Dear Crabby,

Have you already talked about how often people in this town don’t seem to understand the basic concept of parking within the lines?

I’ve been very tempted to create a Facebook page called Yakima Park Jobs where people would submit images of cars parked horribly. I also find it amusing that the population of this town is so bad at parking but so in love with parking lots.


Park Worse Than its Bite

Dear Park,

I went back through nearly a decade’s worth of Dear Crabby columns and, remarkably, couldn’t find any in which I addressed this question.

I did, however, find an old story I wrote about local Facebook groups and pages that includes a bit about the Yakima Terrible Parking Hall of Fame page. So someone beat you to that. It’s still going and has more than 1,800 likes. Clearly you’re not the only one who’s noticed bad parking around here.

My suspicion, though, is that it’s not really a Yakima problem so much as an everywhere problem. Thoughtless parking can be a symptom of selfishness or laziness, and those things are universal. (There could be Terrible Parking Hall of Shame Facebook pages in Dayton, Ohio, or Poughkeepsie, N.Y., too, if only someone there took the time.)

As for what we, the people who care about proper parking and don’t want to inconvenience others, can do about it, I’m not sure. A whole bunch of the problems I address in Dear Crabby columns have no solution other than that people should, uh, be better. That’s the best I can do here.

I would, however, like to take a moment to salute the administrator of that Facebook page. She blocks out the license plates in the submitted photos, because the point isn’t to target people; it’s to share an idea of right and wrong with a like-minded community. In that little way, she’s both spreading the notion that good parking is important and providing people the tiny catharsis that comes with knowing they’re not the only ones who see the problem.

I hope Dear Crabby readers get that, too. I mean, I’m delighted when I have real advice to give. But I think there’s also value in letting people air their grievances, even when there’s no solution. The people writing me to complain about litter or rude cellphone behavior know I’m not going to be able to solve those problems. But they like to have someone angry on their behalf who can rant about how dumb all those other idiots are.

In that vein, allow me to say: People who don’t park between the lines are bad people. They listen to Creed. They drink Bud Light Lime. Their favorite condiment is mayonnaise. They root for the New England Patriots. They don’t like dogs. They use the word “random” too much. They’re just the very, very, very worst. They should, uh, be better.

Hope that helps.



Reach Pat Muir at