Parents Versus The Oldies

, , , , , , , | | Friendly | July 5, 2019

(The shopping centre nearest my home is really family friendly with free play spaces, breastfeeding rooms, food heating facilities, etc. However, for some reason, out of 1000 parking spaces, there are only four parent and child spaces. These spaces are wider than normal spaces to allow for parents to get car seats in and out. They’re also only a courtesy so, while it’s rude, anyone can park there. It’s nearly impossible to get a parent and child space as a result, but one day I’m lucky enough to get parked there. After I’ve finished shopping, I’m getting my five-month-old baby settled back in the car when, out of the corner of my eye, I notice a car waiting on the space. They’re blocking the whole car park by waiting where they are, but I still have to secure my baby and fold the buggy before I can drive away. After a minute, the car drives off, but I notice the driver circles the car park and returns to wait again. As I’m about to get in my car, I notice the driver is a woman in her 60s and there’s clearly no one else in the car. Annoyed, I approach her car.)

Me: “Hi. Are you waiting on my space?”

Driver: “Yep.”

Me: “Okay, but you know this is parent and child parking, right? You don’t have a child with you.”

Driver: “I know, but I’m old and can’t walk far. I need to park near the door.”

Me: “If you go around by entrance A, they actually have age-friendly parking for people like you.”

Driver: “I tried to park there and all the spaces are taken.”

Me: “Well, that doesn’t mean you should park in a parent and child space. A parent with a child needs the space way more than you do. I’m sure if you drive around you can find a space close to the door.”

Driver: “I’m still going to park here, though.”

Me: “Umm, no, you’re not. There are only four spaces for parents, and I’m not going to let you park here.”

Driver: “What are you going to do about it?”

Me: “I’m going to unpack the car and continue shopping until you’re long gone.”

(With that, I turned and started unpacking the buggy again. The woman huffed and screeched off. A woman walking into the shopping centre with her two kids saw the exchange and laughingly thanked me. I asked her where she was parked and she pointed to a space nearby where her husband was getting ready to unload their buggy for their baby who was still in the car. I told her to tell her husband to bring the car over and he could have my space when I drove out. As I was driving out, the original woman tried to cut in and steal the space from the family, but thankfully, they got in first.)

Boredom Kills

, , , , , , , | | Working | July 3, 2019

An older pickup truck was left at the far end of our parking lot for repair. Apparently, it would not start. I am bored, so I grab the keys and go out to see if I can start it. Why it was left so far away, I have no idea. I don’t plan on being out for long, so I don’t bother to put on my coat. Minus 20C? That’s nothing… So, I get in and close the door. I slide the key into the ignition and turn it, nothing.

I give it a couple of seconds and try it again. Still nothing. Not a sound. No whirring, no clicking, not even one measly little click. I give up after trying a couple of more times. Only mildly disappointed, I reach for the door handle. The handle flops down as soon as I touch it, broken. No big deal. I reach for the passenger door and pull on that handle. That, too, falls down.

Uh-oh… I look down for the window crank. Missing? I look over at the passenger door window crank. That’s missing, too. You’ve got to be kidding!

The rear passenger window will never move. It has been fixed firmly in place since the day the truck was built. Nope, no sliding hatch at the rear window, either. And to top it off, I didn’t bring my phone. Cut off from the entire world, in a parking lot, at work.

Now what? I am at the far end of the parking lot – a good 100 meters away from the store entrance. It is -20, and I am locked in with no coat. The truck is facing away from the store so frantic waving won’t do much good. The windows are starting to fog up and I am starting to feel the cold. If someone even bothers to look from the store into the parking lot and see the back of the truck, they will not see my head. And with this old, worn-out bench seat, I can hardly see over the steering wheel, the curse of being 5’3”. No one will see me from the back or the front. On my left is a long strip mall, but a huge mountain of snow is in the way. I’m pretty much isolated.

I wonder how long it will take for someone to realize that I have not returned, and then how long after that before they start to look for me — if they even try. Hours? Days? Weeks? I start writing my last will and testament in my head — a lot of good that will do.

Finally, I see someone driving towards a store over the right side of the hood of the truck. [Nearby Store] is open! The gentleman gets out of his car and walks towards the store. He’s only about 50 meters away. I have a bright idea: honk the horn. That will get his attention, and of course he will come over and open the door for me. I push on the horn… Silence. I push it harder. Still nothing. I pound on the horn. Not even a fart. Whoever said silence was golden got it so wrong!

Maybe, just maybe, I have been locked up so long that I have gone deaf, or my ear drums are frozen, or this old rust bucket has extremely good sound proofing. The horn has to work. I look over to see if he reacts to my frantic pushing on the horn. Nope, no reaction. Apparently, the horn doesn’t work; either that or this truck is equipped with an ultra-high-frequency horn that only dogs can hear. Either way, I’m screwed.

Resigned to my fate, I come up with an idea for those that eventually find me. I will make a scratch in the door for every day that I survive in the truck. At least they will know how many days I survived in the wilderness, a mere fifty meters over the right fender from [Nearby Store]. The doors are so scratched up already, they probably wouldn’t even notice my survival scratches. When it rains…

I sit there for a few more minutes. It’s probably my imagination, but the air seems to be getting stale. Locked in a dilapidated old pickup truck. Who cares about being embarrassed? I just want out!

