Dear Apartment W5,

Let’s be frank. I know what you have done. You must understand that I will not stand idly by while another member of our apartment complex claims the guest parking spot as his own. You should also realize that I have considered your actions much more extensively than you yourself have. I would like to acknowledge that the sign you have made is clearly of superior quality, and I trust that your Home Depot instructor had no prior knowledge as to your intentions. I have played out every variable, and you have no move. Checkmate is imminent; your recourse a trapped pawn awaiting his executioner.

Upon seeing your sign, I considered the various things upon which I could post signs throughout the world to claim such-and-such as my own particular such-and-such. I wondered if Lewis and Clark used signs. What did the Native Americans think? Were they pondering the incredulous script of our foreign language, or were they curious as to the legitimacy of those that placed the sign about? Did they think that since (presumably) Lewis had placed a sign in a particular spot, their tribe now needed to flee as they had clearly been outsigned, having only, to date, been using the not so permanent smoke? Did they begin to place their own signs in various unexplored lands? Who knows… Is it possible that they checked with our landlady, Nusheen, prior to the placement of their signs? Hah! It is absurd of you to even suggest such a thing. Nusheen wasn’t even on this continent, let alone in existence at that particular time and place.

The space­time continuum is complicated. It has baffled many physicists and caused many college students to feign understanding. Further, it has led to this errant thought that has clearly run amok. That said, there must be some sort of relevance. But where? When was the sign placed? Was it done during the inconspicuousness of night, so the unsuspecting would fail to consequently suspect? Or, was it done by the bask of day, flaunted for all to see? Is it possible that you were predisposed? And if so, what in fact would that mean? These are questions of the highest moral authority and they are not to be t aken lightly.

That said, there are still many unexplored explanations, and many of the explanations itemized above are already riddled in nonsense. That is not my problem. Let’s be clear: You took it upon yourself to post a sign on a parking spot in which you had no inalienable right. That is increasingly troubling in a civilized society. While many have made claims as to the worthiness of order and conformity and the successes, intentions, and failures of our public education system in instilling those principles, it is beyond reason that someone would find sense in the unruly placement of a parking sign with such an air of being official. I myself wondered whether you actually paid more money to get this parking spot only, upon inquiry, to receive instruction from those that proffer this land that I was more than welcome to remove the sign itself and potentially even paint the entire lot should I be so fancy. As if!

Upon further research I came to realize that lot-striping is an unreasonable expense. There are few that provide this service and for a lot of such size you must either be willing to pay far more per stripe than say a grocery store lot, or have local mafia connections, or, of course, there is the option of self-performance, which aside from its masturbatory implications would lead to crooked lines and sneers from the rest of the complex. These are solutions that I cannot live with. Beyond, of course, way beyond, and further. Naturally and duh….

I have orange paint in my car right now and it is much brighter than your sign.

The insignificance of all of this in the grand scheme of existence, and further in my standing in the universe or the improvement of my slouch or the taming of my cowlick is not the point, and any thought that you have of saying that I am making a bigger deal out of it than you is debatable. Right now (or at minimum the moment in which you are reading this—please refer to the explanation of the space­time continuum clearly outlined above), you are being called to the carpet. This is a moment of truth for you and I trust that you are tasting your soul, licking the sides of your lips to clean up the salty aftertaste. How could you think this was appropriate? You have betrayed an entire apartment complex. And we know where you live. Obviously. But who cares about all of that? You need to come to grips with your own self-worth. Are you of such value to this world (or to the very least this apartment complex) that you warrant such a clearly dedicated parking spot? I want you to look within and ask yourself a question. Are you humble before God?

It is at revelatory times like this I wonder: what would Lewis and Clark do right now? If one or both of them were here (preferably Clark of course), and they were free from their various tasks and squaws, would judgment be served cold or hot with justice on the side? If it was cold, I would heat it up in the oven or smother it with hot sauce. If it was hot, I would blanket it from the sun, protecting its skin from burning, acting as its Solarcaine, its Aloe Vera…

Ahem… this parking discourse has grown tiresome. You will notice that I have included some magazine scraps from various ads that have been cut and taped together as a collage of sorts. This is no accident. So bite me.

Bob Steinhagen
Apartment E5