lots of parking.
© 1997 Jamie Zawinski <jwz@jwz.org>

So eventually I moved to the Big City, away from the irritating hippies of Berkeley, and closer to the irritating hipsters of San Francisco.

Like so many of that disgusting breed known as ``digerati'', I live in a converted warehouse in scenic so-called SOMA (God I'm so hip.)

My window looks down on a parking lot across the street. This parking lot is but a block away from one of the local nightclubs. This parking lot provides endless hours of amusement, as I learned on my first night here. On that first night, as I sat here unpacking boxes and reassembling mannequins, the drama of the parking lot unfolded before me.

The first habitants of the lot that I noticed were the homeless guys who pose as parking attendants. One of them even wears a reflective orange vest, which I suppose he thinks gives him an air of authenticity (despite the fact that he has that familiar multiple-weeks-without-a-bath look about him.)

The typical scenario was this: a car would drive into the almost-empty lot. The ``attendant'' would walk backward in front of the car, and usher it into the nearest space, as if guiding an airplane to the terminal. The car would park, sometimes there, sometimes somewhere more convenient, and would then disgorge its allotment of club kids, who would summarily ignore their valet's request for money. They would give an initial shake of the head, perhaps a shrug, and then walk across the parking lot, followed slowly, at a distance, by the attendant. He would be gesturing slowly, and talking. Even from a great height, it was obvious that he was on a roll, he had a line, he was a player, he was running a well-scripted scam. I don't know what it is that he says, but it must be very effective. Because every time, he has managed to talk them out of money by the time they reach the edge of the parking lot. Every time. It's a truly incredible display of salesmanship.

So I sat here on that first night, wondering where I had packed the rest of my CDs, watching this pathetic display. Watching people getting ripped off. Watching people (I assume) fall for a scam, and get suckered out of their money.

(Watching the occasional overweight old man in unsightly bondage gear.)

I sat here and fantasized about air rifles.

As the night wore on, the parking lot filled up. The club kids became more hurried in their rush from the cars to the club. But then I noticed one girl heading in the opposite direction, away from the club.

I was more than a little bit surprised by this.

Later Raven came over, bearing pizza, and I told her about all that I had witnessed. She was highly amused, and as I unpacked, she staked out the window, watching the faux parking attendants run their scams, and I presume hoping to see some scatological drama of her own.

After a while she shrieked with glee, ``Oh, oh, come look!'' Of course I did, and what I saw was a group of four girls standing next to their car, facing outward, standing guard, while a fifth squatted down between them. Though they were quite attentive to the horizontal plane, none of them ever looked up.

As the night headed towards morning, the third facet of the parking lot made itself known to us: the club slowly emptied out over the course of an hour or two, and we witnessed the following scene played out again and again.

Even later, as the parking lot was nearly empty, I saw a pair of guys get into a van. Then the driver got out, looked around, and turned to face the van. He stood for a while, and a puddle began to form at his feet, spreading around his shoes.

I called to Raven: ``Leak alert,'' I said.

She came rushing over from the computer: ``Where, where?'' I pointed.

The guy finished up, and got back in the van. ``Wow,'' I said. ``He really had to go.'' For the puddle had become a stream, flowing at least thirty feet across the parking lot towards the drain.

So Raven and I sat there on the edge of the couch, looking down at them and laughing, unable to really comprehend just how much urination the asphalt of that parking lot must have experienced over its lifetime. The very thought was dizzying.

Our two friends were in the van, talking. Then the passenger (the one who had been in the van the whole time, the one without the gargantuan bladder) looked right up at us and waved.

So I waved back, of course.

They talked some more, then both got out of the van. The passenger came around the back of the van to stand with to the driver, and then they both turned around, dropped their pants, and bent over, exposing to us their milky-white asses.

They then turned around and waved again, and I raised my hands and made a polite little ``applause'' motion. At this point Raven was rolling on the floor in hysterics, so she missed the cultured, synchronized bow they gave, just before they got back in the van and drove off.

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