Why We Fire Up The Flame Thrower Now And Then...

We got a comment from someone complaining about our flaming some bad behavior on the blog. I didn’t want to post the comment because it brings out the trolls, but here is our thoughtful response.

Our number-one job as Thugs is to protect and sustain the event. This means us thinking about safety issues, event sustainability, (not to be confused with that, “sustain issue” that requires pills). We protect the event sometimes in a manner that seems, well, harsh.

Let’s walk down the little parade of decision points people have in front of them to stop, ponder, and absorb rules we ask people to follow, and the resulting consequence of ignoring our mini parade floats of what we think are good ideas.

  1. We first post our rules all over our site and we write them with good humor so people read the darn things. We track how many read our rules just to make sure.

  2. We hand out friendly etiquette cards when cars come in. We’ve handed out thousands so far.

  3. We post reminders here on the blog…again and again…and well, again.

  4. We stand at the corners and the median telling people to not go out hot, and we’ve directed traffic to other exits. The median can be a bit terrifying, especially when someone lets your mom out.

  5. We’ve asked Redmond PD to assist us and they do, when they are not on a call. But, some still ignore all that and don’t get the message that we really do mean it.

  6. We individually ban cars when we know who they are and have their contact info. Those are the ones you don’t see. If we know someone who knows the individual, we do it that way.

  7. As a consequence, we also drive by their house playing Barry Manilow really loud.

People are surprised by how swiftly we act, and sometimes consider that, “harsh.” We’re rather error on harsh and have someone mad at us, over someone thinking we’ll get over it, and physically harm a spectator on exit. It only takes one. I encourage you to Googlify all the other events around the US and how they eventually shut down because of bad behavior. Yes, they just move the event elsewhere sometimes because they were kicked out, but unless you’re on this stuff, the same bad behavior follows you to the next location, each one a little worse than the last. Sort of like dates in college.

So you don’t like the blog…but did you die? Did, you, die? The answer is no, so continue…

We have a couple of choices, given we’re all volunteers. We can kill the whole event entirely. After all, none of us are paid to do this. We could ignore the problem of a few, in which case someone could get hurt, or get enough complaints that the mall decides it’s not worth the hassle. All of those things kill it for everyone. We tried being nice; see steps 1 through 7 again. Okay, step 1 through 6. Skip 7.

Rather than complain about our flaming a few, help us keep the bad behavior from happening in the first place. You’re otherwise just virtue signaling and not helping us solve the bad behavior of a few. It’s not like we’re asking you for a kidney. Pitch in!

We’re the beloved parking Thugs for a reason and we’re here to make the best event possible but we’ve been tough on rattle-waving diaper babies from the week we began. It’s how we got our lovely name. If you don’t like how harsh we are to some people, then do us a giant favor, and you do the work and find your own way to monkey-stomp those who behave badly, and we won’t have to flame them, then we’re all good. We’d much rather talk about cars, or our love of pastries, or even share mildly embarrassing stories about each other.

Let’s look at it from an entirely different point of view for a moment. Let’s say we do noting, say nothing, be “nice” about it. Do you honestly think we’ll get results? It’s not worked in the past. We tried! Again, read steps 1 through, okay 6, yeah 7 is admittedly mean. What then if something bad happens? Won’t you be thinking, “Gee, we wish they would have been a little more serious about this and flamed those booger boys when they could…” (Tears streaming as you sob against a tree.)

We love that people write us differences of opinion. That’s a great thing. We welcome the feedback and we will respond as lovingly as possible.

Here, think of it this way. Dealing with this bad behavior is like getting poop on our shoe. This is just us scraping it off.

Don’t forget, we’re not here for commercial purposes. None of us make a buck off this directly or indirectly so we don’t try to appeal to everyone. It’s never been our mission to be all things to all people. We started as a small event, and if people wanted to go elsewhere because they didn’t like the tone, good luck trying this type of event somewhere else, then sustaining it. Meanwhile, we’ll keep the flame thrower ready to go as long as the behavior persists. It’s our way of protecting you…