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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Slow Down There, Buddy!

Have you ever noticed that the lay-outs of some public spaces seem to be designed for maximum disaster potential?

I am referring, specifically, to the parking lot at the Super America on Broadway and University.

Super America is a large chain of gas stations/convenience stores. They are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Convenient, no? With an SA in the neighborhood, you can run out of toilet paper on Christmas day and not have to resort to anything unseemly. And while you’re there, why not pick up some lottery tickets? (While I’ve yet to purchase a ticket, I hope to someday win the lottery. I’ll keep you posted on how my strategy works out.)

Open 24 hours, the SA parking lot is a busy place. It is also, apparently – Yours Truly, excepted, of course! – in an area heavily populated by the homicidal and the blind.

What is it about parking lots that incite otherwise normal people to ignore laws and the dictates of common sense?

Wait – maybe that’s my first error: that the people using the parking lot as a thoroughfare are otherwise normal.

My second error is, of course, the concept of “common” sense. Nothing common about it!

The other day, I watched a man driving an SUV use the entrances/exits on either side of the parking lot to cut from University to Broadway, circumventing the red light at the intersection. He skirted the cars coming in to fill up, wove in and out of the pumps through the people cleaning their windshields, veering past people walking from their cars to the store.


Why, to shave a couple minutes from his commute, of course! What could be more important than that guy getting to wherever it was he was going three minutes faster? And who could be more important than That Guy, He of the Largest Vehicle in the Lot, He Who Cannot Be Inconvenienced by Traffic Signals?

I don’t know. Shall we make a citizen’s arrest and revoke his parking lot privileges? Shall we make him drag a mannequin from his bumper so that people know he’s reckless?

What do we do with this guy?


Tami said...

Those people drive me nuts. Now granted...I am not known to be the most patient driver and I'll be honest...I think I've probably (ahem) donethatinthepast...BUT NOT NOW. I have kids! They walk into SA too! You hit my kids, you die.

I like the mannequin idea.

Kavi said...

Make him a scarecrow ! Or something of that sort !

These people get my nerves no end ! Someday, just as they weave in and out, i guess their memory will fail them

ugich konitari said...

While gas stations in Mumbai are not multiutility/grocery/parking lot types, we do have a similar case of folks at a turning cutting thru the gas station premises to avoid the traffic light, right down the hill, from where I stay. the interesting thingis, that the manager of the place once came out and blasted all these short-cut-takers, and commented on how "educated" folks behave like this, and kind of shamed the short-cut folks. I am not sure if this has had a noticeable effect, but it tells you how people think ....

Lilly's Life said...

Pearl, I notice it here with gas stations or petrol stations as we call them. It's the gas fumes Pearl, they do funny things to the brain - seriously! They permeate the air within a 10 mile radius. The SUV driver would be an affected driver, Pearl. Some are more susceptible to the fumes than others. Predictably I find it is SUV drviers. First thing you lose is your common sense then you start to have delusions of grandeur and before you know it you think you are in a Formula 1. Unfortunately anyone on their race track is a possible victim. I just choose to carry one of those black and white checked flags with me and wave it madly. It works although you look stupid and people point.

Barbara Blundell said...

Hi Pearl,
What a hilarious post! Most amusing comments too. How do you do it ?
I think I have done humanity a great favour by not driving. I'm sure I would have been the cause of road rage to many. I can even be a bit of a menace on my bicycle One day a motorist pipped his horn at me and I thought he was just being friendly and waved. Then I discovered that all the traffic was going in the opposite direction to me.

Pearl said...

You guys are cracking me up.
Tami, I think the mannequin idea is a good one, too. Kind of a "this could be you" scenario.
Or perhaps we go with Kavi's idea of making him a scarecrow. Perhaps strap him with duct tape to the signal lights at the intersection. Maybe we could sell rotting vegetables a block away from the scene and let people take a crack at hitting him with it. Nothing to HURT him, just wake him up a bit.
Ugich, we need the man at your gas station to come out and shame some of these people. Then again, we are assuming that they CAN be shamed...
Lilly, I think that is very funny of you. The flag idea is fabulous and would be worth the pointing... My only dispute with what you have said is that I believe that people who drive SUVs may have had the actual loss of oxygen to the brain prior to even the PURCHASE of said SUV...
Barbara, I'm just lucky to have such cool people stopping by.
I wish there was footage of you waving at the horn-blower. :-) The driver is still telling that story -- once again, your mere presence lights up lives. :-)

June Saville said...

Your opening line just has to be one of the best of blog teaser intros around Pearl ... Just gotta read the rest.
June in Oz