okay, so i PROMISED myself i wouldn’t do this. i did. really. swore i would NOT go off on drivers and car stuff twice in a row. “break it up,” i said….”give them some variety”. but i figure at this point, my hit count can probably be measured by a sea world employee who hand-feeds sharks on an amateur basis, so what have i got to lose?
when i was younger my driving was not good. not bad, but not good. okay, bad. i had a wreck or two (or six), but nobody ever got hurt (too severely…and usually i was worse off then them; ever picked glass out of your own head on your 21st birthday and you were SOBER?) well, the point is, those days are behind me; but during my late teens and early twenties, i spent an inordinate amount of time in defensive driving. like enough to where i didn’t need to introduce myself to the instructor on a couple of occasions (ever been offered your “usual table” at an 8:00am saturday morning defensive driving course?) and in all my time there, there’s one thing i never learned. one thing apparently a LOT of the world was told, and i missed the boat. the “create-a-space” principle.
for some reason, and it’s been going on for some time now, lots of people (it started with delivery drives, always the trend setters, and filtered down from there…doubt their trend setting ability? look at how popular messenger bags are as an alternative to backpacks and briefcases) have been creating there own parking space where ever they see fit. how do you do it? how do you get the primo parking in downtown anywhere, usa? the answer is right there on your dashboard. your hazard lights.
look in any driving manual for any state in the union. if your car is broken down, get to the side of the road, raise your hood, and turn on your hazard lights. true. if you’re towing something, or are having mechanical difficulty and your car can’t go over 20mph, turn on your hazard lights. true.
but if you want a mega-grande-latte-hazelnut-frappacino and the downtown starbuck’s had no free spaces, your hazard lights do NOT give you the right to park in the right lane, and hold up traffic while you run in. gotta drop off your girlfriend at work, and there’s no place to park the el camino while you kiss her good-bye for 10 minutes? don’t slam it in park in the left lane of brazos street so your romance can bloom. don’t get me wrong; i can be ALL about the long good-bye with the right person; and while our actions on the sidewalk might end up stopping traffic, my car won’t.
i just don’t get it.
the valets at the hotel near my office are the worst. they pull the car in the lane (they DO have valet spaces in front, mere feet away, they just choose not to use them), put in park, and leave it there with the engine running…NOT EVEN HAZARD LIGHTS. i’ve almost slammed more than one bmw because of this..you don’t see brake lights, you’re in a lane, and there are NO fucking stripes perpendicular to the curb to show you where to park. you know why, valet boy? because it’s not a fucking space!!! it’s a road. it’s where we drive. if you’re doing this as some kind of courtesy because the dot commer who tipped you $20 (and given the current economy, will probably be mowing my lawn for that much come june) wants it that way, then give me my cut since your inconveniencing ME as well. or better yet, use the damn spaces in front of your building to put the jag xke…if the guy can afford a $65,000 car, he can afford to learn how to merge from a parking space, too. you reserved his room. you reserved his table at dinner. his “date” was reserved on the corporate mastercard. (was that last one too cruel?? didn’t think so) you don’t have to reserve him a lane of traffic to call his own. parking lessons are available from me on request, no hazard lights required. hell, on my old car (rip), the hazard light switch didn’t even work (proof car inspection people CAN overlook little things if they know you), and i still managed to park just fine. if i can do it, you can do it.
and speaking of rip, given today’s date…mom, just know that you are sorely missed; and i’m glad that you didn’t use that “..town tramp” joke i made in your eulogy as an excuse to haunt me.
(promise folks..the only serious thing you’ll probably EVER see in here)