Saturday, March 13, 2010

Parking Problems

Since my existence as a mom requires me to spend approximately 63.879% of my life in my minivan (or in the case of this weekend, 89%) I witness a lot of bad, and I mean bad, driving. The most frustrating thing is that while some people are just naturally bad drivers, it seems that the majority of people that drive like shit do so because they obviously just don't care. They don't care that there are other people around them that would like to get to their destination without being run over, smashed into, cut-off, run into the median, or killed. These inconsiderate drivers are usually guilty of one, if not all, of the following:
  • Texting, updating Facebook status, Twittering, checking basketball scores or emailing while occasionally looking up to see where they're going. Limiting these activities to when they're sitting at a stoplight doesn't help because then they never notice when the light turns green.
  • Talking on the phone. I'm not referring to every phone call because obviously sometimes an emergency comes up that requires a 30 second conversation. I'm referring to those conversations that are clearly not about anything other than holy shit can you believe what Bonnie wore to the PTO meeting last night I can't believe anyone would own earrings like that and what are you bringing to the Bunco party on Friday and isn't Bonnie's kid stupid? Personally, my favorite thing to see is when these women are holding the phone with one hand and then use the other hand to either wave at someone they know who is driving by or make hand gestures that accompany the conversation.
  • Cruising down the freeway in the left lane, but then they suddenly realize that they need to exit. So instead of dealing with their error by taking the next exit and turning around they decide to slam on their brake, say fuck you to everyone else on the road and cut across three lanes of traffic so that they don't miss the exit. Inevitably, these morons are usually on the phone or have an ear piece hanging off of their head, and that's a thousand times more annoying than if they were just not paying attention.
  • When the Buick in front of me is only going 40 mph at the bottom of the entrance ramp (And there is nothing I can do about this. Believe me, I've tried.) and the car behind me is not only right on my ass honking like a lunatic, but thinks that maybe I don't really want to be on the freeway, so they try to merge into traffic before me.
  • Failure to perform the difficult task of using a turn signal, usually because one hand is busy holding a phone and the other one is busy making a hand gesture. Guess what: I can make a hand gesture too.
  • Driving 53 mph in the left lane. This is usually because the driver's brain is only able to do one task at a time and of course the most important task at the moment is not driving the car, it's the phone conversation about Bonnie.
Sadly, the idiocy does not go away once the car is put into park. There are obviously some people who seem to think that the other cars in the parking lot are there to act as a suggestion as to where they should park -- kind of like safety cones -- but without being neither orange, cone-shaped nor moveable. My husband's car was recently mistaken for a safety cone but, unlike a malleable slab of orange thermoplastic, his car did not snap back into shape. At least the person that didn't know how to park and hit Doug's car was kind enough to leave a note. Just because Doug never actually found an apology note anywhere near or on his car, I'm sure that this person was moral enough to leave a note and it just happened to blow away. Or was eaten by zombies.

Two excuses that this idiot could have used are: the downtown Minneapolis parking lots are tight and until recently, the surface of this particular lot has been solid ice. Still no excuse for a dent-and-run, but I'm sure that Doug's car is not the only one that suffered an unclaimed gouge this winter.

Since most of my parking lot adventures take place in uncrowded suburban lots with plenty of space between the lines, I have no trouble maneuvering my minivan into spots without hitting other cars and kind of despise people that can't park and knowingly take up two spaces. Sort of like this person:

The sweet, forgiving side of me thought that maybe they had to park like this in order to avoid hitting the car on the passenger side. Uh, no, that was not the case. Four feet away from the other side of this car was the decorative, rock-and-shrub-filled curb.

I don't know if this driver is also responsible for shoving the blue shopping cart into the car across from it, but I'm going to go ahead and assume that they are.


Val said...

I've been thinking about getting a giant display for my car, in which I can give detailed instructions to other drivers behaving like idiots/assholes. I've also been thinking about printing a series of pamphlets to leave on people's cars. My biggest beef is people taking up too much space when they parallel park - e.g. 3 cars taking up the space of 4. Other beef: honking at me to turn left, when there are clearly pedestrians crossing the street. Wow. I could go on. Maybe I need to see a therapist about this.

Amy said...

I hate when cars park so close to you that you can't get in your car. There's been times where I have to crawl through the passenger side--WITH two kids who need to get in their carseats. I'd also really appreciate if sometimes, just sometimes people realized that there is more than just one speed limit.

Jane said...

This post reminds me of the "Life 8 Feet Up" blog by Dale the Truck driver. He drives a semi around the twin cities and has a dash mounted camera to take pictures of all the idiots. Sadly, he has not updated in quite a while.

DeeDee said...

Dale the Truck Driver apparently has a new link...

RT said...

Every time I go to Costco I feel homicidal. Between stupid people and their cars in the parking lot and morons with shopping carts, I am surprised there hasn't been bloodshed.