Streets of a Certain Width

Note: I was going to entitle this On The Street Where You Shiv but apparently I already used that for a different post.

I’m not sure why, but the city gave the developer permission to make the streets narrow in the subdivision where I live. How narrow? If you are an expert driver and can balance your wheels on the curbs, you’re just able to navigate a normal sized car while hovering six inches above the ground.

Perhaps I exaggerate just a skosh. I claim the right due to umbrage.

In reality, parking is allowed on both sides of the street. If that happens, there’s just enough room for a single car to squeeze through. Two-way traffic at the same time? Puh-leeeze! If two cars end up nose-to-nose at least one of them is required to put it in reverse. Watch out, neighborhood children! This mini-van may not be equipped with a backup television system.

Why in the name of Zeus’ butthole would the city allow streets like this? I think they are under the impression it is somehow “green” to cram people in like sardines. Flag lots, 5,000 sq. ft. residential parcels, duplexes and more scatter the landscape in my city with it’s limited “inventory.” Hell, I know folks who have more living space in their house than most of us have in land to build on. I really wish I knew what motivated the city to think this way. Is it “efficient” use of land? The idea that it allows people to live city-close and thus have less transportation needs? I really want to know.

As a child I learned a lesson early in life. Squeeze too many gerbils into the same cage and they chew each other’s legs off.

I also remember, from my time as a child, streets that stretched across almost as far as the eye could see. Developments were designed around the premise that people would want to park curbside in front of their own homes and have enough room for two-way traffic. At the same time! It was considered routine.

These days the city allows subdivisions with streets so twisty and narrow, where two houses share a single backyard, and no one is allowed to park on the street. Even James Bond couldn’t navigate his submarine car here without flipping everyone the bird.

Developers claim they are just giving the public what they want. I call bullshits. No one wants this sort of development, except, of course, Santa Claus, and that’s only because one night a year it makes his job a little bit easier. The ability to leap from rooftop to rooftop eliminates all that time spent on takeoffs and landings.

I haven’t had much to complain about since the bad people next door moved out. It was like living next to the Clevon family from the movie Idiocracy. None of my other neighbors ever really bothered me. But when the bad people moved away, they created a vacuum. One that was soon filled with the smaller idiosyncrasies of my remaining neighbors.

We were happy when the corner house was rented by a city firefighter, since we have friends on the crew. But he didn’t stay long. New people rented that house.

Since then, I’m noticing something new. As I attempt to drive to my home in the evening after work, an SUV will come at me from the other direction. He’s on my side of the road. Like I always do in such situations, I slow to a complete stop. If he wants to hit me, bring it on. By remaining completely still I’m proactively making the pending accident all his fault.

This jackass parks by the mailbox, on my side of the road, and hops out to get his mail. I maneuver around, only possible if there are no parked cars, park in my driveway, get out, stand there and glare at him. As a general rule of thumb I don’t flip off people in my neighborhood.

Here’s the amazing part. The dude then drives one house away and pulls into the drive. The place he parks is literally 60 feet from the mailbox. And now, every single night, because of this dude’s intense laziness, I have to participate in a sport I have dubbed Asshole Slalom. (Please write the Olympic committee to have it recognized. I needs me a gold medal.)

Is there anything too small that humans won’t selfishly do it to irritate the people they meet? Except, of course, the streets themselves. Those are the smallest of all.

2 responses

  1. When your neighbor stops like that, you should park next to your neighbors driveway with just enough of your tail sticking out to make it hard for him to get in.
    When he complains, tell him based on his mailbox shennainigans, you thought Asshattery was his favorite game.


    1. I like the way you think. I may go even more passive-aggressive, though. I’ll get him and he won’t even know it.


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