My car stalled out in the middle of an intersection after limping up the steepest part of the hill, through five lights, and around three turns with a failing battery. (I avoided signaling the turnes.) Two short pushes landed the car in an illegal parking space that was marked poorly enough that I could have defended against a potential parking ticket. The first push was orchestrated enthusiastically by other drivers and passers-by. But it took some effort to gather support from a second group after the flush of excitement over clearing a blocked intersection had passed. Samantha came along with jumper cables, and I chased off a carload of aggressive drive-by mechanics who wanted to do some cheap work on her fender. The jumpstart gave the car enough juice to get around the corner and into the first position of a parallel parking. We backed it in with a push but weren’t able to push it forward to line up with the curb. A group of girls was walking by and I asked them to help. They agreed and one of them yelled, “Girl power!” before pushing her shoulder up against the truck. The car rolled right into place, but only after I remembered to take the parking brake off again. It was actually a nearly perfect three-point parallel parking job, except for the getting out and pushing.
Today I went to the auto shop across from my parked crate of plastic and steel. It’s a small garage, but they had ten cars packed in there. I handed over the key and point out where the car is parked. I don’t envy them having to wiggle it out from between the cars that are parked tightly in front of and behind it.