Contrarian to Southie: Stop Whining Already

1198098580My next door neighbor has been holding his parking spot with a recycling bin for over a week now. Most of the snow on our street is melted, and parking spots are ample. Yet still he persists. At first, this was because he shoveled the spot, and didn’t want some squatter to swoop in and take it. Now, he’s just being a selfish prick who wants to use what’s left of the snow as a pretense to horde the choice spot in front of his house.

Now multiply that by about 10,000 and you have Southie, which, once again, is at war with the mayor over its long-held cultural practice of holding their parking spots with parking cones, chairs and whatever other crap they have lying around their houses and yards.

The mayor, after losing a game of chicken with now-dead Southie councilor Jimmy Kelly over the practice, implemented a 48-hour rule two years ago, which was eminently sensible. You bust your ass to shovel your spot, you get to hold it for two days, before the Man comes in and takes away the rancid loveseat or dillapitated dollhouse and returns the spot to the people. The desired result is clear: Everyone on the street shovels out their cars, and, as if by magic, the street finds itself completely shoveled. Wow!

Of course Southie, which is as close to a lawless breakaway province as we have in Boston, responds to this like a bunch of Southerners who got their Confederate flags confiscated by the federal government. They have no time for logic. They’re too busy playing the victim. “He’s really got it in for us, let me tell you,” one resident says of the mayor. “I really feel like he’s singling out South Boston.”

Of course he is, because you barbarians are the only ones doing this. Instead of rending your shamrock sweatshirts because the mayor wants you to uphold the law, and beating the shit out of anyone with the temerity (or cultural insensitivity) to move your parking cone, you’d be beating the shit out of people who aren’t shoveling out their spots. That’s called a “root cause.” Address that and you won’t have to worry about all the other stuff.

While I’ll miss the political histrionics of Jimmy Kelly, who famously took to the national airwaves two years ago to defend his constituents’ inalienable right to hold parking spots (providing an appreciative public with a good dose of the sort of short, noisy, redfaced Bostonian provincial they so love to laugh at), I have to say, Kelly’s successor (and Menino ally) Bill Linehan is refreshingly not batshit crazy.

“When we all try to act accordingly, there is less need for authority and intervention,” Linehan wrote in the South Boston Online piece, which included a list of tips for dealing with “Southie Snow” responsibly, such as “If you keep a cone out to secure preferred parking you can expect it to be moved by authorities or even by neighbors. Don’t be selfish!”

It’s a testament to the changing nature of Southie that he was able to write such a thing without being attacked by a bunch of golf-club wielding savages.

One more thing, an Eastie woman has a letter in today’s Globe. Here’s the nut:

“Instead of sending crews out to get rid of chairs, etc.,” she writes, “the city should send crews out to shovel the walls of snow between cars and the piles left by plows that are 2 feet from curbs and corners. Right now parking spaces should belong to those who spent three to five hours shoveling them.”

The first part is true. I never understood why, when a snow emergency is called, the city can’t plow closer to the curb. Half the time they tow a bunch of cars, and then leave a five-foot-wide snowbank where the cars used to be. This is absurd.

But the line about spending three to five hours shoveling out a spot is clearly nonsense. My car was buried completely in a snow bank, and I got it out in 45 minutes. The snow issue is worth fighting over, to be sure, it would just be nice if we could do it without all the screaming, beating, and lying.