What to Do When Someone Blocks Your Building Gate with His/Her Car- A Collaborative Primer

Among situations that cause instant angst, perhaps none stokes my temper as much as finding my building gate blocked by a car that prevents me from leaving or entering, depending on whether I am going out or coming back home.
This is the time when most of us will completely lose it and try to do something really drastic to teach the erring driver a permanent and brain-searing lesson.
Things like…
1. Take a sharp instrument (usually a key) and run it across the length of the car to create a nice, long signature scratch in the shiny paint. Does anyone remember Woman in Red or the recent Aamir Khan commercial?
2. With all your force, kick the side door as hard as possible to make a big dent. Take care not to injure your foot in the bargain.
3. Deliberately, change your car’s position and then reverse the bumper edge into the side door. Try to inflict as little damage to your own bumper as possible.
These however are vicious acts that can have their own unfortunate consequences. To see if there were gentler methods of punishment that could perhaps be more effectively employed, I polled my friends on Facebook for their thoughts and opinions. The suggestions below are a typical example of present-day collaborative thinking and writing, each writer/friend acknowledged by his/her initials. The words in italics, both above and below represent my own additional thoughts.
4. Deflate tyres (BJ). This is the most obvious, but leaves the car still standing there and therefore works only if have an alternate way of getting out or in.
5. Park cars on either side of the “blocking” car and box it in (AS). This may not always be possible, since we have to arrange for at least one more car, but it seems to be a good idea if we can make it work.
6. Put sand and stones in the petrol tank (FV). The problem here is that the petrol tanks in most cars are locked and can only be opened from the inside.
7. Paint the car (AM) and/or spray paint “Don’t Block Gate” on that car (STG). The only problem here is that most of us in Mumbai don’t keep paint cans at home.
8. Force the window open and empty the garbage from the entire building into the car (JS). Lovely, dirty idea, but if I was that good at opening locked car windows, I could just as well put the car in neutral and push it away.
9. Get four dogs and let them do their job (SF). Four dogs…in Mumbai? Plus, we have to wait till the erring driver shows up.
And then as usual, the most sensible and calm suggestion came from two women (AM and RS)
10. Call the cops and ask them to tow the car away and pay for the towing. This may cost a bit, but it’s probably the best way to get revenge without losing your own temper. According to AM, this works all the time and the cops usually land up without fail in about 10 minutes and sometimes faster if you express some anger while speaking with them. What is really gratifying though, is that most of the times, the person whose car has been towed away gets really hysterical and angry and this can be an amazingly soothing balm for our angry souls.

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