Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Welcome to Thunderdome (a.k.a. The Harkins Parking Lot)


(Editor’s Note from Patrick:  You may notice that this post is written by a guy named Royce.  This “Royce” is Royce Young from DailyThunder.  Starting today, he is going to bless everyone with a weekly column at The Lost Ogle.  In return for this token of awesomeness, Clark Matthews’ inquisitive and insightful “Peace, Love and Thunderstanding” is now moving to DailyThunder.  You can read this week’s PL&T by clicking here.

In all honesty, this situation is kind of bitter sweet.  We’re losing a popular feature from our site (bitter), but replacing it with a weekly column from one of our state’s most talented bloggers (sweet).  Hopefully, everyone will like it.  If you’re skeptical, consider this fact: Jim Traber dislikes Royce Young almost as much as he dislikes The Lost Ogle.  Considering Royce doesn’t own any type of cardboard cutouts of Jim Traber, that’s saying something.

Anyway, enjoy the new feature.  And as Bob Barry Jr. would say, “Hooters!”

I really like going to movies downtown. The atmosphere is cool, the Cine Capri is awesome and by still using my student ID even though I graduated last December, I get tickets cheaper than anywhere else, sans Tinseltown. (I’ll pay an extra two bucks to avoid a bomb threat.) It’s all very wonderful.

But one aspect of the Harkins experience is not very wonderful.

If I am going to let’s say, an eight o’clock movie, I need to arrive to the theater at six so that maybe I’ll have the chance to get a parking spot that’s within two miles of the front door. Look, I’m not parking in that damn lot that’s back behind Bass Pro. I’m just not. It’s the principle of the matter. What’s that? They have a shuttle I can ride? See, I drove a car so that I wouldn’t have to be shoved up against some slightly overweight guy that covered his entire body in Axe Body Spray, even if it’s just for three minutes. No thanks on the bus ride. And I’m not parking in the lot where you use your ticket to get out for free. I’m too dumb to remember to save my ticket and I’d have to pay the five anyway. So don’t even suggest that.

So I’m that guy that’s circling the lot for 30 minutes, following on the heels of some elderly couple as they SLOWLY walk away from the theater, hoping I nab their spot. And once they walk past The Point I Deem Too Far, I inevitably curse them for parking too far away. Screw that you old people. That’s too far. I can do better.

I love circling over and over and making “friends” with other spot hunters. It’s like you’re all part of a team. You drive by each other making that frustrated face like, “Heh heh, can’t find a spot here, heh heh heh.” But when one of your “friends” finally lands their White Whale, you immediately think “F them. That should’ve been my spot.” And when you’re one car late and they get it right in front of you, you briefly consider slashing their tires when they walk away.

The parking lot at Harkins is like a steel cage death match. We’re all sitting in our vehicles, tightly gripping the steering wheels staring at other motorists like we haven’t eaten for two weeks and they’re our one chance at sustenance. Then some white lights come on and like a shark smelling blood, we all go nuts trying to get the spot. Small child in the way? No bother. Gimme that spot.

And you’ve always got that one douche sack that is coming down the lane opposite of you and puts his blinker on like two hundred yards back. Yeah, like I’m going to just give you that spot because you’ve got your blinker on.

Some Harkins Lot Blinker Rules:

1. You have to be sitting completely stationary with the blinker on to get the spot.

2. If two people arrive at the same time and both put their blinkers on, the spot is decided by which way the existing car backs out. One of the hunters will be “presented” the spot based on which way the car comes out.

2a. If you both pull up at the same time and neither has their blinker on, the spot goes to the first one to put it on. (I love doing that. It’s like your car is giving the guy the finger. You want this spot? BOOM!!! How do you like that BLINKER?)

3. If you are sitting stationary with your blinker on adhering to all stated rules and some Johnny Douche snakes in and takes your spot, you are absolutely justified in getting out and screaming at him and/or breaking his windshield with a tire iron. When the cop shows up, just explain that the guy thieved your spot. The cop will understand and give HIM a ticket. He will.

The worst are the people that park at Harkins, but aren’t going to a movie, unless of course I’m the one doing it. I’m not paying for parking downtown. You kidding me? That’s like five bucks. Like George Costanza, it’s not in the blood. So yeah, I’ll park at Harkins and walk all the way to Abuelo’s. My wife and her high heels aren’t happy about it but I’M NOT PAYING, YOU MONEY-GRUBBING JACKALS. But if somebody else is doing it, eff you. I’m a paying customer for this theater. And you’re in my spot!

One parting word of wisdom: Do not, I repeat DO NOT, try and go to a movie at Harkins when the Thunder’s season kicks off. Evidently, a lot of people think like me and park there and make the walk to the Ford Center. The lot’s more stuffed than Jim Traber’s face after a trip to Mackey McNeer’s. If you want a spot there you’ll have to camp out like you’re getting football tickets. Or maybe bring a gun or something. Two cars enter. One car parks.


  1. I hate when you “follow a ghost”.
    You follow someone who walks down a lane for so long, and then suddenly they walk between cars into the next lane, and leaving you there following nobody.

  2. I like the blinker rule. In fact, I’m all for whatever rules it takes to convince people that using your turn signal is not a voluntary part of driving. For instance, if someone comes to a complete stop in traffic to make a turn and THEN turns on their blinker, I think the person behind them in traffic should be given the option of trading them cars. “Oh Mr. Leftturn in the Jaguar, I present you my Hyundai and shall take your keys. Think about that next time you make someone slam on their breaks.”

