WHEN ADAM WAS CAST OUT OF THE GARDEN, as best we can gather, God or Fate or a woman called Joan dispatched him in a late-model sedan to the streets of South Philadelphia, on a weeknight, after 9pm. His only impulse was to park. He never even thought about, say, going somewhere else or just leaving the car on the side of the road or, better still, not just leave the thing but set it on fire. And so he circled the block. And as he circled, he grew weary. Finally, he came upon a space, parked the car, and left it there until he had the misfortune to start this foul cycle all over again. Often, it was the very next day.
The story, as you know, gets worse from Biblical times onward. People, desperate, began to double park. Arguments were had. Some lost their lives. Satan himself eventually manifested as a full-blown organization called the Philadelphia Parking Authority; it fleeced the city mercilessly and continues to do so. It won’t hear common sense. No one will. And so people keep trying to come up with workarounds and cheats and all manner of rationales to try and satisfy our addiction to the automobile, and its need for a place to be when you’re not using it.
In the face of this, people most recently have tried to lay claim on a permanent parking spot using the shroud of ecological responsibility. They’ve tried to rent out schoolyards on the weekends for their makerspaces. City Hall employees once insisted their work required that their automobiles be parked on the building’s very apron, so that they may access them like firemen sliding down a pole. All of these have been attempts to disguise their need, their original sin, as something necessary for the doing of good.
We don’t need to tell you: That’s not working either. So perhaps take a message from this lifelong non-driver, who’s taken a lot of guff from all of you, but now basks in the rosy glow of bike lanes and Lyfts (and soon, driverless cars) that renders him, at last, truly above it all. To you, he says: Guys, you’ve made some bad choices regarding cars, and your life in relation to them. Isn’t it time you got rid of the damned things?