I don’t typically throw around the phrase “douchcanoe” too often. I’m a pretty laid back guy and generally treat everyone I meet with respect. But certain times call for certain measures, and it’s those times where I save “douchecanoe” for use. Case in point, people who “Clarkson park.”
A piece by The Telegraph today takes a closer look at the “Clarkson parking” phenomenon. It appears that I was wrong in assuming it was an American thing; I just assumed my fellow countrymen/women were giant asses who didn’t give a rat’s behind about their fellow man. After all, that is sort of the state we live in today.
It turns out that anyone can catch “Clarkson parking”-itis, and it has struck all over the world. Just what is “Clarkson parking,” you may be asking, and how can I avoid it?
— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) July 27, 2016
“Clarkson parking” is when one decides to park, for lack of a better phrase, crappily by taking up two spaces with one car. Now granted, sometimes mistakes happen and I find myself pulled into a parking spot at an odd angle, jutting unceremoniously into the adjacent space. But then I think to myself “Am I a douchecanoe?” And the answer is almost always “No I am not, nor do I care to be,” so I get back in my car to adjust until I am parked correctly. It usually take all of ten seconds to re-position. It’s not a huge loss of time.
Some people, it seems, are taking pride in the fact that they are, in fact, a douchcanoe, by taking to social media to post their crappy parking exploits. As if it were something to take pride in. I dub thee a “Clarkson Parker.”
This phenomenon is not simply due to jerks, though. If only it were that easy. According to Edmund King, chief executive of AA, bigger cars and bigger people are to blame as well. Go outside right now and watch cars on your street for 10 minutes. What do you see, other than a bunch of Priuses driving like maniacs? That’s right, a bunch of giant SUVs. Car sizes are increasing, people are buying these bigger cars, old parking spots are no longer able to accomodate these bigger cars driven by bigger people.
“The increasing size of vehicles is having an effect on bad parking as car parks were designed in the Fifties and Sixties when cars were much smaller.
But some drivers are also worried about being able to get out of the car once they have parked without getting stuck. So this is also a reflection of a rise in obesity in people.”
I have a radical idea. If you are truly worried about space, instead of taking two spaces, why not park further where it’s emptier? I do that, and I burn a few extra calories on my way in to Lowe’s. Win win. Kevin Reynolds, director of policy at the British Parking Association says:
“There is a supreme irony in people not parking properly to protect themselves from others not parking properly. They are reducing number of cars in spaces, so this is actually very selfish, isn’t it.”
Ah Mr. Reynolds…if only we lived in a world where people cared about being selfish or not.