Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Excerpted: High Cost of Free Parking

I can't find the actual source of this, but it is interesting anyway (so if anybody out there knows what it's from, please let me know). It is the opening quote from the original text from Donald Shoup for The High Cost of Free Parking:
The air was still; the street was empty except for the line of huge cars parked along the curb, glittering and grinning with chrome and polish and enamel. Paul had noticed already that in Los Angeles automobiles were a race apart, almost alive. The city was full of their hotels and beauty shops, their restaurants and nursing homes - immense, expensive structures where they could be parked or polished, fed or cured of their injuries. They spoke, and had pets - stuffed dogs and monkeys looked out of their rear windows, toys and good-luck charms hung above their dashboards, and fur tails waved from their aerials. Their horns sang in varied voices...few people were visible. The automobiles outnumbered them ten to one. Paul imagined a tale in which it would be gradually revealed that these automobiles were the real inhabitants of the city, a secret master race which only kept human beings for its own greater convenience, or as pets. (Lurie 1986, 7, 232)