06/10/2004: "random thoughts of the day"
It's not even 8am, yet I've already been pondering mickeys and parking on grass. What do they have in common? Nothing, really, except that my brain decided to talk about them today.
First, grass. In my community there is a by-law prohibiting parking on any part of a lawn. You're not even allowed to widen your driveway (say, with patio stones) and park on that. You can park on your original driveway and in your garage - that's it. Of course, this by-law is barely enforced at all, but there is stirrings about starting to clamp down on it (for citizen's safety, of course, with the side effect of revenue being generated not coming into the equation). By and large, it's a by-law I can agree with. Living in a townhouse and seeing many more in my neighbourhood, I see exactly what kind of funky parking job people do to fit one more car where it really doesn't fit, and I could certainly stand to see the practice stopped.
However, this got me thinking about a smaller part of the by-law that says a vehicle cannot be parked on any organic ground cover. In other words, don't park on your lawn. Fair enough. However, what if I wanted an alternative driveway?
Black asphalt driveways are ugly. They're ugly, hot, and if not done correctly they sink, crack, and become even more ugly. Why don't we explore alternative driveways? One idea I had was provided by a friend's stepfather. He has a large shed in his backyard (out at his country property) that he uses for his Landcruisers. Instead of just driving across the grass, however, he put in an interlocking brick driveway of sorts leading from the main driveway. The difference is that these bricks aren't solid - they leave large gaps when fit together. The effect is that the grass is allowed to grow in these gaps, which very effectively hides this second driveway from view. It's still strong enough to park and drive on, but it looks much nicer, and hides itself.
Now, if I removed all the asphalt driveways from my neighbourhood and used brick-and-grass driveways instead, I could probably more than double the amount of green grass seen from the street. The neighbourhood would be a few degrees cooler, and it would look a lot better. Admittedly, there might be problems with settling that you'd have to work out somehow - I'm no brick driveway expert - and shoveling in the winter might become difficult, but it's still something I'd like to explore more.
Now, mickeys. I'm not talking about the mouse, I'm talking about the bottles of booze. You know, the smallish bottles that are flattened and curved, such that they fit in an inside pocket of a jacket really well. I have to wonder, is there any reason other than hiding a bottle of alcohol on your person that the mickey bottle exists? Due to its shape, it's not very efficient in terms of packaging a liquid - you'd be better off with a regular cylinder than you would a flattened one. So I have to conclude that mickeys are designed wholly for hiding alcohol.
With that in mind, how on earth are we tolerating this crap? Companies are making products that are designed to be concealed! The only true markets for these bottles would seem to be alcoholics and teenagers. Some adults may find some novelty value in being able to hide a bottle of hooch in their jacket, but realistically, this is a product aimed at people that either should not be consuming it, or have become dependent on the product and are hiding the fact. I say it's time to ditch the mickey. If you really feel the need to hide alcohol, just buy a Gatorade and spike it, or colour your vodka.