SuperBowl: Parking MVP… or not.

11 Feb

Sunday I went to a Superbowl party at Alan’s friend’s house. Shamefully, walking through the door I had no idea which two teams were even playing. Fortunately, no one asked who I was rooting for, so I didn’t have to embarrass myself by proclaiming allegiance to either the blue or gold team. (I decided on the gold team once I learned it was New Orleans.)

Despite my lack of knowledge, the game was fun. I especially liked the Google spot (for which there is a funny spoof here), the Budlight LOST spoof, and the Denny’s Grand Slam commercials. Oh, and it was nice that my new team won the game. (Don’t worry, I didn’t embarrass myself by chanting “Who Dat?” I understand the limitations of new-found loyalty.)

While the game and party provided me a surprisingly pleasant football experience, my night ended on a low note.

Let me remind you that we’d just gotten 24″ of snow the previous 24 hours. There was no way to get to this Superbowl Party via public transit, so we had to claim my car from the underground garage at my office and drive to the party in Arlington. The roads were better than expected, but still a disaster.

I think anytime you drive on two feet of loosely packed snow, things are going to get interesting.

We made it to the party just fine, but my car’s warning light kept flashing angrily to let me know that my tires had no traction, as if sliding sideways and fishtailing weren’t my first and more accurate clues. Thank you, Volvo.

After the party, we made our way back to Alan’s place. Parking was a chore. There were no spaces available in his lot… though there *would* have been, had the Arctic Cat personal plower not filled every one of them with snow from other parts of the property. We circled multiple times and I finally bit the bullet, deciding to street park into a space that had been only partially opened by a snowplow.

Imagine trying to parallel park into a room that has a five foot opening along one side for you to thread your car through. This is what I had to do. On a hill. Somehow (shout out to the parking Gods!) I managed to do it, earning what should be about my tenth medal of honor in the category of heroic parking feats.

This space would be a CAKE WALK. Tilt it 45 degrees and add a 30" wall to drive through and THEN get back to me.

I parked with the nose of my car pointing up the hill and set my emergency brake. When I stepped out of my car, I almost fell down because the snow had been compacted into a slippery, icy mess. For added stability, I grabbed the side of my door frame as I slid toward the back door (which I needed to open to retrieve my backpack).

At this point, my eyes crossed and I felt excruciating pain that I could not immediately place. It took about a ten count for me to realize that the pain was coming from my hand, which – now that I looked at it – was crushed in the driver’s side door. The middle and pointer fingers on my left hand were tightly wedged in the door. I howled. And howled.

After some doing, I freed myself, but was a mess of tears and wanted to kick the shit out of my car for hurting me. Unfortunately, kicking and punching would have to be tabled. There was a more immediate challenge.

Apparently, when you slam your fingers in the door of a Volvo, it triggers the alarm system and shuts the entire car down. Doors won’t lock or unlock, lights won’t turn on, doors won’t open. It’s like the car has become frozen in time until you hit the alarm button on your keychain to reset the system.

A simple fix, assuming you have your keys. But if you’ve slammed your hand in the car door, chances are, you’ve dropped your keys in the process. And in the dark, surrounded by piles of snow that are three feet deep in places, that’s just not something you want to face after an otherwise successful SuperBowl evening.

Please trust me on this: the joy the Saints felt in winning their first SuperBowl paled in comparison to my reaction upon finding my keys. As it turns out, you don’t need a Bowl victory to feel like a winner – you just need to stop feeling like a loser.

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