A blight on God’s clean Earth #4 – Smart ForTwo


This post is written out of pure, fresh dripping spite. Everyone hates inconsiderate drivers, and wishes them a mediaevally horrible demise. And few things are more irritating and inconsiderate than lazy, pathetic, fat-cat parking. Leaving a vehicle diagonally across a spot, or leaving it a metre and a half away from the pavement, or in the middle of two parking spaces is an affront to civility, common sense and all that’s not blood-boilingly maddening. And it seems no-one is better at this than the average Smart ForTwo driver.

The basic idea behind the ForTwo was laudible. A small, cheap urban vehicle that sips fuel and can be bunched up together in herds while parked to save space. Unfortunately, the message that got through to the average commuter was to bring these things in to town in droves and park them in any sodding lazy way you please. Then there’s the business of its youthful, hip status symbol, but I’ve covered that in passing.

The other day, I saw two Smarts together occupying a single space. I should have taken a picture because it was like seeing a yeti or a UFO, or some strange, rare phenomenon people talk about but never see. A friend of mine, who was also my neighbour at the time, used to park his Smart head on, with no further manoeuvring after, whether it was 5 miles away from the pavement, diagonal, or bang slap in the middle of two other cars, where a simple reverse and approximation to one of the already parked cars could allow a normal, proper car to park in the resulting space. When I asked him why he wasn’t a bit more thoughtful he’d say “Why should I waste petrol bothering to park properly?” I don’t know if this is the way of thinking of other Smart drivers, but if it is, it’s a capricious thought because I had another neighbour who’d waste petrol to screw us other drivers over by leaving his litte crapmobile as far between cars as possible whilst parking. Not to mention the way they tax their weedy little engines by speeding stupidly and dangerously in town.

I haven’t even mentioned that pathetic “compact parking” concept. The idea was to be able to park the car at 90º angle, and given that the car was 250cm long, it would fit in spaces with that particular width and everyone would be happy. But parking spaces with 2.5 metres are usually perpendicular to the street, so people can open their doors without denting the car next to them. Spaces on the side of the road are usually around 2.2m, though you can easily get away with just 2m because even the fattest and stupidest jeeps and vans are around 1.9m in width. So “compactly-parked” Smarts jut out inconveniently, and it’s no wonder certain cities have forbidden this stupid practice.

In sum, the Smart ForTwo is a space-wasting, road-cluttering fashionista-mobile. Its potential advantages are blown to smithereens by the thickness of their owners, it’s practicality moot and its place in modern urban society debatable at best.

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