The Clam’s Tournament of Shitty Parking Lots: Semifinals Day 2!

OH MY GOD WE’RE BACK AGAIN! Let’s finish off this round of the Tournament of Crapass Parking Lots, shall we? Today’s battle features some close calls and a few underdog winners. Drama abound! Let’s duct tape our bumpers and get down to business.


East Gloucester School vs Destinos

East Gloucester School was up against some tough competition with the Pathways lot, which is so bad a retired cop has to direct traffic on a daily basis. However, the swirling maelstrom of chaos of the EGS lot handily overpowered its opponent. If this lot was anywhere else in town, there would be punches thrown, expletives fired at others, and many generations dishonored by the goings-on. But, it’s in East Gloucester, so the worst that happens is that everyone is annoyed but waves anyway because the person who just live-parked in the middle of the road has a No Farms, No Food bumper sticker just like their own car. Or, someone buys the last batch of not-wilted broccoli at the farmer’s market in a passive-aggressive manner as revenge. Take that!

Destinos beating out the Causeway lot in the first round was an underdog upset. The Clam had its bets hedged on Causeway winning. I mean, even as I’m writing this, IN THE POLICE NOTES TODAY SOMEONE DROVE INTO THE BUILDING. But you people voted in this democratic election of sorts, so Destino’s is the winner.  Destino’s does have its charms, and by charms I mean your chances of hitting another car either in the lot or trying to get out of the lot onto stupid Prospect Street are 100% over a ten-year period. And god help you (pun intended) if you try to park there or un-park there as a church service lets out across the street. Get more macaroni salad, you’re gonna be there awhile.

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Our Lady of Good Voyage vs. Gloucester Crossing.

Speaking of the mess on Prospect, Our Lady of Good Voyage won the worshiping division of the parking lot tournament. Maybe it was the random two different parking lots on two different levels that clenched its victory. Or, maybe it was the fact that you can’t actually have one car enter and one car exit at the same time because the entrance is so narrow. Cars park on the street abutting the church as closely as possible, so traffic crawls by. Does anyone actually walk to services? Survey says not a chance. The best part is when some completely oblivious person parks so that only one lane of traffic can get by for the length of an entire Easter mass and everybody ends up losing a mirror. Jesus, save us.

Gloucester Crossing beat out Family Dollar last round, which was another surprise to us here at the Clam. I mean, Family Dollar and MAC’s lot is a perennial gauntlet of suck. However, the Crossing is a high-stakes game of chicken at best, and a shopping cart hurtling at your car’s quarter panels at its worst. And that fucking rotary. I truly believe empirical evidence will show that no one has ever correctly yielded at that mini rotary. These people have just spent half an hour bashing their cart into people’s ankles while wearing yoga pants to get their granola bars and milk a millisecond faster than everyone else, they will cut you off while looking you dead in the eye if they can. This lot can break a man’s will. You have to look straight ahead, make sure you don’t hit any unsupervised kids, and then OH GOD RANDOM CAR DRIVING DIAGONALLY ACROSS ALL THE SPACES. Fuck. Fuck the Crossing.


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Tune in next week for our parking lot finals!



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  1. suggested content, related to this: all the churches with no parking lots on major roadways and the separation of church and state.

  2. I understand I am late to the party on this but, late as I am I feel obliged to point this out: this tournament can’t claim any kind of Gloucester bona fides without at least a nod to the greatness that was Maria’s.

    Yes, as craptacular Gloucester parking goes, now that the giant steel You-Can’t-See-Me-in-Your-Rear-View-Mirror-Because-I-Am-Painted-Black-And-Exactly-In-You-Blind-Spot-But-Disrespect Me-And-I-Will-CUT-You Pole Trap at Maria’s is gone, the lot displays but a shadow of it’s former majesty, but honestly, does not the venue deserve some kind of Gloucester Clam Horrible Parking Lot lifetime achievement award?

    I mean – no disrespect to the hard won accomplishments of the likes of Saint Peter’s and Family Dollar, and every other bumper busting venue that has earned its way into the tourney, but none – NONE – holds a candle to Maria’s in her prime.

    All of today’s contestants are fine and craptacular venues in their own right, and all are no doubt worthy contenders for the Cape’s Coveted Craparking Crown. And all of them have, I am sure, worked hard, just taking it one day at a time/just trying to go out there and execute, to get where they are today, but none of THEM have a giant steel pole placed in EXACTLY the spot you are going to back through as you pull out in your rush to get the pizza home before it gets cold.

    NONE of them.

    Do we consign Steve Grogan to the trash heap just because he had a 37.4 QB rating in 1988? Do we dismiss Larry Bird because he only played in 45 games in his last season? Do we stop worshiping at the altar of Roger Clemens or Butch Hobson, or Aaron Hernandez, merely because – okay, those last three might be going a little to far – but you get my point. No one in this tournament beats Maria’s in her prime.

    And just to point out, Maria’s is a gamer. She’s not dead yet. She still sports a sign warning you of the pole behind you, which, JUST BECAUSE IT’S NOT LONGER THERE, doesn’t make it any less visible in your rear view mirror than it was when it WAS there. It’s a brilliant, veteran move that should not go unappreciated. Even now, well past her prime and without her patented invisible black steel blind spot pole, she still surely scores a few collisions as unwitting drivers, hurrying their haddock and scallops au gratin home, look frantically, but in vain, for a pole that ISN’T EVEN THERE, and thus ram their tailgate into some SUV barreling down Railroad Avenue in a rush to get to the liquor store. This contest is nothing but a sham without some acknowledgment of the greatness that was Maria’s. Greatness today’s pretenders can only dream about.

    Semper Maria!

    And get off my lawn.

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