  3. What? No “biggest vehicle wins” rule? That’s the one I always go by.

    I try to go by the “Hell’s Angel on Harley wins” rule as well.

  4. The parking lot over by the Chase building is pretty good for the Thunder games once the weather turns bad.

    Its covered and the second floor has a walkway that goes through the hotel and Cox Convention Center to leave you with just a short run across Reno from Cox’s South doors.

  5. Welcome Royce. Glad to have you aboard! I have a feeling the core to shore program will offer some more parking in the area around Harkens and Toby Keith’s once the I-40 cross-town is brought down to ground level. There’s quite a bit of real estate to work with there. Until then, let’s all just continue making fun of Sir Dookstain McTraber. Here’s a nice picture of him and his true love, Steve Hunt.


  6. @Royce let give you a suggestion. This topic is one of the reason’s I had a child. I enjoy the pizza at Falcones. I go ahead and pull in the lot and stop by the handi-capable ramp. Walk up the ramp and across the bridge to consume some tomato magic on crust. Oh yeah… Where my son comes in is, When I go to get some pepperoni deliciousness, my 13 year old takes over behind the wheel learning the ins and outs of throwing the bird and giving menacing looks behind the wheel. Some might say this is reckless parenting….. I say, SCREW YOU I’m eatin pizza! Yup, he’s lucky to have a Dad like me, always thinking of his future. Making him a stronger kid mentally and physically. The later due to the occasional parking lot tussle. That’s right @Royce I just gave you a golden nugget… a little gem to stick in your pocket for a future date….. your welcome! Double entendre again, DAMN I’m good.

  7. When I was young, my Dad would circle round and round for a parking spot, and it drove me absolutely insane. So, as a result, I’m not one of those guys. Usually If I’m going to a grocery store, I just park in the back of the lot. More exercise for me, less chance of my car getting hit my shopping carts, better for people who can’t walk long distances. So, I’ll leave that parking shark stuff to you guys. I park at Bass Pro like 100% of the time, there’s always spots there.

    But, I totally understand you parking closer. I’m 18, so I obviously don’t have a wife in heels to worry about, or kids, or older people. I assume that as life moves on, parking becomes more of a priority. But, for now, it’s back of the lot for me.

  8. @CuatrodeMayo i agree.

    if someone is trolling behind me when i’m walking through a parking lot, i will just hang out until they leave because it pisses me off. and one of the perks of being a big guy is that people don’t say sh*t.

    there’s only a few more pathetic situations in life than pulling in a parking lot behind a particular car, parking in the back, and walking right past their car in the isle of the lot, because they are just sitting there with their blinker on, waiting for someone to leave. it’s laziness to the nth degree.

    that falls shortly after those people who shop at wal-mart and park in the area in the front of each row, where there are white lines painted on the lot. seriously? i know people who got their aging parents to get 2 handicap mirror thingies, so that they could have one to use at places like wal-mart and Bricktown.

    there are a ton of free places to park in downtown OKC, all within a 10 minute walk of the ball park. and nothing we eat in Bricktown will be healthy, so maybe the 10 minute walk [each way] will burn 100 or so of the 3k calories that we all consume when eating there.

  9. I drop my wife and kid off at the Ford Center, scoring some chivalry points, and then park over by the old Kerr-McGee building. The bright side of parking so far away is that I don’t have to deal with the crazy traffic after the game. The downside is that I typically end up carrying the ClarkPupp the whole way after the game and have to worry some homeless person will shank us as we pass by the plethora of alleys along the way. But, I get to keep the $2 I would have spent to get in the Santa Fe garage and walk through the skyway.

  10. I’m so glad so many goons in Oklahoma City have such an aversion to parallel parking and walking. This means there’s always a free parking space for me within a few blocks of my destination when I go downtown at night.

    Of course, this also means that we have more surface parking than we have stuff to do.

  11. @zorgon

    You’re 18, so obviously, you don’t have a wife or kids in tow? Lol. You do know this is Oklahoma right? This is the great state (don’t get me wrong, I love it…) where 26 year olds say they they’re divorced so as to not appear socially retarded (pardon the term) because they weren’t married within a year of high school.

    Oh and as for the long walks… I generally only park in the Bass Pro lot if it’s raining and I have a good walk ahead of me. Usually because I’m late.

  12. I agree with Bo.

    Bass Pro Shop is prime real estate for parking, and wasting time while waiting for a show/game/friend to get his stupid toaster sandwich at sonic.

  13. I’m with Zorgon. I’m not that young (34), but I’ve learned to avoid the kind of stress that comes with competitive parking.

  14. Whoot, whoot, I love Bricktown! But I’d like to know who’s in charge of deciding where to place a parking lot. It seems that by now someone would think of constructing another multi-level parking garage, like the one behind the Bricktown Ballpark, a garage lot somewhere actually within Bricktown. Bricktown promoters are always suggesting “to park in the vast many spots we offer”, but I really don’t want to park behind some building in the ghetto, ten blocks from my destination, just because it’s “now paved”, FOR FREE. C’mon man, I’ve got four small children in tow…..

  15. i’m a fan, don’t get me wrong. but with the city’s success, so comes the woes of parking downtown -as with all of the other mid and large size cities in the world. i can’t take it when people complain that they have to walk a couple of blocks to get to a downtown destination, drives me crazy.

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