No sooner than I hatched the idea of complaining about people who vie rabidly for retail parking spaces, Mike Johnston of The Online Photographer (an excellent photography blog) beat me to the punch with the later portion of this little rant.
Now that I have a bit of time to discuss it myself, it’s time to spend a few keystrokes on some well-deserved ribbing.
I honestly believe that 99% of the obesity that’s running rampant in America (as well as many other problems we seem to have) is due to sheer laziness. And to me, little embodies the spirit of American laziness more than parking lot stalking. You know the game – people sit in their cars, waiting for that dream parking spot right by the store/mall/supermarket entrance. It’s too bad that they don’t get the full calorie-burning, cardio-pumping, fat-melting hundred-foot walk in. But what really baffles me is – for a society so obsessed with squeezing every possible second out of their over-stressed days – just how much time people completely waste with this asinine custom!
On Saturday, I paid a visit to the local Target store. Of course, two or three cars were idling about twenty feet into each of the middle three rows of parking spots, waiting for someone to vacate a desired spot. In this situation, my competitive gene kicks in – I picked a particularly-inept-looking woman in a gray Honda and measured just how far I got before she exited her car.
I pulled away from the storefront, selecting a wide-open space toward the edge of the herd of cars. I grabbed my shopping list, killed the engine and locked the doors, walking toward the big red Target symbol. The woman was still standing in the same spot, as the parking space’s current occpant shut his driver’s-side door. And, as I see so many times, I watched in the reflection of the storefront glass as she backed up to allow the stalked gentleman to actually pull out of the space.
By the time this woman – who almost assuredly was stalking in the name of getting into the store quickly, while minimizing walking time – got into her hard-won parking space, I was already shopping. With a smug little grin on my face. Next time – perhaps on a quick single-item trip – I’m going to try to actually get through checkout by the time some tool of a parking space stalker gets into the store doors. And at that point, I might just feel the need to share my acheivement with them…