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Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Kelly’s Korner: An overdramatic tale of parking woes

We attend a campus confined by the parameters of a metropolitan city. Though our campus never allows the concrete to settle for long, UH never seems to be able to provide enough affordable parking options.

Some hear word of mythical parking garages where one must pay a hefty sum to enter and where, once gaining admission, one never has to trouble themselves with parking woes again, but that’s just an old wife’s tale.

Stemming from this lack of parking options — and the fact that I may be somewhat delirious due to the close proximity to spring break — I have concocted an overly dramatic tale of UH parking struggles.

In a perfect world, you would have awoken next to the sound of your first alarm — and a dashingly attractive celebrity — breezed down the interstate and found the perfect parking spot. Of course, in this perfect world, you would also have straight A’s and no financial debt.

Instead, you grip the steering wheel as you sit in the congestion that gathers around every major entrance to campus any time after 8 a.m.

If only you hadn’t decided to stay up so late. If only Netflix didn’t automatically move onto the next episode of the series after the allotted amount of seconds, completely negating the need for any movement whatsoever.

Netflix: the mythical siren of the internet world.

Eons later, you reach the economy lots. It is past 8 a.m., so the likelihood of finding an available spot is about as likely as seeing an albino squirrel on testing day.

With hawk-like creeping skills, you catch sight of a space directly beside a large SUV. You raise your fists to the heavens because it has been decided that it will be a good day.

Alas! You realize your excitement is premature when you discover a car the size of a hamster hidden directly beside the SUV.

The driver of the hamster car must have known you were coming. The hamster driver must have known you would sleep through your first two alarms — okay, three — and need to find a parking spot immediately. The driver of the hamster car knew you wouldn’t be able to see their car strategically placed beside the SUV, and he maniacally laughed at the thought of your pain — that diabolical genius.

In vain, you give up on the first lot and try the dirt lots near McDonald’s. Pulling into the rocks, you see another car pull slowly behind you.

You find it strange that Steven Spielberg would want to direct the story of your life as the suspenseful “Jaws” music hovers over you. The driver stalks you, waiting for you to slip up by pushing the accelerator a little too hard, therefore passing up a potential spot.

Well not today, sir.

With the stealth and speed of a Ninja Turtle, you round the bend to see another car facing your own. You and the other driver look intently in each other in the eyes and glance at the unsuspecting student who is fumbling with their car keys.

The “Jaws” vehicle slowly backs away, knowing he is ill-prepared for this battle.

What looks like lowly tumbleweed, but is actually a piece of trash, whisks between you and your rival. You wonder whether the rival driver would dare park her car in grass — and also whether the chip bag was Cool Ranch or Barbeque flavored.

With Houston’s unpredictable weather, a freak rain could transform the mud into quicksand that engulfs her tires whole.

This spot is intended for the student desperate enough to proceed into this makeshift spot without fear of brushing against the tree and without fear of the impending parking ticket — is she that student?

If you don’t take this spot, you’ll have to find a spot unintended for a vehicle your size — or any size. The difficult decision to climb out of the sunroof or not to climb out of the sunroof would have to be made. Unfortunately, your attire is unfit for any exceedingly strenuous physical activity.

While you have been debating this, the daredevil driver of the other vehicle quickly pulls into the grass spot, mistaking your pause as permission to park there.

You vow on your unborn child that you will leave a semi-passive-aggressive note under the windshield wiper of her car.

You are now forced into the illegal parking option: parking at the end of the aisle with the pole cutting your vehicle directly down the center.

As you lock your vehicle and glance at the “NO PARKING AT END OF AISLE” sign, you feel like the ultimate rebel. With the toss of your backpack over your shoulder and the flourish of your hand, you say, “YOLO.”

Then the rapper Drake, clad in an outfit that is truly “swaggy,” appears and apologizes for infecting the world with “YOLO,” sans Saturday Night Live.


Though this tale was ridiculous and overdramatized, parking at UH is a legitimate struggle. I will not refrain from throwing down (some serious words) if someone attempts to steal my parking space.

This is no place to make friends.

“This – Is – UH.”

Senior staff columnist Kelly Schafler is a communications junior and may be reached at [email protected]

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