!!!Things That REALLY Piss Me Off
(…also known as the killing fields!) 
For whatever reason, parking lots are where humans have chosen to exhibit not just their hostility and stupidity, but also their ignorance and total lack of humanity to other humans. When you park in any parking lot now days the odds are pretty good that you’ll have an SUV parked next to you on at least one side, if not both. SUVs are essentially opaque walls mounted on wheels with engines in them. When you try to back out of a parking space while parked next to an SUV, it’s like looking down a tunnel because your peripheral visibility is significantly narrowed, to say the least. Whenever I’m parked next to an SUV I make it a point to back out very slowly one sixteenth of an inch at a time because I can’t see if another car is coming down the aisle. And when I’m finally almost fully backed out of the space and can see past the neighboring SUVs, it’s not at all uncommon to have to slam on the breaks to avoid hitting a car, or even a pedestrian, who is rushing to get by me even though I’m now almost fully backed out into the aisle.   

There are days when I wish I was driving an old car so that I could just say “fuck it” and slam into drivers who insist on risking an accident rather than take their turn and allowing me to back out fully into the aisle. Similarly, pedestrians must think that they’re invincible because they show no fear of walking in back of a car backing out of a parking space even though the driver of that vehicle may have little or no rear peripheral view and could quite easily run them over without ever having seen them. For whatever reason, when it comes to their interactions with cars, pedestrians think that they automatically have the right of way regardless of the circumstances. But what they don’t take into account is that if I can’t see you, I can’t yield to you (even if I want to!). So I’m just going to run you over and on the ride home wonder what that little bump was. For some unknown reason pedestrians have a sense of invincibility because they are convinced that they have “the right of way” regardless of the situation and that that favored status will keep them out of harm’s way. The only thing they really do have the right of way for is to be hit and squished if they don’t begin to watch where the hell they’re going! In fact, that would make a great epitaph…. “I had the right of way!” Or maybe even “I was dead right”!

Another all too common occurrence in parking lots that tends to try my patience has to do with what I referred to previously in the chapter on supermarkets as GPA, geo-positioning awareness. Once again, it’s elderly people who are the main offenders, but this is also an offense that really seems to have no age boundaries. You’re driving down an aisle intently scanning back and forth looking for a parking place that will put you as close to the store entrance as possible. Finally, you spot a decent empty spot, but just as you’re about to make your move toward it two things happen that put your goal in great jeopardy. First of all, at the other end of your aisle a car turns onto your aisle and moves toward you. You can tell immediately that he’s seen the same parking spot you’re headed for, and the race is on to see who gets there first. (If you’re a guy, you understand that it’s like a sport and about pride. Ain’t nobody taking that spot away from me!) But just as you’re about to stand on the accelerator, an old lady slowly pushing a shopping cart on the side of the aisle drifts into the center of the aisle, and since her back is to you she has no idea that she’s blocking your forward progress. If she’d stay exactly in the center you could probably get by her on the right, but rather than stay in the center she looks like she’s doing some sort of evasive military maneuver meandering first right, then left and then back again to the right. Bottom line, you’re stuck behind her traveling at somewhere around a quarter of a mile an hour while the other guy vying for the parking spot claims it and exits his car just in time for you to see him flash a broad victory grin in your direction.

You really want to just run over the old lady, and the only thing stopping you is the number of people around to bear witness who you know would testify against you at your trail (and probably enjoy doing do!). Do you think this same old lady would walk down the middle of a busy road? Of course not because she knows she’d be a big splat on someone’s hood in no time, so why do it in a busy parking lot? I’ll tell you why, and it’s the reason they make glass navels (belly buttons)….so that people that walk around with their heads up their asses can see where they’re going! I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the old lady and the guy that got your parking spot are actually related and she was a planted decoy! Don’t you just hate conspiracies?

And while we’re talking about parking lots, here’s one more thing. I have absolutely zero tolerance for those people who abuse the use of handicapped parking spaces. Handicapped permits and placards were put in place specifically to make life a little easier for people who have a genuine handicap that significantly limits their mobility and ability to ambulate. Contrary to the belief and practice of a few ignorant people, they are not there to be used by owners of expensive cars who are just too damned lazy to walk a few more feet.

It really is shocking how brazen some people without any disability have become about using handicapped parking spaces as their private reserved parking spaces. It’s as if they somehow see their name on a sign that says that space was reserved specifically for them because they show absolutely no remorse about their actions. If I’m walking by a handicapped space as someone is pulling into it, I can’t stop myself from pausing briefly to see if they have an appropriate license plate or placard hanging from their rear view mirror. (I’m sorry, but I just can’t help myself!) If they do have a permit, I still like to wait a few more seconds to see if they are really the person the permit was intended for or if they’re just using granny’s permit because of an extreme, congenital lazy streak. If I see an elderly person or someone who obviously has some trouble walking, then I just mind my own business and go about whatever I was doing. But if the person or persons getting out of the vehicle appear to have not even a hint of a disability, then I’ll usually challenge them.

“Do you have a handicapped permit to park there?” I might ask. Or, if they have a permit but look like they don’t need it I might inquire, “Do you really need a handicapped parking permit? You look fine to me?”

And I’ll usually let it go at that. However, if I get an arrogant or pissy response, then I won’t hesitate to pull out my phone right in front of them and call the cops. I only got close to doing that once, but then the guy on the receiving end (who didn’t have a permit) begrudgingly got back in his Mercedes and moved to another parking spot. Why is it that some people just feel that they are born into privilege? “Oh, haven’t you heard? This law doesn’t apply to me”. Okay, tell it to the cops!    

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