Parking: Living In A Parallel Universe

Posted by on Oct 28, 2010 | 2 Comments

Exhibit A: Ex Situ

Exhibit A: Ex Situ

In its Sideswipe section the other day, The New Zealand Herald ran a couple of photos of what it considered to be bad parking.

The Devonport Speculator – thanks to numerous contributions from eagle-eyed readers – is pleased to present a Devonport version.

Exhibit A is the classic case of PPP, or Parallel Parking Petulance. This occurs when the driver, fed up after a series of failed attempts to park in the actual parking space,  decides three out of four wheels “ain’t bad”, and is content to leave the car “Ex Situ.”

Ex Situ Extrema is a relatively rare event, which makes it all the more exciting when it does occur. Requiring levels of considerable incompetence, this phenomena results when the “driver” (we have to use the term loosely in these situations) misses the park altogether. The result, as Exhibit B demonstrates, is an impressive but alarming 0 out of 4 wheels actually located in the parking space. In this case, the car is parked completely on the footpath  outside Bema Takeaways.

Such an achievement is normally applauded by any bystanders; however, The Speculator understands that in this case, the person in question did not take kindly to the praise, and added some verbal abuse as a climax to the performance.

As part of its research for this story, The Speculator interviewed self-proclaimed parking terrorist and Devo resident Mick Madd. Madd  rejects parking spaces as  “just the evil state putting us in boxes.” Madd’s car was photographed on Victoria Rd, just outside Buono Sera, in the position Madd terms “Madd’s Bastard.”

Ex Situ Extrema  - sublime and ridiculous

Ex Situ Extrema - a thrilling combination of the sublime and the ridiculous

When questioned by the Speculator as to the origin of the name, Madd stated “Well, it’s a bastard to drive past without hitting and it’s a bastard if you do.”

A parking attendant refused to issue an infringement, saying “That car isn’t parked. It’s stopped in the middle of the road.”

Madd's "Bastard:" a powerful mix of the audacious and the awful

Madd's "Bastard:" a powerful mix of the audacious and the awful

Ploughing through its substantial photo archives, The Speculator located the final photo. Shortly after the opening of the Auckland harbour bridge and the concomitant abolishment of the Devonport car ferry, there were a number of instances of drivers – often owners of Japanese cars – refusing to accept that the ferries were no longer designed for the carriage of cars, or even that the harbour bridge existed.

These “hondamentalists”   – who claimed close association to the “P” Party movement in the US – would continue to attempt to drive their cars onto the Kestrel or the Toroa, with, as the photo illustrates, occasionally spectacular results. Sociologists at the time considered this to be some sort of bizarre literal interpretation of a cargo cult.

In a desperate attempt to prevent these events from continuing, the Kestrel’s owners took the ferry to Tauranga and turned the erstwhile passenger vessel into a restaurant.

At one time, there was even a theory that the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior was a disastrous attempt by the hondamentalists to sink the Kestrel to keep it in Auckland.  As inexperienced divers however, they became disorientated underwater, ending up on the wrong side of the harbour and blowing up the wrong ship.

This hondamentalist was quoted as saying "See, it IS a car ferry."

This hondamentalist was quoted as saying "See, it IS a car ferry."

It was thought that the hondamentalists had dispersed until a group – identified only as “Fund A Mentalist Inc.” attempted to buy the ferry and enlisted a sinister local Devonport  group known only as “The Mentalists” to drum up support for her re-initiation as a car ferry.  The Speculator has learnt that this mysterious group had plans for the Kestrel to suffer the same fate as the Toroa; that is, to be hounded out of Devonport  and end up abandoned next to a motorway, where members of the cult, in a sick ritual, could pretend to drive onto her as if she were still a car ferry.

Fortunately for Devonport and Auckland, a white knight in the form of the Kestrel Preservation Society stepped in at the last moment and secured ownership, ensuring the Kestrel remains in sane hands.


  1. Abbi says:

    Ive parked in the same place as that white car while getting my fish n chips, i don’t see the issue as there is plenty of space left on the footpath for people to walk.

    C’mon Abbi admit it. You ARE the white car owner – Ed

  2. Devonports finest says:

    Personally I think the owner of the white car has creativly used UNUSED (at the time anyway) foot path ! 🙂 I might try this myself some time HAHA

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