The kitchen chair plopped down in the middle of this road should look strange to you. There was a time it would have looked strange to me too, but I've become accustomed to seeing unexpected ornamentation parked in the road where someone's car used to be. Orange construction cones, caution tape, milk crates piled like building blocks, miniature furniture a child outgrew, the saddest ugliest orphan chairs you can imagine (think brass, torn vinyl and Son of Sam's basement). You name it, and Chicagoans will use it to claim what's theirs and keep vultures out of the space they meticulously slaved over with a shovel. You'd think the blood, sweat and tears left behind would be enough, kinda like peeing on it, but apparently furniture works much better.

I for one have never moved anyone's damn chair, and I've never seen anyone else do it either, so I suspect the method is respected (midwesterners are so gd polite). But I sure as hell have had to resist the urge to put the chotchkies back where they belong (in the nearest alley), even when I'm not searching for a space. It's just the principle. Don't get me wrong, I understand what drives these folks to wield furniture. I've done my share of shoveling, and have acquired my share of scars. First during that virgin Boston winter.... (screen swirls)

I woke up to so much snow one weekday morning that I naturally assumed I didn't have to go into work that day. After all, that much snow would have put Durham, NC out of commish for a good month. So I called up my coworker friend to confirm what I knew to be obvious -and (record scratches) was instantly interrupted by hyena-esque cackles of hysteria that would create an echoing roar in my head for years to come... at least every time she told the "wicked funny" story and roared again. Oh, the ridicule and shame I endured. ("You can take the girl outta North Carolina, but you can't take North Carolina outta the girl." "Ah, you're ah trip, Jen. There ahre no fuckin' snow days in Boston!")

That morning I crawled in about 3 hours after everyone else. Sore, sweaty and soaking wet from one of those neato bus-drives-by-splashing-giant-brown-puddle-on-girl tricks that I thought only happened in the movies. Au contraire mon frere. I had to opt for a long walk to work after my first shoveling attempt ended with the car in exactly the same place it was when I started.

I eventually grasped the art of shoveling, with my first successful shovel lasting hours. Boy was I proud when that sucker got free. But soon the pride was replaced with rage when later that night I returned from work to find my spot gone. In its place stood a giant farmer truck, which I knew for a fact had been parked across the street just that morning. The criminal thing was that the fucker had four-wheel-driven himself right out of his own spot with zero (ZERO!) shoveling. This left a giant spot that nobody without a farmer truck could possibly get into without hours more shoveling. Instead of politely taking his spot back (massholes!), he stole my hard-earned space. Oh was I ever livid.

So... I get it. But I'm still not resorting to furniture. Instead, I just pretty much refuse to drive my car once it's buried. So help me, my car will sit where it's parked until the weather changes enough to reveal my car again. Or I decide I could really use some upper-body work. Or there's some kind of emergency. Like I get really thirsty.

photo c/o apartment therapy

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