Back in February of this year I was dog/house-sitting for a woman who lives in the Savin Hill area of Dorchester; upon approaching her house for the first time this winter (I have, in fact, serviced her and her two beautiful Olde English Bulldogs in both the summer and fall months but never in any temperatures that would allow for snowfall) I noticed that her neighbors all along the (public) street had “reserved” their parking spots with trash bins, laundry baskets, cones, beach chairs, and the like. Now, as anyone who has lived in Boston knows, this is pretty typical behavior among Bostonians shortly after a snow storm, after which one has shoveled out their parking spot and quite appropriately, wants to bask in or utilize the fruits of their labor for a couple more days. But as of a couple weeks ago, we had not had any substantial snow fall for some time, and there was but a few paltry piles of snow left on this particular street in Dorchester.
I asked my client what the deal was with regards to the “reserved” spots and she being quite pleasant and reasonable (and with her own private off-street parking spot) acknowledged that it was a bit ridiculous but went on to caution that people get “really upset” if you take their spot. This was an understatement.
For most of the week I stayed at her house the parking gods smiled upon me and I was able to find empty spots sans reservation markers. Unfortunately for me, the last night of my stay I decided to go to the gym after work and upon returning to her apartment around 9pm there were but two empty spots left on the street – one was reserved with a trash barrel and the other with a laundry basket. My strong opinions on social mores and propriety – “how dare you reserve a spot for yourself on a public street?!” – got the better of me and I moved the trash barrel and parked my car in that spot. Bad idea. The next morning I woke up to an egged car.
When I reported my misfortune to my client she reasoned that I had been lucky – apparently a few weeks prior to my car’s assault, someone was so incensed that their spot had been taken that they threw a trash barrel through the “offender’s” windshield. Only in Dorchester, man. Wickid pissah!