Saturday, February 10, 2007

Don't even THINK about putting the car in reverse.

What is it about people backing into parking spaces? Why, oh why, must they torment me so? I know they're probably just trying to be all efficient so that they can just pull right out later on, but I posit that it's actually more time consuming and more difficult to back in.

This week, for example, in the Whole Foods parking lot, I came around the corner and was confronted by an elderly couple backing in their Oldpeoplemobile. It was probably a beige Buick or possibly a maroon Oldsmobile or something equally American and lame. You know what kind of car I'm talking about. Because this old couple felt the need to back into their parking space, they stopped traffic in every direction, including all movement in front of the store. Seriously. There was no movement anywhere except for the visible sighing of numerous drivers trying not ot scream with frustration. As soon as I saw what was going on, the first words out of my mouth were, "What a couple of dumb asses." Then it occurred to me that perhaps they weren't dumb asses after all. Perhaps Mr. and Mrs. Whitehair were actually a geriatric Bonnie and Clyde and therefore it was necessary for them to back in s-l-o-w-l-y now so that they could make a quick getaway later after they robbed the grocery store. So that would make them very smart.

Yeah, that explains it.

Another example from a recent trip to our recycling center: I don't know what it is about the recycling center that makes people want to back into the spaces, but they do. I should explain that the recycling center is basically a narrow alley with a single row of parking on one side and then the dumpsters beyond. It's pretty tight in there even when it's not crowded. When you pull into a parking space, the front of your car is just a couple of feet from the recyling dumpsters. I'm sure that the people who back into the spaces here are trying to save themselves extra steps by having the backs of their vehicles closest to the dumpsters. But you know what? The extra exercise won't hurt anyone, but *I* might hurt someone. The last time I went, I was behind a woman in a humongeous SUV. She pulled just past the gates, stopped, and threw the vehicle in reverse. It was an 11-point turn to get that behemoth into the parking space just so. I'm so glad she took the extra time to get things just right, because the four minutes she spent doing it surely saved herself about two minutes dealing her recycling. But I won't factor in the four minutes of time she wasted for me, the people in the FIVE cars behind me, or the THREE cars on her other side -- all of us stuck and unmoving because of this nitwit.

So I don't get these people at all.

Since I spent four hours on the highway yesterday, I could also go off on those idiots who drive almost exclusively in the left lane, when we all know that the right lane is for driving and the left lane is for passing. But I can't, because as I was driving home, doing a brisk 72 MPH in a 65 zone, a car zipped past me so fast my car practically rocked in its wake. I'm guessing the driver -- a bottle-blonde female in an SUV -- was doing at least 80. In the left lane -- where she sat for as long as she was in my range of vision. Which was for a while -- because I decided to speed up a bit and follow her. How do I know it was a bottle-blonde female and why did I follow her? Because it was my sister and I wanted to narc on her to our mother for speeding. Even though we're both in our 30s and long past living with our parents. And I should be past such childish tattling.

But I can't rat her out for speeding. Because I had just changed lanes and neglected to use my blinker. Why? I was driving with one hand and eating with the other and I didn't want to drop my food. I think that was at least two driving offenses. I should have been talking on the phone just to make it a triumvirate.


Hi Mom! :-)

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