Cars

The 15 Types of Parkers You See in Every Parking Lot

Published On 05/27/2016 Published On 05/27/2016

The parking lot can be a terrifying, lawless place -- even more so when it's nearly full, and finding that perfect spot may not pan out. But what, pray tell, makes for "the perfect spot"? Some drivers could not care less; others circle around like vultures, up and down the rows, muttering obscenities to themselves like "nice park job, buddy" or "look at this asshole," refusing to stop until they've found the best possible spot for their beloved automobile. Indeed, parking-lot parkers come in all shapes and sizes. Let's explore.

Aaron Miller/Thrillist

1. The Middle-of-Nowhere Parker

This person purposely parks in no man's land with as many spots between them and anyone else as possible -- usually because they really, really love their car, and would rather walk for two minutes than risk the slings and arrows of indiscriminate door openers. Then, occasionally, there's a second kind of Middle-of-Nowhere Parker, who's only doing it because they think it's absolutely hilarious to park directly beside the original Middle-of-Nowhere Parker. Cute. 

Flickr/Robert Couse-Baker

2. The Tricks-You-Into-Thinking-There's-a-Space Parker

We get it, your car's ridiculously small. With great tininess comes great responsibility, though. Some tiny-car parkers pull up all the way, earning the ire of everyone who thinks they've found a spot, only to be crushed when they realize, no, your car is just stupidly small. Or you can do the right thing: park with the back of your car lined up with everyone else's, like this driver.

Flickr/Michael Sean Teretta

3. The Uncomfortably Close Parker

Honestly, this one's the absolute worst. Not only can Uncomfortably Close Parkers not follow simple lines, they have zero respect for personal space -- they're the parking-lot equivalent of the Seinfeld "close talker." How they managed to open the door on their way out of the car is a mystery, and if they happen to come back while you're inspecting your car for the new door ding you're sure is there, they'll think you're the asshole. The nerve.

Flickr/Brian Ruehlmann

4. The One Who Always Backs In

They think they're so cool, saving time on their way out from everywhere. It could be a fast-food restaurant, the office, or even the mall, the only certainty is that they took the extra time upon arrival to park in a way that says, "Look at me! I know how to drive in reverse!"

Flickr/Shanna Riley

5. The On-the-Curb Parker

For everything a curb is, it's not a step on which it's OK to park. Anyone that would willingly drive their car onto the curb a) has no clue what the words "curb rash" mean, and b) is perfectly comfortable showcasing his or her egregiously bad driving skills. And that kind of lackadaisical "oops, oh well" attitude is not to be trusted. 

Flickr/Paul Wicks

6. The Dick in a Pickup Truck

He knows exactly what he's doing, which is deliberately antagonizing those around him in an insecure display of dominance. He's completely clueless that his actions are only effective at warding off women.

Aaron Miller/Thrillist

7. The Dick in a Nice Car

This is the self-important version of the Dick in a Pickup. It's less about asserting dominance as it is about asserting superiority, as if to say to one's neighbors, "I would not even deign park beside you plebeians!" Sure, the car's nice, but that doesn't give anyone the right to take multiple spots in a crowded parking lot.

Aaron Miller/Thrillist

8. The Butt-in-the-Aisle Parker

For whatever reason, the Butt-in-the-Aisle Parker assumes they're perfectly parked and simply goes on about their business without ever double-checking. In so doing, they not only open themselves up to scorn, but potential damage if the aisles are narrow and multiple cars are trying to pass.

Flickr/Hulk, Smash!

9. The Under-a-Shady-Tree Parker

Sure, trees provide shade. They also provide shelter for birds that, just like you, have to poop. Here's a pro tip: if you see a bunch of droppings on the ground, it's a pretty clear warning sign that your avian friends will declare war on your paint.

Flickr/Jason Thien

10. The Tailgate Blocker

It's actually pretty solidly rude to block someone's tailgate, since if the owner happens to come out of a store with the kind of bulky items that make owning a truck a necessity, they suddenly have to lift their stuff over the side of the bed instead of using the tailgate. The Tailgate Blocker doesn't care, though -- never even thought about it, really, because there is no world beyond their own.

Flickr/Quinn Dombrowski

11. The Parallel Nightmare

The car doesn't fit, and anyone who learned at a young age that a square peg doesn't fit in a round hole knows it. And yet, moving on and finding somewhere else to park is akin to surrender for the Parallel Nightmares of the world. It's their woeful-yet-stubborn parking attempts that necessitate the need for things like parking bumpers. There is an alarmingly high number of drivers out there that seem to think the bump of the other car is just a normal part of driving. It's not, people.

Flickr/David_Beltra_Tejero

12. The Common-Bond Parker

The Common-Bond Parker sees a car similar to their own and parks next to it, automatically assuming they're going to be friends. Even if there's a slightly better parking spot somewhere else, this person likes the feeling of solidarity, as though the original parker has their back in some unspoken parking-lot pact... a sentiment that usually goes completely unnoticed.

Flickr/Ian Cuthbertson

13. The Sideways Parker?

This happens more frequently than should be possible in an educated society. The Sideways Parker displays a complete disregard for -- or an utter lack of understanding of -- the meaning of parking stripes. You're not a rule-breaking rebel, you're a moron.

Flickr/Damian Morys

14. The Pull-Through Taker

He pulls into a space, sees the line, considers it, and just keeps going through; he wants to reap the same benefits as the Parker That Always Backs In, but with half the effort. Usually he ends up parking his ass on the line and taking up two spaces. And then, if the lot gets crowded, he becomes a Trick-You-Into-Thinking-There's-a-Space Parker. Three wrongs don't make a right, buddy.

Flickr/Damian Morys

15. The "handicapped" parker

Some people legitimately need to use those extra wide parking spots up front. Other people simply have access to someone else's handicapped parking permit so they can use those extra wide parking spots up front to avoid door dings. Those people are the self-absorbed dregs of society.

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Aaron Miller is the Cars editor for Thrillist, and can be found on Twitter. He's ashamed to admit that for a brief time in his teenage years, he was #15.

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