I have plenty of crackpot theories, mostly I use them to torture the kids (bacon prevents swine flu, Chick-fil-a prevents bird flu, etc.)
But I have a much less crazy theory, my Theory of Traffic Cones.
It works like this. People won’t move a traffic cone. Even if it doesn’t look like any work is being done, no one wants a piano dropped on their car. The cartoons we saw as children convinced us that pianos are lifted to the 3rd floor all the time and regularly fall. Parking cones prevent this. We are also afraid that our car will get run over by a steamroller, towed to a junkyard three blocks down from hell, or smashed by firefighters to get at a burning building, all because we moved a cone and parked in the spot. None of this is rational, which is why the theory of traffic cones works.
I mean a traffic cone, Not the little six in soccer practice cones. Big cones, with reflective tape and a little dirt, work better. If the cone has an official stencil that’s a plus, as long as it’s relevant. A stencil from another city is a negative not a positive. Something like Public Works, that’s a winner.
Throw the cone in your trunk and park. When you leave, pull out, drop the cone and drive away. no one will move it. When you come back, the traffic cone goes back in the trunk. This is perfect for hard-to-park places like college dorms, crowded apartments, etc. Places you regularly go back to where you need to save a spot.
Don’t make this too obvious. Move around some and pick different spaces occasionally when you can get away with it. You can also save your cone for when it’s really important, like saving a parking space near the front at work when you have a big presentation the next day.
It’s a hack. A weird life hack. People are afraid to move a traffic cone they know nothing about. A flashing barricade or a barrel will work as well, a cone is just easier. Use it to your advantage.