t guarantee will be totally empty. Two and a half hours on public transport instead of a forty minute drive? Awesome! What an opportunity for adventure. What, you want to go to a trendy laneway eatery? You know, the food court at Westfield is really great and, hey, did I mention that they have a huge carpark with 90° bays? Sign me up!
My problem is probably the result of a few things. Living in an area with a relatively low population density and a relatively high number of new houses is one of them.
Who needs to fit their car into a tricky spot when an abundance of double-garages has left the streets completely free? I frequently crawl up a whole street, gradually angling my car until – around 25m along – I find that I am an adequate distance from the kerb to park it and walk away.