After Kenny Rocks cleared two feet of snow away from his Chevy parked outside his home this weekend, he thought it might be funny to post up a sign that warned those looking for a spot to stay away from the one he’d already cleared out. So he grabbed a pizza box, a Sharpie and a broomstick and wrote: “If you park in my spot, I’ll break your fucking windows. Have a nice day.”
He snapped a picture, sent it to his girlfriend as a joke and then decided he might as well leave up the sign near his home on the 2300 block of Firth Street in the Olde Richmond area of the city. Because, hey, why not?
The next day, a neighbor took a photo of the sign and put it on Instagram. It blew up. A photo of the sign was passed around Instagram and Twitter, and then a tweet comparing it to a similar — though much more, uh, verbose — sign from Washington, D.C. made the rounds.
“It was just a joke,” Rocks said of the sign Wednesday at his home. “I just sent a picture to my girl and I just left it up.”
Rocks, an electrician rocking a Flyers cap and a Local 98 jacket on Wednesday, said he was annoyed at the amount of time the city had spent stressing not to save parking spots. If you’ve lived in Philadelphia for any period of time, you probably know that it’s a long-held tradition/ unwritten rule to put out a chair or a cone and save your parking spot once you’ve already taken the time and the back strength to dig it out of the snow.
Of course, saving a spot like that isn’t technically allowed. The Philadelphia Police department launched a #NoSavesies campaign that discouraged the practice. And Mayor Jim Kenney, during multiple press conferences, reiterated the point that the city didn’t want people saving spots for their own convenience.
“The mayor’s saying you can’t put cones out,” Rocks said, “but everybody does. You can’t change the rules in the middle of the game.”
In the end, the sign ended up getting stolen on Monday. Rocks said he wasn’t too upset about it — “it’s a pizza box” — and added that if he could have guessed the attention the cardboard sign caused, he probably wouldn’t have put it up in the first place.
“I’m amazed,” he said, “how a broom handle, a pizza box and a Sharpie caused so much controversy.”