Thursday, February 22, 2007

No, I'm sorry, you're going to Hell

What is the story with people who feel the need to back into parking spaces? I know I'm not going to change the world here, but I just gotta vent. What's the big scoop here? Do these people think they're going to win a prize? What, you get to the Pearly Gates and Saint Peter looks in the books and says, "Hmmm, well, we were going to send you to Hell, or at least Purgatory... but I see here that you backed into parking spaces 17,411 times in your life! Good for you! You may enter..." [Angels sing, trumpets play, cue the golden glow...]?

I think it's more likely you're going to get there and it'll be "Hmm, well, you were a marginal case we might have let slip by, but I see here you thought it was a good and considerate practice to hold everyone else in the universe up while you backed in... pulled out... straightened up... backed in... pulled out... straightened up... and backed in 17,411 times. Oh, and there are those three times you scraped other cars, and that time you knocked your own passenger side mirror off on the pickup truck, yes... No, I'm sorry... you need to spend to a couple centuries in Purgatory atoning by watching the same "How to Park" high school film over and over. We show it... back it up... show it again... back it up..." Well, you get the idea.

Folks, use your loaf. You're backing up one way or the other. But here's the juice: it's a lot easier to back up into infinite empty space than to back up into an 8'-wide gap with about $100,000 worth of other vehicles around you on all sides. And I have yet to see a single person back out of a parking spot... drive back in, straighten out... back out again... etc., etc., etc. Other drivers are going to see your car coming out regardless of which way it's pointing, and if you're telling me you can pay enough attention not to hit the other three cars when you're backing in but not the ones in the driving lanes when you're backing out, then you're either full of shit or your driving acuity is extremely selective.

If you must be facing forward when you park, do what I do. Park a few yards further from the door (we can all use the exercise) and find a spot where you can pull through. You'll be facing the right way, your risk of hitting other cars will be vastly smaller, and, best of all, you won't be making me and every other human being with a license sit there and watch you compete for Driving Olympics Neatness gold.


katherine said...

Some days are like that, where every little thing drives me crazy. The straw that broke the camel's back kind of thing.

When I moved to Washington three years ago, they made me take a written driver's test. So, yes, I read their rules of the road book. In it, they suggest always parking where you don't have to back out when you leave. Something about it being safer for all involved. Blah, blah.

So, sometimes, if the opportunity arises I might pull through to a spot and pat myself on the back for taking their advice. (rolling my eyes)

My dad was one of those that always wanted to back in to a spot, I'm really not sure why. I always assumed it was a man thing. lol.

In Seattle I am forced to parallel park on a regular basis, many of us are. So waiting for someone else to navigate a spot on the side of the road is the norm. Though at times I want to get out of my car and park the damn thing for them. : )

loneprimate said...

Oh, don't ask me to parallel park... I did it once to pass my driver's test. I don't think I could manage it again. :D

katherine said...

Oh, come on. It's like riding a bike, and really not quite as scary as it's made out to be. : )