So, apropos of this thread in which many examples of parking lot rudeness are proffered, also relating to the thread about rude suburban parking habits, I thought up a solution and would like to get some feedback on it.
Say someone has done something entirely rude, like parking in handicapped spaces repeatedly, or done some of the really godsawful things in the other threads. It occurs to me that a really elegant revenge on these people would be to take a pair of nice sharp shears and snip off the valve stems on all four tires. Not slashing the tires, mind you, that would be expensive and destruction of property. No, just the valve stems, four new ones of which are to be left in a small envelope tucked under the windshield wiper of the offender’s vehicle. Perhaps with a tasteful note, something like “instant karma’s gonna get you,” or “be nice.”
You haven’t substantially hurt their vehicle, and what you did destroy you’ve replaced preemptively. The only actual damage is that they have to have their car flatbed towed, and all four tires removed, rebalanced and remounted with the new valve stems. Probably cost them about two hundred bucks all told, less if they have towing service through their insurance.
Thoughts? How likely would you be to get arrested for doing this–for anything more than malicious mischief, say? Also, would you consider this a valid and proportional revenge for some of the offenses named in the thread referenced above? What would it take for you to go this far?
I’d rather call the cops on them every time I saw them parking in a handicapped space. It’s legal, and if they don’t know who did it, there’s nothing they can do about it. They can’t even complain about it to any decent person and expect to get sympathy.
It also might end up costing them more than $200 per incident in some places (in San Francisco and some other places in California, the fine is $275 for illegally parking in a handicapped space). And, if the cops tow their car, they’ll get to experience the sheer panic of coming back to where they parked their car and finding it gone, plus the hassle of finding where it’s been towed to and getting it back. I’d be surprised if insurance covered the expense of towing an illegally parked car, too.
Point taken about the handicapped spaces, I suppose, but what about the mindlessly hostile and rude who just get away with it? No cop in the land will do a damned thing about them and every time we take the high ground they get reinforcement that being a dick is the way to be.
Sometimes I wouldn’t mind being an instrument of karma, I’m just sayin’…
I do the little things that I can to stop people from being jerks – if I see in my rear view mirror that some moron is swerving right and left cutting folks off to get through traffic, I’ll do my best to (safely) get in a position to keep him from getting past me. That’s just an example.
But I honestly can’t envision any scenario where I’d be willing to do something to someone’s property that would actually cost them money to resolve. I can’t see vandalism being a solution.
I really do understand where you’re coming from, through, and I’ve at least conjured up in my mind nasty things to do to people like the ones you’re describing. I just wouldn’t ever actually do something like that.
Yeah, me neither but I find it makes me feel better to know I could have done it, but refrained. That way the asshole owes me even if they don’t know it.
How about squirting jerks with water from spray bottles? I’ve tried that on assholes who get into screaming tantrum rants and it’s amazing how it chills them out. Of course it helps that I ran track in high school and can still get up a nice turn of speed when motivated…
I bought these, specifically because of the bookstore reference. I’ve not had the nerve to hand them out, but have considered filling one out & sliding it into someone’s shopping bag or leaving it on a windshield. Maybe some people just need their bad behavior pointed out to them, like little children?
A better solution, SmartAleq, is to go to a toy store and buy a bag of kid’s jacks (you know, those spikey little things). Carry them in your car and when you need to work your magic, toss a couple under each wheel where they are sure to be run over. Flat City! Problem with your method: witnesses. Sure, you could off 'em, but then you got bodies to get rid of. My way is more discreet.
I once wedged a tiny pebble into the stems of two tires on a bully’s car. They went flat of course, he had to take them, one at a time, to a station to air them back up.
Trust me, I was good and he was evil, it was justice done that day.
But if you’re really bent on getting revenge, crack an egg on top of their car or something. (In high school one of my basketball teammates and I* waged a car-graffiti war with SRBW–Short-Range Banana-based Weaponry. Lasted about two hours, until we both realized we were being asses and cleaned off each others’ cars. Some of the banana bits stayed for a LONG, long time though.)
You know that whole “team chemistry” thing? Yeah, my school missed the memo on that.
Did you miss the part where you leave four valve stems in an envelope on the windshield? And since when is trashing ten bucks worth of valve stems an arrestable offense, especially when you replace 'em right off the bat? It’s more of an “oops, silly me” thing.
If you’re pretty quick and discreet you can get all of them without being noticed… it doesn’t take but a second to snip something, and if you have your shopping cart with you it can be used as a shield from prying eyes.
Jacks–caltrops for the modern age, gotta love it… only problem is they stick around for the next poor bastard who DIDN’T do anything. Collateral damage sucks…
Slices of bologna do a nasty number on paint jobs and make the vehicle look like a clown car–please don’t ask how I know this, 'kay?
Gosh, whatever happened to those flippy cards on a handle that had sayings and such that you could show to a driver while you’re still in your car? They had sayings such as “have a nice day” or, “you’re a dick”.
I’d buy a gross and give them to all of you! We’d have fun, we would.
So someone is improperly parked in a space intended for disabled drivers, and (quite aside from all the malicious damage aspects, which, IMO, are not significantly mitigated by the replacement valves) your ‘solution’ comprises immobilising their vehicle, thus causing it occupy the space for a much greater time than it would if you’d just left things alone.
This is destruction of property. There’s no other way to look at it. It’s no different than slashing the tires (and leaning four new ones against the car). Replacement of the property has nothing to do with it.
My revenge against these asshats, especially people who park across two spaces to protect their pwecious car in a crowded lot, is to simply leave a note under their windshield wiper, saying “sorry I dinged up your car so badly, but you were parked across 2 spaces” or whatever their offence is. No damage done but it makes 'em spend a bunch of time looking high and low for the imagined scratches.
In Vriginia, the criminal code, Va Code § 18.2-147.2, provides:
A Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500.
Va Code § 18.2-137 prohibits intentionally destroying, defacing, damaging, or removing (without the intent to steal) any personal property not his own, and the penalty is a Class 1 misdemeanor if the value of or damage to the property, memorial or monument is less than $1,000. If it’s greater, it’s a Class 6 felony, punishable in Virginia by 1-5 years in prison.
Needless to say, both are “arrestable” offenses, SmartAleq, and ‘replacing them right off the bat’ is absolutely no legal defense to the crime.