Tuesday, May 18, 2010

character guest post: nancy carrington-chambers

In Nancy's Theory of Style, Nancy gets a lot of parking tickets. It's a bit of a running theme. I asked Nancy (and her creator, Grace Coopersmith) to address the topic of parking.

Nancy’s Theory on Parking

One of my dearest friends moved to one of those states that begins with a vowel, Ohio, Idaho, Oregano, one of those places, and she was constantly getting speeding citations as she raced to whatever it is they do in places like that. It was all because she was worried that she wouldn’t find parking, but she told me in a long phone call, “Nancy, you wouldn’t believe it. There’s parking downtown. All over! Streets and streets of parking!”

Then the officer in charge of her witness protection program made her hang up before she gave me all the details of the letterpress social cards she wanted me to order for her. Her new name, Bethany Wilson, is less amusing than her real name, Melinda Darlington Wigglesworth, but much easier to fit on a business card. She assured me that she only dated Franklin “Frankie the Painkiller” Farmington because she thought he said he was a drugstore kingpin.

I haven’t heard from Melinda since that conversation even though I posted on all her social sites and wrote to Franklin at San Quentin. He was quite rude and didn’t want to discuss the San Quentin’s fabulous views across the bay toward San Francisco and Marin. Now that’s prime waterfront real estate if only one could persuade the inmates to leave.

Back to Melinda’s waxing effusive about parking. Sometimes I think that she was using too much product, if you know what I mean, and I’m not referring to hair product, because if you choose an excellent salon line, you can layer innumerable conditioners, shine and curl enhancers, frizz neutralizers, and shape stabilizers and still look fantastic. I’m fascinated about the idea of parking spaces on every street, because I’ve long believed that San Francisco is doing parking entirely wrong.

The problem is not that there is no parking. The problem is that there are too many of the wrong, wrong cars.

If I were commissioner of parking, the very first thing I’d do after redecorating my office (in an authoritative yet chic ecru scheme with black accents) would be to dramatically increase parking. All cars that don’t meet strict aesthetic standards would be banned. No longer would we have to suffer the horror of seeing a chrome yellow Aztek or a horrific Hummer in front of our favorite boutique. Scion? SciNO-WAY! Those dreadful hippie vans would be limited to the Haight-Ashbury. Anything dented, dirty, or otherwise déclassé would be banished.

This simple act would immediately improve parking and the quality of life for all concerned.

In the meanwhile, I feel it is my public duty to park in the space closest to my destination. After all, my activities are surely more important than those of people loafing around a hospital, or getting on a bus. You only need look at their tacky ensembles to tell that they aren’t doing anything special. Honestly, why do people think that it’s acceptable to wear pajamas as daywear when they go to the Emergency Room? The horror, the horror!

I ask all of you to truly consider if you need to drive to neighborhoods that I may want to visit. In a truly civilized society, we look out for one another. I know I’ll be looking out for a convenient parking space, and it’s only polite that you should look out for my very important needs.

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