Wed 8 Apr 2009
Behind the writing of every great book there is a great story.
“Beowulf” was written by some drunk dude following a Steppenwolf concert in the year 942.
“On The Road” was written on Route 66 by Jack Kerouac, who was allegedly hit 136 times by passing cars.
Charles Dickens wrote “A Tale of Two Cities” in Minneapolis and St. Paul holding his fountain pen in the toes of his right foot. The original title was “A Tale of Twin Cities & Terribly Painful Toe Cramps”. His publisher made him change both the title and the plot significantly.
Today I share a few entries from a book I wrote in the mid-late 80’s entitled “The Parking Lot Letters (One Man’s Pursuit of Quality Parking)”.
The book has been published by various copy machines I have known over the years. The idea for the book began when the parking lot management company I used when employed by Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt Advertising in Dallas (Las Colinas, actually, a business person’s Disney World) raised their monthly rates. Everyone at the agency bitched and moaned about this action. I decided to take a different tact.
I became a champion of all things related to parking. With every monthly parking payment check I sent, I would include a personal letter written to the “Letter Opening Department” of the parking lot management company. I designed my own visually arresting letterheads. The voice of the letters was an obsessive, passionate fan of parking, and my particular parking lot. Early letters featured arbitrary underlining of words– just because it tickled me.
Later letters got more fantastical and deeper into the character’s psyche. Obsessive anything is always fun.
For two years I wrote these good people my manic letters. Then, I left that job to pursue quality parking elsewhere. Free parking! Did I ever hear from them– the parking lot people? Yes, I did get one letter toward the end of my run, but I suspect it was a prank written by someone inside the agency. It was too hip, too inside, too too.
A few months after I left, a friend went into the parking lot management company office to pay his bill. He told me he saw one of my letters posted on the wall. He asked about the letter and reported the parking lot management guy said he hadn’t heard from me in awhile… and that he really missed my letters. When I heard this, I balled like a baby.
Enjoy these nibbles, feel free to share your favorite parking stories, and may all your parking spots be W I D E !