Hey, buddy! I’m talkin’ at YOU! I see you looking at what I’ve got going on here. You’ve really got your eye on the ball. Finger on the pulse! Wristwatch, you know, co-ordinated to the, uh, thingy. It’s happening! You catch my point.
So for you couple-few in the know who live in Los Angeles yo, let’s dive into the fine art of gettin’ around!
Before we begin: generally speaking, I expect your impulse is to be cool to other people. You’re a good person. Other people like you. They told me you’re fun to hang out with. You’ve got that one joke about the thing, it always totally kills. Truth is, if you’re going out and possibly about in Los Angeles, you’re going to have to put that somewhere deep and embrace the inner sociopath that comes to light when you slide behind the wheel. Here’s a spicy couple tips to get through it!
Flashing red light means just hang out for a while!
It’s an afternoon on, say, the westside. You’re rolling deep, you and your homies. In my case, my homies consist of three dozen Red Bull cans in my backseat; you KNOW I’ve got a posse. You got no place to be, but you need to get there and you don’t have time to live all of the life on the way. It’s all about point A to point B.
But WAIT. You’re facing a hot and spicy crosswalk with only two colors of lights: flashing yellow and flashing reds. You’ve got a multiplicity of humanity queuing behind you. An office business guy who doesn’t really have anywhere to be anymore. A grandma who misses her relatives who only spend the time with her because they feel obligated to. A severely underpaid, surprisingly good-looking me who smells nice and has remarkable hair.
It’s obvious that you should not treat the electronic stop-sign as the cautionary indicator it is. Survey your immediate surroundings with a blissful lack of rational thought and linger happily. No pedestrians coming? You have nowhere to be. Hold back the dreamers and the hopeful stacked behind you. Deny the multitudes their precious few minutes of street yard coverage and hang all of the hell out precisely where you are. A flashing red means nobody deserves to get shit done.
Drop a fist full of Lincolns on parking, just anywhere.
You’re paying for peace of mind. You’re paying for a place to stick the single most valuable possession you own. You’re paying for the opportunity to shut your door in mental slow-motion, swaggering toward your destination with the impeccable coiffure of a nighttime denizen with an exit strategy.
Perhaps you’re going to a show. You might have dropped some decent coin on your tickets. You’ve brought your sweetie out on the town with a honeyed promise of a good time and no worries. Every couple Hamiltons you let slip paw are a promise that your night will go without a hitch. When it’s finally over, all those dead presidents promise you’ll be home sooner than you ever would be if you deigned to slap your ride on some half-regarded side street.
It’s totally worth it. You’d be a fool to put in the extra wheel-miles finding a juicy, free slab of pavement. After all, you’re saving money on all that rubber for other applications.
Parking in the yellow zones.
You’re running late for a show or a bar. Parking is hell, as we’ve already covered. Why does God hate you? You work hard, you take care of people, you even gave a dude some spare change one time, even without him asking. The only thing in the world that you need right now is a place to shove your car and forget about it for long enough to have a decent night.
The last place you should look is the yellow loading zones.
You’re not very confident. You respect order; you thrive in a world of well-obeyed rules. It would be anathema for you to take something not readily offered to you. If you started taking more than you were given, the universe would fall apart, torn asunder from gossamer seams. You’re ill-equipped to ride the choppy waves of quasi-lawlessness. You can’t even stomach decoding those cryptic parking hieroglyphics without becoming queasy.
This evil is not for you.
Don’t look at your trusty dashboard clock, lovingly calibrated ten minutes ahead of whatever appointment you are pathologically early for. Don’t scan the impeccably clean pavement for obvious signs of long-passed street-sweepers. Don’t log into the Department of Transportation webpage and read up on how totally okay this undeserved liberty you are about to indulge in actually is. Roll on and find a disused street several blocks from your destination and desert your vehicle there, comfortable in the knowledge that your vehicle will be respectably broken into in the privacy of a disused street.
You will live longer knowing that, after 6pm Pacific, you could totally have ditched your whip right in front of the place you eventually hitch-hiked toward without a passing worry.
Leave the risky business for the broken soldiers of the night.
Good luck out there, good buddies. Don’t play it anything other than safe; Daddy needs to get where he’s going and a place to drop four wheels when he gets there.