I was reading one of the comments of a Road Rage entry, and it reminded me of this story my friend told me. When we were in high school, my friend lived either next door or a few doors down from a single guy who was in his early 20s and threw parties all the time. The neighbor was friendly, well-mannered, and kept the noise down, etc., but parking did get kind of crammed because it was a short street, so late guests would often have to park a block over and walk to the house. Apparently, this was not good enough for one guest.
One summer afternoon my friend’s mom comes home from grocery shopping, pulls up to her house, and sees a car she doesn’t recognize parked in her driveway. Seeing all the other cars around and smelling the scent of barbeque, she suspects this is one of the neighbor’s party guests, so she just pulls into her driveway behind him and brings her groceries in. Lo and behold, about 45 min later she hears a knock on the door. A sheepish-looking guy tells her that his car is blocked in her driveway and asks if she could move it. My friend’s mom informs him that, unfortunately, she doesn’t have a reason to move her car because she isn’t planning on going anywhere any time soon. The guy tries to reason with her to move her car, but she politely informs him that it’s her driveway and perhaps he shouldn’t have parked there if he was going to be in such a need to leave. The guy gets this I’m-kind-of-annoyed-but-I-probably-deserve-this look on his face, apologizes for parking in her driveway, and returns to the party to wait. An hour or two later, she decides she needs to go out to the store for something, and when she comes back the car is gone. It never happened again. 0418-11
This isn’t an example of cleverness but rather retaliatory rudeness in response to an admittedly “sheepish” guest who makes a polite request to rectify the situation he got himself into. Graciousness is extending the hand of kindness to the undeserving and this case, while the guest goofed parking where he did, his attempt to move his car was matched with an appropriate level of chagrin and deference that did not justify the ungracious declination to move a car so he can reposition his vehicle.