When in Belgium, Respect the Pittsburgh Parking Stool?

An ex-pat reader sends in an incredible piece of evidence that proves Pittsburgh is everywhere.

Pittsburgh ex-pat Faisal Jawdat sent me the above photo, taken while he was visiting Bruges, Belgium, where parking is at a premium and the residents have clearly taken to marking their territory with the formidable parking chair.

I happened to visit the Parking Chair Wikipedia page recently to find it had been updated with a whole slew of rules for parking chair etiquette and criticism.

Some of the rules of etiquette I found amusing:

1. Parking chairs placed during fair weather almost always mean that a large moving or construction vehicle is scheduled to arrive shortly.

Yeah, no. No way is that the case in Pittsburgh. A chair placed in fair weather in Pittsburgh doesn’t mean "moving truck on its way," it means "THIS IS MINE, YOU JAGOFF!"

2. If a parking chair is disregarded, it is courteous to place a note explaining the reason why it was moved and limit the time of space usage. If feasible, it is courteous to monitor the space for the return of the original vehicle and greet the driver cordially. If it becomes obvious that the purpose for space reservation is no longer valid, neighbors should feel free to remove each others’ chairs from the street, as a communal gesture that this is the case.

DID MISTER ROGERS WRITE THIS?! I don’t believe anyone in Pittsburgh has ever placed a note on a parking chair to be courteous. Notes on parking chairs almost always contain overzealous profanity.

3. Parking chairs must be intended only as a friendly courtesy. In no case should vehicles be vandalized or tampered with, even if persons feel that a rightfully reserved space has been violated. Retribution carries too much potential for permanently harming neighborhood relationships and inciting violence. If a chair is moved, it must be assumed, based on the principle of presumed innocence, that the person who moved it had a good reason. If a person is caught in the act of moving a chair, they may be politely asked to find a different space if possible or negotiate to use the space for a limited time.

Again, not in Pittsburgh. Moving a parking chair from a snow-cleared space in Pittsburgh will result in your car being buried in a mountain of snowy vengeance.

I wonder if they follow all of these rules in Belgium, where the stools look almost too quaint to ever heave aside in a rage-fueled tantrum.

But if they are moved, I wonder how you say jagoff in Dutch.

Categories: PittGirl