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The Tiger

Drive me crazy, or what?

Holy AxleGrease. Does anyone actually know the cost of wheel alignment these days? I don’t live on campus. I room with friends in Seneca. I don’t do claustrophobia well. And those dorm rooms? My washing machine is bigger.

Anyways, I have to drive to college each day. Which is fine, until I hit downtown Clemson. I know, I know. Go around the back way. Less traffic. But I like College Avenue. Call me old-fashioned and quaint. But I like it. So, I hit downtown Clemson. And it hits right back.

First, I’m a careful driver. I have been called ‘Granny.’ But really. What is it with some drivers and a four-way junction? It’s like their feet have forgotten where the accelerator pedal is. So. It’s bad enough we’re moving at five mph. I can see squat due to the 18-wheeler three feet from my nose. I keep hitting potholes.

I mean, pardon my French. But doesn’t Clemson pay the good burghers enough (Did you notice how I slipped in a TrumpBurger reference on the sly? Did ya? Did ya? Editor: Yes Geoff; cut it out; it’s dead; finished … ). Anyways. Don’t we pay the Clemson municipality enough to get good roads? (Ed (theatrical stage whisper): TownGown, Geoff; TownGown … ).

But. There’s more. I finally get out of downtown. My axles now shuddering and wheezing. I’ve done me tourist gawp along College Avenue. Sigh. Never gets old for this British-American half-tourist. I’ve got about 10 minutes to first class. And. Wham. Parking at Clemson. Sigh.

Buildings going up all over Clemson, like it’s BOGO at Trump Construction. But can we find space for more parking? Can we … not. And it’s not just parking. Not in my case. I’m technically disabled. Try finding a disabled parking space.

Here’s the thing. When you get to know me, you’ll know I’m no wallflower. So, when I have something to say, I write to President Clements. Yup. You guessed it. I wrote to Clements, complaining about the lack of disabled parking spaces.

Look. It’s bad for all of us with cars. But, think about this. And. Um. I may have put it in precisely these terms to His Clemsonness. You’ve got yourself to school. You now have about five minutes to first class. No disabled spaces. No metered spaces. No employee spaces (yes, disabled folks can use those). The only thing left is them fancy-smanchy ‘Reserved’ spaces. Now. We know who those are supposed to be for. Right?

And, by the way. I’ve done several days of GeoffBigData on this. Almost every single day you do the Grand Tour of Clemson, looking for parking within a county’s throw of, say, Tillman. Every single day, when there is nowt (Mary Poppins-speak, sorry), nothing else available, at least 30 percent of the ‘Reserved’ spaces are empty.

So, you drive up to the last remaining ‘Reserved’ spot. You, a disabled driver. And, lo and behold, another car arrives – PresClemClem. All $900,000 a year of him. Totally able-bodied. You. Him. Vying for the same space.

You tell me. Who is supposed to miss their first class? Who is the one who is now supposed to spend another 15 minutes looking for a parking spot? Who is the one who is supposed to walk 300 yards? The disabled student, or the able-bodied PresClemClem.

Er. The answer is: Disabled Boy. I know, I tried parking in ‘Reserved.’ Out of desperation. My disabled placard on full display. And get this. I was. Towed. Who, in the name of all things holy, National Championship and decent, tows a disabled driver for anything?

Well. I dealt with that. In typical GeoffFashion.ore to the point, I wrote to President Clements, and asked: going forward, what can we do? Well, knock me down with a feather. I’m not saying it was anything more than a coincidence. But new disabled parking spaces have been appearing.

You see, people? Get tucked in. Raise your voice. And wonderful things will come your way, too. That’s it for this month. Until next time! Cheerio!!

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