Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Darn tourists

posted Thu, 31 Aug 2006

I have a new crime for which people can be zapped. You know, the three zaps the decent people (that is, us) get every day to take out the line-cutters, the folks who get into the express lanes with more than 12 items, and talk on cell phones in the movies (“Nothing! What are you doing?”)

The crime is Eating in the Car When the Parking Lot is Full and Other People are Looking for a Parking Place.

Monday night, my friend Lenore from Chicago, who was in town for business, and I agreed to meet at Corky’s BBQ. I got there and found the parking lot full, with other cars circling like sharks. I made one round, saw a space, made a dash, then discovered it was a handicapped space. Curses, foiled again. As I was pulling out, I saw another space empty and raced across the lot to get it, cutting off some woman in a white rental van as I did so.

That woman turned out to be Lenore. Oh well. To the swift go the parking spaces. She drove around the lot. As she did, I spied two people in a car across from me. They must be getting ready to leave! I thought. I jumped out of the car, leaving the keys in the ignition, my purse in the car and the door open. I ran across the lot to the occupied, obviously-getting-ready-to-leave-car, waving my arms and yelling to attract Lenore’s attention. “Right here!” I yelled. “These people are pulling out!” My plan was to stand in the space until Lenore could park in it.

But when I got next to the car, I saw that these people were not getting ready to leave. Instead, these people – these two middle-aged ladies who should have known better, bless their hearts – were delicately nibbling on their pulled-pork BBQ sandwiches with coleslaw topping. (Vinegar dressing and if you don’t want it on your sandwich, you have to tell them. That’s just how it’s done here, that’s why. If you don’t want sugar in your tea, you have to tell them that, too. Sweet tea is the default.)

That’s right. They were sitting in the front seats eating their sandwiches. Why they couldn’t have eaten in the restaurant, I don’t know. Why they couldn’t have eaten on the bench in front of the restaurant, I don’t know. Why they couldn’t have taken the food to a park or home or their hotel, I don’t know. But they were quite happy to watch car after car circle that tiny lot (no easy place to park nearby, either) seeking space while they ate.

Was that rude or what? I say rude.

I stood right next to them, looked them in the eyes, and said loudly, “They’re eating in here, but I THINK THEY’RE ALMOST DONE!” I was trying to shame them, but – it didn’t work.

That’s why I needed the zaps. I could have just zapped them out of existence – or at least out of the parking lot – so Lenore would not have had to drive three blocks away to the Verizon store to find a space.

Shameless, shameless, shameless.

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