Illustration for article titled The Best Thing About A Beater Car? Parking Privileges

I’ve recently discovered a solution to all of your problems. Now, you might be thinking: Doug, I don’t have any problems, except on the days when Jalopnik posts articles written by you!


If you’re thinking this, you’re probably one of the people who was offended by my recent Tail of the Dragon story. Yes, it’s true: one or two folks took my remarks on rural Southern culture as a personal attack, and they typed out long, angry responses, presumably from the passenger seat of their cousin’s 1986 IROC-Z. I assume these were the same people who called the FCC during the 2004 Super Bowl Halftime Show and said: HOW DARE YOU SHOW JANET JACKSON’S NIPPLE ON TELEVISION?! MY CHILD WILL NEVER BE PURE AGAIN!!!

And, really, that’s the trouble with writing these articles. It doesn’t seem to matter what subject I choose: someone will always get pissed off. I could write a story about cookies, and some guy would write to me and say “I’m allergic to cookies, and you should really be more sensitive to those of us with cookie allergies, you asshole.”


So that’s why I’ve decided to devote today’s article to solving all of your problems. But before we get there, I need to say a few words about my Nissan Cube.

Yes, I have a Nissan Cube. Regular readers will know this, because the first mention of my Cube is right about the time they click on something else.


Really, though, the Cube isn’t so bad. Sure, I’ve occasionally used it as the butt of jokes in my articles (I believe I once said the best part about driving it is that, when you’re inside, you can no longer see it). But I’m not going there today, because I don’t want to piss anyone off. Instead, I’ve prepared a comprehensive list of nice things I can say about the Cube, which are:

1. I’ve never lost it in a parking lot.
2. It’s a massive middle-aged woman magnet.


That’s about it. Yeah, so maybe it isn’t the best car in the world. Why then, you might ask, do I keep it around? Why don’t I just sell it to one of those middle-aged women, who can then brag to everyone at book club that she did something “kooky?” Well, I have a reason. And that reason is: parking privileges.

The Cube, you see, is a beater car. It isn’t worth much. In fact, I once tried to sell it, and after it spent more than three weeks on AutoTrader and Craigslist, the only interest I got was one call from a wholesaler and about 90 spam e-mails for penis enlargement pills. (Note that I’ve said “nipple,” “asshole,” and “penis” all in one post. If this offends you, I strongly urge you to become less of a weenie.)


Anyway: the Cube’s status as a beater car means that it can be assigned beater tasks. Hauling dirt, for example. Or transporting large quantities of flour. Or sugar. Or all that stuff you never actually transport, but you might if only you didn’t have a nice car with supple carpeting. In other words, the Cube is sort of like an illegal immigrant: it performs the jobs my other cars don’t want to do.

But the best thing you can do with a beater car is park wherever you want.

Here’s what I mean: car enthusiasts take really good care of our cars. We’re always washing, and waxing, and polishing, and nervously looking on while the neighbor kid jumps in and pretends to shift the gears. But most importantly, we’re always parking very far away from everyone else.


Of course, we have a reason for this, namely that we car enthusiasts believe all other drivers are complete idiots who are actively trying to damage our property. We see a scratch on our car and we say “Of course!” as in: “Of course someone in a minivan backed into my car, probably while dealing with four children and simultaneously screaming on the phone to the FCC about how last night’s SpongeBob contained a vague reference to pubic hair!”

But when you have a beater car, you don’t have to worry about parking. Instead, you can park anywhere you want, which I believe is the single most liberating feeling in the world for a car enthusiast. Seriously: imagine pulling up to a store, and not having to find an end spot next to a pillar where you have to cheat ever so slightly to the right so you won’t get dented.


Instead, you can just park in any space, next to any vehicle, and do your shopping without a care in the world. Think about it: no more long walks into the store. No more searching for a spot. No more worrying.

This, I assure you, will solve all of your problems. And so, I urge you to get a beater. Maybe if we all had beaters, we’d be less fearful. Maybe we’d be more trusting. Maybe we’d be less angry. Maybe, just maybe, we’d stop complaining about articles on the Internet.


Yeah, right.

@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars. He operates and writes for The Truth About Cars. He owned an E63 AMG wagon and once tried to evade police at the Tail of the Dragon using a pontoon boat. (It didn't work.) He worked as a manager for Porsche Cars North America before quitting to become a writer, largely because it meant he no longer had to wear pants. Also, he wrote this entire bio himself in the third person.


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