A Study in Pranking, Trickery, and Other Shenanigans: The Driveway Squatter

gate The very important Dictionary.com defines a prank as “a trick of an amusing, playful, or sometimes malicious nature.” As someone who has a disposition that is amusing, playful, and sometimes malicious (I promise, I’m not a horrible person), naturally, I love pulling pranks or just messing with people in general. These posts will chronicle my journey on the path to trickery Zen.

I live in an apartment complex that is gated. There’s a driveway for residents where we can use our clickers to open the gate and speed to our parking spots and then apartments. But there’s also a side driveway with a keypad so visitors can call the people they’re visiting, said resident can open the gate, and the visitor can come inside and park her/his car. This is a genius but simple concept to create a separate driveway for visitors so they don’t block the way for other residents as they wait to be let in.

Most visitors do like they’re supposed to. Thank you, mindful visitors! Others idle in the resident driveway.

These idlers either 1. Don’t understand the simple concept of two different driveways, or 2. Don’t give a hoot and inconvenience residents, forcing residents to let them into the complex. Signs point to the latter.

Because I’m paying to live somewhere that has a gate, I deserve the security (or semblance of) a gate can provide, which includes keeping out the creeps. If you skip the visitor driveway and don’t have a clicker, I’m going to assume that you’re a run-of-the-mill creep whose motivations are nefarious. In other words: sketchy.

I never let resident driveway squatters into the complex. I simply wait until they turn around and take their rightful spot in the visitor driveway…or they weasel their way in the exit after a car leaves the apartments. Sometimes, the squatter just squats, and by consequence, so do I.

On day, one of my roommates and I were stuck behind a frequent squatter in a nice, silver sedan. He kept inching forward, assuming that the entrance gate works on the same automatic system as the exit gate.

“You need a clicker, a-hole,” my roommate bluntly said to the squatter in the nice, silver sedan.

“Wait, let him get closer to the gate, then open it,” I replied.

We giggled like we were two kids who brought their mom a glass of water when she asked for ice water. See, there’s no ice?! Hehehe. Anyway, he got about a foot away from the gate, and then my roommate used her awesome clicker power.

Because the squatter in the nice, silver sedan squats so often, I’ve decided to play the game: “See how close he’s willing to get this time.” This dance has gone on for a few weeks, equaling four encounters, each ending in him getting incrementally closer to the gate before it magically opens. I imagine the tension mounting in his car as he approaches the gate and the relief he must feel when the gate opens. And we can only guess what will happen when I’m not there with my clicker.

In this case, the prank may be lame and slightly malicious, but I believe that the squatter in the nice, silver sedan proves that a non-resident that uses the resident driveway can be both inconsiderate and unintelligent.

Leslie Michaels is currently a Level 2 improv student at the DCH Training Center. She spends her spare time riding her bicycle, playing Ultimate Frisbee, or hanging out with her boyfriend, Netflix. She still questions whether she’s a dog person or a cat person.

(Image: Antti T. Nissinen/Creative Commons)