Talladega Parking Lots

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my view yesterday…

A woman nearly front-ended me yesterday. I was coming down the aisle of the parking lot (car park for the Brits) in my Toyota, when this hip looking, young blonde woman careened around the corner. She slammed on her brakes when she saw me, waved apologetically, and then veered off around the next corner.

I’ve been wanting to say this to the world for a long time now:

IT’S A PARKING LOT. NOT A RACETRACK.

There are a couple of jobs everybody should have as a mandatory part of growing up and becoming a responsible citizen. One of them is the Parking Lot Attendant. You know those people you see pushing around carts (buggies, trollies, baskets…). They’re the people you get mad at when there’s no cart in the corral when you want one…

I was a parking lot attendant for a year. And I learned was that people drive way too fast in parking lots. The way motorists whip around those tight, blind corners you’d think they were at the grand prix. Otherwise decent folk cut off pedestrians, security guards, and other motorists for a parking spot.

Today’s example was in the middle of the day. Myself and the young lady in question were probably the only people under 55 in that parking lot. Now if everyone had been young, athletic, and wearing one of those Accelerator Suits from the 1st GI Joe movie (I confess I saw it, and I will never get those hours back…) we might be able to assume that any given pedestrian could jump out of the way of a careening car. But as it is, 90% of the people in that parking lot were seniors—and, I might add, not wearing Accelerators.

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Accelerators

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Accelerators not getting hit by a car.

At another time of day, you might have young families with children. Children, I would like to remind you, have not yet developed the maturity and cynicism necessary to deal with other people’s psycho.

When I was a lot attendant I watched as someone literally backed up into a man. The good news is: he was fine. But he had a wife and two little girls with him. What if it had been one of his daughters that got hit?

Now, readers. You’re probably like me. You’re reading this and thinking, “How stupid! Driving fast in a parking lot!” The problem is… we all do it. I used to do it.

I did it right up until my job made me spend 30 minutes walking around the battlefields we call parking lots.

Why do we do it? Not because we’re bad people. Not because we want to hurt anyone. But  because we’re looking for that oh-so-coveted golden Parking Space of Eternal Happiness. your name here parkingWe are only thinking about finding the best spot possible and getting into the store as soon as possible. And we don’t want to have to park near the back of the lot because then we might have to *gasp* walk!

But walking is good for you… and so is not hitting children, the elderly, living beings in general, or other people’s cars.

ANNNND! The parking space near the front is not always worth it anyway. I’ve literally watched a person put on their blinker and sit there and wait (blocking traffic), while some customer whose car was parked near the front was loading their groceries into the trunk. I walked all the way to the back of the parking lot, collected a line of carts, pushed them all the way to the front… and the person was STILL waiting (blocking traffic)! In the time they spent waiting for the Parking Space of Eternal Happiness, they could have driven to the back, parked, goofed around, got out of their car, walked to the store AND started shopping. All without blocking traffic!

Accelerator Suits don’t exist. Please slow down in parking lots. It’s not worth killing someone.

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About doctornogrod

Daniel Cossette is a writer, actor, dancer, and mime originally from CT, USA. He's been writing, producing, and acting in scripts since jr. high. At Mimeistry International, Pasadena, CA he double-majored in Mime and Theology. Afterwards he founded Ambassador Arts and produced the shows Say It Louder! and Christmivest, including all original stories; he danced with Ad Deum Dance Company, Houston, TX, and eventually moved to England where works with Springs Dance Company, and directs Infusion Physical Theatre. He is married to a long time friend from the mime school, and currently resides in Cambridge, England.
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2 Responses to Talladega Parking Lots

  1. Rachel says:

    I can relate, not so much in parking lots but other places. Seeing how I drive all day for work, I’ve had a few very ‘laughable’ moments, usually after the fact. One time I was waiting behind a lady at a gas pump. When she was done, she put her SUV in reverse and promptly backed into me. Apparently those little reflective things they put on the sides and oh yes, even in the middle of your vehicle that allow you to see behind are fogging up. Another time I was loading flowers into the passenger side of my car on a one-way street, someone pulled into the space behind me and quite literally kept driving slowly until they hit my car. It was one of those moments I wanted to turn around, thump her hood and yell “I’m standin’ here! I’m standin’ here!” Instead I looked at her, gestured to my bumper and gave her a ‘what-gives’ movement…to which she replied by pulling out of her space, driving around my car and pulling into the space a few cars ahead of me…she got out, locked her car and walked into a store. Not so much as a how-do-you-do-I-think-I-may-have-just-commited-a-hit-and-run. 🙂

  2. LA says:

    I’m sure I’m guilty of going faster than I should from time to time. But I try to be ware of my speed and care in such places (well, elsewhere, too…). Just last week I had a guy in a hurry back into my car as I was backing up. I was being slow and cautious (especially because I was in a bigger car than I’m used to) and when I looked to see if I was clear to back up, I saw this man just reaching his car door to get in. He’d been walking swiftly and must have been in a hurry because when I had just reached the point where I was clear of the cars on either side of me (did I mention these were tight spots?) BAM! And what upset me most at the time was that he was still rushed and wanting to get out of there and implied I was at fault for backing into him. I was in a BIG RED vehicle that was nearly out of my spot when he hit me… and I had looked to see if I was clear and clearly saw him just approaching his vehicle. *sigh* And that jarring jolt – which was more than it should have been for someone going appropriately slow when backing out in a parking lot – incited my back/shoulder to even more inflammation and has caused pain and limited use of my arm this week. *sigh*

    All that to say… well said. I heartily agree.

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