I often park my motorcycle like this. I don't even want to know if it's legal in Chicago. I see lots of other people doing it and I only park between two cars when there's plenty of room -- both because I'm polite and because I don't want a car knocking my bike over trying to get in or out of a parking spot.
And, seriously, parking is one of the main reasons I ride a motorcycle in Chicago. It takes 15-20 minutes off any journey that involves trying to find parking. It took Shaun half an hour to find a parking spot near our house last night.
So... on Saturday night my friend Paris Green asked me to come take some pictures at the Belmont Burlesque Revue. I showed up at The Playground just before midnight and parked right out front, about 4 feet in front of a big old Buick with custom plates -- "WAKE UP 9".
A few minutes later my friend Beth came inside and said, "the guy whose car you parked in front of is all worked up about how close you are to his car. I told him me had plenty of room on both sides of his car. He asked if I knew whose bike it was. I said I did, but that it was irrellevant because he wouldn't have any problem getting out. He asked if I worked here. I said 'no' and that I was going to stop talking to him because the whole conversation was ridiculous. The kicker was that he said he wasn't leaving yet. Gah!"
Beth didn't say so explicitly, but I assumed that the guy had gone on his way following his conversation with her. So I wasn't thinking about him at all a few minutes later when an older man walked slowly across the front of the stage towards the bathrooms. He was walking slowly and rather hunched over, but wearing a brightly patterned short sleeve short and a bad wig. "Wow," I thought, "burlesque shows sure draw out some creepy audience members." He was peering around looking for something and it looked like he was either looking for the bathrooms or trying to peek into the dressing room where the girls were changing. "Creep," I thought, "he's probably trying to peek."
Some of the guys from the show were hanging out back by the dressing room and I heard Mark say, "Can I help you, sir?" A short conversation ensued and then Noah was leading the man towards me. "Fuzzy, you're parked in front of this guy..."
Gah, indeed. I instantly decided I didn't want to repeat Beth's conversation, so before Noah was even finished with his sentence I had grabbed my keys and headed out the door. Fortunately, the cycle started right up (nothing more embarrassing than a non-starting motorcycle when you're trying to be snotty) and I zoomed the bike 30 feet down the street and parked 5 feet behind a different car.
"Sorry to be a problem," I said to the guy as I headed back into the theater. Dammit. I really wish I could be a jerk sometimes. "That's alright," the creepy jerk mumbled.
And the show was delightful (how does Tomas swallow that balloon?).
And of course when we walked outside after the show, WAKE UP 9 was still parked in the same spot. I shook my fist at the sky. "Damn you, creepy jerky mumbly guy, where ever you are."
We hopped on the bike and headed north. And there he was! Standing on the corner of Halsted and Roscoe, right out in front of Roscoe's, his floral shirt gleaming under the street lights, just standing and staring his little hunched eyes straight out into the street, surrounded by the swirling gaiety of the 1am happy boys of Boystown.
I had 5 seconds to yell out something mean or sarcastic or wittily biting. And I choked. The light changed and off we zoomed into the night. Good night, creepy jerky mumbly staring guy, good night.