Posted on Wednesday 26th September 2007 at 00:00
It's Monday morning and I'm pissed off.

Despite allowing twice as much time for my journey to work as it should actually take, the sheer scale of the traffic problem in Bristol has ensured that I am now late for work. As if to make matters worse, some idiot from Estates, Transport or God knows what department has decided to leave the barriers to the restricted car parks up, meaning that any and every idiot arriving on campus can park there, including the 10,000 or so Freshers who don't even know which car parks they are and aren't allowed to use.

Not surprisingly my car park is full and I am forced to find another. I drive at break-neck speed from one area to the next, eventually settling on the misnamed 'Car Park 9?. I say misnamed because 'Car Park? rather suggests tarmac and white lines and so on, where is this is little more than a stretch of dirt beside the road that no one has dumped anything on yet.

As I enter the area I pass a sign saying something to the effect of 'Car Park 9 and Car Park 10 Closed. Use Car Park 20?.

Bollocks to that! thinketh I. Car Park 20 isn't even on the campus itself but is a massive overflow car park across the main road, and a good half mile from where I work. If I go there I'll not get into work before Friday. Luckily for me there are a good deal of drivers who feel the same way, and I am not alone as I manoeuvre my vehicle into a space so small you'd think twice about parking a bike in it.

I walk into work and spend the next 10 minutes shouting and swearing to anyone who'll listen about the dreadful state of parking on campus, as is part of my morning ritual.

A number of hours later, I finish work and walk back to Car Park 9. As I approach it I can't help feeling that there is something terribly wrong. Upon arriving in the correct place, I know there is something terribly wrong.

My car is not where I left it.

I keep walking, hoping against hope that I've been mistaken and it is further down. It isn't. I look back at where it should be, wondering if a new perspective will shed any light on the situation. Still no car. As I begin to head back the way I'd come, I replay the last scene in my head. I definitely parked here, which means I'm not going mad. I definitely locked it, and there is no glass on the ground, which means it probably hasn't been stolen.

Man #1: Can I help you?
Me: Yea, I think my car's been towed...
Man #1: Ok, where was it parked?
Me: Car Park 9.
Man #2: *Laughs*
Man #1: Yea, we decided to close Car Park 9. Since your car had a student pass on it, we figured we wouldn't be able to track you down, so we towed it.
Me: Err.....
Man #2: We dumped it in Car Park 20.
Me: ....thanks?

As I walk through Car Park 20, I become more and more confused. The car park is fairly empty and of the cars that remain, only around three or four are red and none are mine. I squint into the distance and can just about make out the shape of a car in the furthest corner of the car park, just a blur against the horizon.

Five minutes later I reach my car, fortunately unharmed, aside from the lowest section of the front bumper, which has been all but pulled clean off the car. I mutter something unprintable about the guys in the transport department, and set off home.

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