Tyrades! by Danny Tyree
The concept of “parking” loses most of its mystique as you get past the giddy days of a freshly minted driver’s license and shoulder the responsibilities of adulthood.
Where “parking” once meant steamy windows at Inspiration Point, it comes to mean drudgery, unpleasant surprises and keeping your “Spidey sense” in overdrive while navigating.
When I googled “I hate parking lots,” a high percentage of the conversational threads focused primarily on drivers’ concerns for their pristine vehicles – and the “dings” and arrows of outrageous fortune.
One of the dangers indirectly involves butterflies. A butterfly can flap its wings on the other side of the world and cause dozens of abandoned shopping carts to stalk your unsuspecting vehicle. The danger is magnified if the cart has ever held a paperback or DVD of Stephen King’s “Christine” - it gets delusions of grandeur.
Don’t get me started on the inconsiderate sluggards who abandoned the carts in the first place. What good does it do them to shop at the health food store (for example) if it’s such an ordeal to follow a task through to completion? (“You mean I have to get the capsules all the way onto my tongue??? And then swallow??? Don’t they have people hired to do that for me???”)
Car-to-car damage is another area of concern. My 2010 Altima is showing its age, so I am not so much concerned about being on the receiving end of scuffs and scratches. But my nerves stay on red alert from the prospects of damaging someone else’s conveyance and dealing with all the hassle of police reports, insurance and moral dilemmas. (Should I skedaddle without leaving a note, or listen to a meltdown such as “That sweet, innocent bumper was the only thing I had to remind me of my fifth husband”?)
Aren’t you sick of tight squeezes? If I’m paying attention, suck in my gut and go limp, I can usually get in or out of my car without banging into anything. But what about families with a backseat full of impetuous children? If the parents don’t sedate the kids before they arrive, it’s a door-swinging episode of “Wham! Bam!” without a hint of “Thank you, ma’am.”
I could certainly unleash a few uncivil words on the civil engineers who read the entrails of salamanders and divine the “optimal” width for parking spaces. Or maybe it’s more a mixture of mathematics and philosophy, as in crossing calculus with “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?”
Apparently, these designers think you’re supposed to exit your vehicle via an ejector seat. But most people who could afford an ejector seat are going to be hanging out at Casino Royale, not Bubba’s Bait Basement.
Let’s not forget the scourge known as pedestrians. Even without the distraction of cellphones, they are oblivious to traffic as they come meandering, skipping, stumbling, cartwheeling out of the stores and offices. They’re certainly clueless about the presence of their impulsive young children. (“Oh, did I bring you?”) Yeah, I’m talking to you, lady. The dangling umbilical cord should’ve been your first clue.
Ah, maybe I’m being too judgmental. Perhaps I should walk a mile in the shoes of those who have roused my ire.
That’s half the distance I must walk to the front door after securing a “safe” parking spot far from the demolition derby.
Copyright 2022 Danny Tyree, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
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