Ray Morgan: Parking Wars

October 30, 2017 by Ray Morgan

I was in the Broadway on Saturday and I came out of the Co-op with my Halloween balloons and my oat milk and saw that people were kind of milling around, holding shopping bags, staring at the road. Two people were having a spectacular argument in their cars, over a parking space. I mean, they were seriously effing and jeffing.

Nothing like a public argument to really unite people; I've been on a train before and witnessed what is essentially the drunken breakdown of a marriage, and there's something in the stolen glances between you and the other passengers quietly unplugging their headphones to listen, holding the Evening Standard as a prop. Boy, did they deliver: what began as hushed, jokey barbs at Fenchurch Street ended in an explosive crescendo around Benfleet with screaming: "AND I DO EVERYTHING FOR THE KIDS!" before the woman got off a stop early, leaving the chap suddenly sober and reeling.

I digress. The air was blue outside Mr Simm's on Saturday: the C bomb! It was barely 11am! I had visions of parents putting their hands over the ears of children coming out of the Factory Shop, "don't listen Harry darling, keep walking," hustling them into Tangerine.

I looked at some other people who were also, like me, massively staring at this stand-off (park-off?) and we shared "huh!" shrugs and "awks" look with each other. One of the drivers sped off with a salutatory "F*** off you ugly, fat w***er!" (so poetic) and we all got on with our day. When did everybody get so angry?

I get it if you're having a bad day. I do. I also get it if you're blessed with a 'resting face' that is far from toothsome and Brady-Bunch-esque. I've been told a million times by men (always men) who I don't know to "cheer up love" - one of my ultimate bugbears in life.

HOWEVER. People be CRAY over parking in Leigh! What is going on! This isn't the first time I've heard big-style swears over a space in SS9. I've also been in the car with my Dad who, on telling a driver he was going the wrong way down a one-way street, was met with aggression, utter defiance and finally "no mate you're wrong" (amusingly, directly underneath the one-way sign).

I also understand parking is like gold dust in our overpopulated little town. And you've spied that sweet spot and someone swings right into it before you can say "Stop the World". But to jump straight to the F word very loudly, in public, before brunch on a Saturday? We used to be the happiest town in the UK (remember those halcyon days of 2016?) and maybe, just maybe, we need to chill. If we all started meditating or, omg imagine: walking to places instead, Leamington Spa might just get knocked off the top spot in 2018...

To read all of Ray's previous blogs please click here


Note: If comment section is not showing please log in to Facebook in another browser tab and refresh.