Tauranga is offensively terrible at parking. Yes, I know, parking really sets the vigorous fire that dwells within you alight doesn't it?
The large glass windows of my studio mean I bear witness to some terrible parking outside our offices, which I have started taking photos of and sharing.
The most shocking park ever, pictured here, turned out to be none other than the indulge editor herself, who sat there for 15 minutes talking with her friend. She says in her defence it was an essential stop to talk about a story.
My horror at the park was doubled when later in the week, after witnessing her shocking parking, I myself actually received a parking ticket when I was perfectly parallel parked.
My only 'crime' was that I had overstayed my invitation to park 60 minutes. But my parking itself was perfect.
So this is as close to a 'letter to the editor' as I'll ever get. Turns out it's quite hard to write with one's tongue in one's cheek.
But, here goes ...
Dear indulge Editor,
Tauranga is offensively terrible at parking.
Call me a man in his 30s stuck in a pensioner's mindset all you want, but parking is important.
If we lose parking, we lose order at the kerb.
If we lose order at the kerb, we lose safety on our street.
And if we lose that, Editor, well we all go to the pack — like the wild cat colonies that Tauranga is plagued with under its boardwalks and beside its streams. But that's a topic for another letter.
Let's start with the cyclists. Think of the cyclists! How can you miss them in their high-vis on a Saturday morning in the cycle lanes, heading in a grey-haired, intent-stare, single-file gang — like a bunch of kūmaras stuffed into lycra bags — when they are speeding off to the garden centre café to undo all of the calories they've just burned.
Whatever you think of their fashion sense, they do deserve a clear cycle lane. Don't park your car half in their lane and half in the park.
The cyclists already hate anyone that drives a car in their vicinity, imagine their loathing of a PARKED vehicle in THEIR lane.
Goodness it would drive ME to stress-eat a second date scone and half-strength latte at the garden centre too.
How hard could it possibly be to park a car, that you drive regularly at parallel angles to other cars on the road, and within the lane markings, in a parallel fashion?
Just reverse back, use your mirrors, turn your head and the steering wheel you so frequently turn at all other times you are driving this car. Go right ahead and don't hit the car behind you, don't hit the car in front of you, and don't hit the kerb.
Just like you do when you are driving in traffic. Except when parking there is NO traffic, so technically it should be easier!
And if you do hit the kerb, then move your damn car off it. The kerb is lava.
Now, Ed, I know you might be thinking what does it matter if my back end is a little out on to the road and I'm not really parallel and I've kind of gone a bit far forward and am sort of taking up two parks now because I'm a person with the driving prowess of a blind baboon.
You might think, why is Will making such a fuss about parking.
But imagine if we transferred your inability to put a car in a space it was designed for to something a little bigger. Like a ship. A cruise ship.
Dream with me, Ed, of the nightmarish, apocalypse of a world it would be if El Capitan of the Majestic-Booze Bus of the Pacific decided to just 'park it a bit out, mate'.
How does a world look through your eyes if the 90-odd cruise ships that parallel park at the port every year just sort of back it in and leave the bum end of it up on the kerb and the front end in the cycle (shipping) lane?
So imagine my horror when I saw you, yes YOU dear Editor, parked in an offensively unsavoury position while gas-bagging with your friend til the cows come home in a large BMW 4WD vehicle earlier this very week.
I realise that it is a vehicle made for uneven terrain (not that I imagine it experiences much of it on the smooth streets of Tauranga), but I was unaware you would find it acceptable for that terrain to be outside your place of work, rather than in convoy on a kerb downtown Mount Maunganui with all of the other mothers of soccer-playing children just nipping in to the salon for a mani-pedi.
The fact I took this picture of you caught red-handed participating in some of the worst parking I've ever seen, while myself receiving a parking infringement notice upon my perfectly parallel vehicle for parking massively longer then I should have in a P60 park, does by no means make your offence any less of an eye sore.
I would like a personal apology, a free copy of indulge and a half-strength latte as compensation for my hardship.
Yours in parallelism,
W. D. Johnston
• Will Johnston is the local 9am-3pm host for The Hits Bay of Plenty 95FM. He's also a celebrant and MC. Follow Will on Instagram on @radiowill.