Space: The final frontier in proper parking

Here in the “wide open spaces” of Texas is where one finds everything is bigger — excepting intelligence of governors — and that includes larger trucks.

Texans love their big trucks with their big tires and big cargo beds. Drivers of those big ol’ Texas trucks also pay big ol’ dollars for them and their monstrous tires. Let’s look at what Texans really like, both big and luxurious. Edmunds shows the 2012 Ford F-450 Super Duty King Ranch (the latter of course refers to the South Texas ranch spanning five counties and one of the world’s largest) is 263 inches of pick-em-up with a 6.7 Liter engine, V8, 800 horse, with a leather steering wheel, leather trim on the center console and a leather toilet in the back seat right next to a shower with leather curtains. Well those last items I made up, but this 4 x 4 ought to have those home comforts given its invoice price of $63,385. Throw in some Kevlar all-terrain tires and assorted other options and you might walk away for $70,000 You can buy a nice little starter home for that sum in some places.

A Space Hog at work at the Gateway Shopping Center in Beaumont
A Space Hog at work today at Gateway Shopping Center in Beaumont

Despite how huge everything is in Texas, most parking lots are the same size you see at every other super-duper market, or mall or big box store everywhere else in the U.S. of A. There are some places which mark areas for compact cars only. Yet, you still see people in a big truck or Hummer parked in those spaces, usually taking up enough room for three Corollas.

I have nothing against big trucks or SUVs. I have friends and relatives which drive them. I do have a problem with “space hogs.”

Perhaps it is the vastness of Texas that gives some in our state to park however the hell they please. Taking up more than one space, which they call “double parking” in some places, is more of a big deal in big cities and in areas with a high density of population.

In New York the fine is as much as $65 for:

“Standing or parking a vehicle beyond markings on the curb or the pavement  of a street which marks a parking space, except when a Vehicle is too large to fit in that “marked” parking space. Where a vehicle is too large, it shall be parked with its front bumper at the front of the space and the rear bumper extending as little as possible into the next space.”

I am not the only person who gets aggravated by space hogs. Some feel it is merely selfish. Others can be driven to commit some kind of act of criminal mischief when the space hog ends up getting someone’s goat.

As for me, I tend to look at it in more socio-psychological terms. And when I start talking stuff like that, it can be just as annoying as someone slicing your tires.

Sorting out the social aspects are pretty easy. I’ve already alluded to a couple of the issues. The vast space that is, or rather was, Texas gives some the impression that we’ve got plenty of space so it doesn’t matter how one parks. Some folks tend to associate economical cars with environmentalism and get tired of hearing how the atmosphere is getting dirtied-up. So they drive big gas-guzzlers and park however the hell they want as a statement. Then, others see the awesomely big luxurious truck which costs a pretty penny as a status symbol. It’s funny though, you don’t see a lot of people driving a BMW Series 6 convertible, which can set you back around $90,500, with the need to park in more than one space although you may see said Beemer far away from the rest of the cars with two empty spaces surrounding it.

I am sure the shrinks can come up with many psychological reasons why people manifest their anti-social tendencies in the form of a space hog. Maybe they didn’t get enough attention as a kid. They were picked on perhaps. Maybe they had toilet training issues. Maybe they were just a**holes as kids and grew into adult a**holes.

Who knows?

It really doesn’t matter much what I or anyone else says because words alone will not have affect a space hog. No, in their case, action speaks louder than words. I never did like very much the space hog, but I like it even less now that I am more or less disabled from my ruptured disks. I don’t have a disabled placard, not yet at least, because I can still walk for a little ways without feeling like someone stuck a pitchfork in my lower back. I don’t advocate vandalism, but I have left notes on people’s cars chiding them and perhaps trying to embarrass these space hogs a bit. I think businesses should also do more to discourage such double parking, but I doubt many will since they are more worried about the almighty dollar.

About the best one can hope for is a little karma will come the way of the space hog. Perhaps that second space in which the violator parked their big honkin’ truck will have some kind of debris that pokes right through their $300 tire. I admit it would have to be a large and sharp piece of junk. One can always hope.


If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.