Senior parking spot goes viral

Seniors Nathan Labenz and Jacob Shipley came up with the parking spot idea that went viral. They finished painting it at midnight back in August.
Seniors Nathan Labenz and Jacob Shipley came up with the parking spot idea that went viral. They finished painting it at midnight August 15, 2015.

Originally, Senior Nathan Labenz was not going to paint his senior parking spot.

He changed his mind. Little did he know his parking spot idea would become an internet overnight sensation!

“Mrs. Blass gave us summer math packets before school started and we were at Chick-fil-a working on them,” said Labenz, “and then we said ‘Hey, let’s go up to the school and look at parking spots. We were kind of throwing ideas around and thinking about inspirational quotes from music artists. Jacob [Shipley] had the idea, and I modified it.”

Labenz and Shipley decided to paint Labenz’s senior parking spot on August 15th, after the “Back to Grace” gathering, where the school’s athletes were introduced to the school. They finished painting their spot at midnight on the 15th.

They chose to paint Labenz’s spot white with black lettering with the caption “IF YOURE READING THIS IM LATE.” It was inspired by the popular Drake album cover, “IF YOURE READING THIS ITS TOO LATE.”

After posting a picture of the spot on Instagram in mid August, Shipley and Labenz’s picture and idea quickly became famous, with hundreds of thousands of hits.

Their picture was reposted by a Twitter account with 1.7 million followers and has received over 94.5 k likes. It has also been reposted onto Twitter multiple times with 3,000 retweets on average every time it was posted. In fact, the popular sports entertainment group, Dude Perfect, reposted the photo on Facebook with over 5,600 shares and over 153,000 likes https://www.facebook.com/DudePerfect/photos/a.135676076497491.27127.133025843429181/1272774946120926/?type=3&theater.

“It’s definitely been more popular on Twitter than Instagram,” Labenz said. “I don’t even have a Twitter. Some girl drove by from the highway and took a picture and posted it. People just kept retweeting it.”

Despite the social popularity, Labenz and Shipley have gained almost no recognition or followers. Labenz went from a whopping 647 followers to 649.

“I’ve gained two followers and multiple comments on my picture,” said Labenz.

Shipley tops that in terms of nonchalance.

“I haven’t gained any followers,” Shipley said.

Despite an article from a central Texas newspaper that claims two students from Waco came up with the design, these seniors know that they had the creative idea first. Many students throughout the nation have painted their senior spots the same way, inspired by the Drake album cover or this viral post?

Our GPA duo are not upset others have grabbed onto the idea. Either way, they discovered that they have made an impact on and created buzz in a lot of local schools with their idea. Even strangers have seen it!

“Actually, at the volleyball game in Crowley, people [from Crowley] recognized it,” said Labenz. “It was me, Jeff, Jay, and James and we were just sitting by some people who went to that school.”

The boys were surprised that even schools as far away as Crowley had seen their spot.

And still, they continue to remain humble.

“I mean, I wasn’t getting credit, it was just something that I did,” Labenz said.

The parking spot is eye-catching, with a simple, yet hilarious, message that makes a statement.

“It’s something quick, entertaining, and full of pop culture,” said Shipley.

Now, the real question is, why this simple idea? Are Labenz and Shipley often late?

“I mean, I did have lunch detention for four tardies, so I guess so,” laughed Labenz.

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