Dear Secret Diary, the above photo is of a fire hydrant in New York City. The hydrant is a) real, and b) it has been there for a long time. But not all fire hydrants are old and real. In fact, it turns out that some fire hydrants are magic, or at least they seem to be magic.
1) One fellow I know went to college in a place where parking spots were extremely hard to find. Once he was able to find a spot, his brilliant solution entailed carrying around his OWN fire hydrant (made of rubber) and putting it on the sidewalk when he vacated his parking spot. Seeing the hydrant and wanting to avoid being ticketed, others wouldn’t park in his now empty spot. Therefore, his spot would available when he returned. When he returned to park in “HIS spot”, he would simply place the fire hydrant in his trunk, repeating the cycle when next it was time to vacate his spot. Yup: wash, rinse, repeat!
2) Another fellow I know parked in a legal spot (i.e. no hydrant), only to return a day or two later, find a newly installed (and real) hydrant next to his car, and a parking ticket on his windshield for illegally parking next to a hydrant. Abracadabra, and Ouch!