(Common Parlance is a feature where I try to add some of my expressions to the vocabulary of you lesser mortals.)
Californians aren’t like other people; we bend reality to our own will. If there’s a kind of tree growing abundantly that produces a squishy, inedible fruit, we will invent a dish called guacamole and trick people into thinking it’s required for preparing Mexican food. If there’s a plot of land on a fault line, a soft, muddy hill, or in a forest made of bone dry Kindling Trees, we’ll put a house on it. If there’s a man who has no political experience and was a terrible actor, we’ll make him governor (we did that twice!).
There is one example of reality bending that is more impressive than all the others: the California Compact. You see, California is overpopulated, what with us convincing the whole world that anyone can be a movie star. There are several downsides to this overpopulation, but the worst is the parking shortage. Many parking lots have been designed to fit in more cars and combat the shortage; one of the methods used is to make some spaces very narrow and then label them for compact cars only.
Now, most non-Californians (also known as Sane People) would drive up to one of these spaces and, realizing they weren’t driving a compact, grumble and try to find a normal sized space. Not Californians. Reality is our bitch and we can bend it any way we want.
The larger the disparity between the size of our vehicle and the size of the parking space, the greater the chance we will try to park there. You are more likely to see an SUV in a compact space than any other kind of vehicle, including a compact.
So, if you’re ever in a parking lot, desperately looking for a space and you find a tiny parking space labeled “SMALL CAR ONLY” filled with a Hummer, or a school bus, or the Space Shuttle, don’t get mad. The driver isn’t being a jerk, he’s just driving a California Compact.