Many of us have experienced the shame of unbuckling our seatbelt to awkwardly stretch through the car window to grab a ticket from the parking meter - or being forced to vacate the vehicle altogether as smug, spatially aware drivers watch on behind you.
When you face the crushing realisation that the ticket is out of reach, what do you wish for in that moment? Extendable arms à la Inspector Gadget?
Or perhaps, a pair of tongs - a utensil one Australian motorist has hailed as an absolute essential in her vehicle.
Melbourne woman Brittany Nash has prompted both amusement and amazement online after revealing why she always keeps a pair of tongs in her car.
Nash, who has amassed over 167,000 followers on TikTok, took to the platform last week to share her top tip for seamlessly navigating the ticket machines at boom gates while out and about.
Captioning the clip, "My solution to being a bad driver," Nash - brandishing a pair of pink Kmart kitchen tongs - explained why the utensil can be a life-changing tool for drivers who frequently use industrial parking facilities.
"Whenever someone new comes into my car, they're always like, 'Brit, why do you have tongs in your car?' Okay, great question, but I have an even better answer," she said.
"I am notoriously a really bad driver - I've accepted it... you know when you come up to those boom gates for the car park and they've got a little ticket machine? I can never get close enough to the ticket machine, [so I] whip out my handy-dandy little tongs - got the ticket.
"If there's a person behind me, they always laugh at me - I watch them in the rearview mirror - but you know what? I'd rather be that weirdo with the tongs whose lowkey kind of smart, than the person who's unbuckling and opening the door - how embarrassing. Tongs for life."
Nash's video, which has amassed over 342,000 views at the time of writing, has received tens of thousands of likes from impressed and amused commenters, many of whom applauded the young driver for her "genius" and "game-changing" hack.
"I always have to put my car in park, take off my belt and lean out the window or open the door," one admitted, while a friend of Nash's weighed in: "Can confirm you always do this and it's genius."
"This is SO smart," said another, with a fourth exclaiming: "GENIUS!"
"So clever, especially for short people like me," a fifth added, with another agreeing: "As someone who's short, this is genius."
"I am so doing this. Off I go to get some silicone grip tongs," another declared.
"Best idea ever. I have short arms, so always have to unbuckle - or half open the door," a viewer wrote, while one shared that the trick would come in handy at her work due to frequent accidents and "broken boom gates".
In a follow-up video, Nash responded to requests to use her trusty tongs at the McDonald's drive-through. Filming herself approach the Eftpos machine, Nash attempted to use her tongs to PayWave her card - but it didn't exactly go to plan.
"I parked too far away," she shrieked after dropping her card - forcing her to exit the car to pick it up.
"Crying internally," she joked.2023-12-10T23:46:54Z dg43tfdfdgfd