Something catches my left eye, beside and behind my left shoulder. No way! Duct tape? I look over my left shoulder, with a near perfect shoulder check, and find a thick plastic sheet duct taped over where the back seat side window used to be! YES! Why didn’t I notice that before?

I may not be able to blow bubbles with bubble gum or swim more than four feet at a time, and I don’t weigh enough to operate a skid steer, but I can proudly say that I can tear my way through a plastic bag. Oh, yeah! Woot… Woot…

It takes a while, but the plastic was really, really thick, okay?!

I squeeze through the slit I made in the plastic window — thankfully, I weigh less than 130 pounds — and drop to the ground head first. It is not the prettiest of exits, but no one knows I am here, anyway. Who cares? I am free!

I dust some of the snow off my clothes, feel a slight bump on my forehead, no blood. Good!

I feel like I just broke out of prison. I am sure the guilt about ruining a perfectly good plastic-n-duct tape window will diminish soon… Yup, gone already, no guilt left at all. Suhweeeet! And I was still clocked in, too! Nice!

I race back to the shop at least a half hour after I left. Whose bright idea was that, anyway?

I’ve learned my lesson. Next time I am bored, I am going to stay put and just close my eyes. I am never again going to underestimate the value of being bored.

For The Disabled Parking “Looks Like We Made It”

, , , , , , , | | Friendly | June 14, 2019

(Both my mom and my oldest brother are disabled — her from back surgery, him from a motorcycle accident that required a plate in his leg, then later on an accident at a construction site where he fell off a ladder and went feet-first into a huge pile of drywall, leaving him needing reconstructive surgery on his ankles. We’re going to the post office to put some bills in the mail directly. I can’t stand my brother’s music, so I have my CD walkman with me and I’m listening to Barry Manilow. The parking lot is crowded but there’s one handicapped space left, so we throw up the placard and I get out to put the mail in the inside box. A woman taps me on the shoulder, so I take one headphone off my ear.)

Woman: “Excuse me. Do you have a handicapped placard?”

Me: *pointing to it* “Yes, my brother and mom are both disabled, and you can see it’s hanging up.”

Woman: “Well, my mother is disabled and I just had to park on the other side of the parking lot.”

Me: “Well, we do have a placard.”

Woman: “I should’ve been able to park there since I have a placard for my mother!”

Me: *motioning to where the placard can be clearly seen* “So do we.”

(I put my headphones back on and head inside, annoyed that this woman kept me from doing what would’ve taken me less than ten seconds just to whine when we have a placard, too. She’s gone when I get back to the car.)

Brother: “She was still shaking her head and talking to you when you walked away.”

Me: *sighs and goes back to listening to Barry Manilow*

Cars Are Becoming More Human

, , , | | Friendly | June 5, 2019

(My friend works at a shopping center car park near where he lives. On a rather busy day, he watches as someone tries to pull into a space, but a woman suddenly runs into said space when he is halfway in.)

Woman: “Reserved! Reserved!”

Driver: *after winding the window down* “You can’t do that.”

Woman: “Yes, I can! This place is reserved!”

(My friend walks over.)

Friend: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you can’t reserve parking spaces. Besides, he’s already halfway in.”

Woman: “But I was here first!”

Friend: “No, you weren’t, and if you’re out here, where’s your car?”

(She points to the car behind the first; an elderly couple are sat in the front.)

Woman: “Those are my parents. I got out in order to look for a space.”

Friend: “It doesn’t work like that, ma’am. This driver was here before you.”

Woman: “No, he f****** wasn’t!”

(The woman stands there for the next few minutes, refusing to move. A line of cars begins to form, all honking. Finally, the woman has enough and storms over to her car.)

Woman: “F*** you!”

(The driver of the first car pulls all the way in, and he opens the door to climb out.)

Friend: “Sorry about that.”

Driver: “It wasn’t your fault.”

(By this time, the woman has climbed into the back of her car, and she gives them the middle finger repeatedly. The driver then blows her a kiss. We need more drivers like this.)

He’s Gonna Slash That Whiplash

, , , , | | Legal | May 27, 2019

(I am waiting in the drive-thru line at a popular coffee shop and have my car in park. The car in front of me leaves, and it’s my turn to pay. Before I can shift my car into drive, the truck behind me starts to go and bumps into me. I roll down my window, turn around and look at the guy, and then give my cash to the employee.)

Guy: *who hit me* “HEY! YOU BACKED INTO ME!”

Me: “I absolutely did not. I’m going to pull up to those parking spots, and after you pay, go ahead and pull up.”

(I pull up and wait, then get out of my car. I see there’s zero damage at all. He pulls in next to me and gets out. There is also zero damage to his truck, but I quickly start snapping photos.)

Guy: “YOU’RE GOING TO PAY FOR THIS!”

Me: “For one thing, I was in park. You hit me. For another thing, there is no damage to either of our vehicles.”

Guy: “I’LL TELL YOU THIS! I’M FEELING PRETTY WHIPLASHED.”

Me: “Okay, let’s go ahead and call the police, but just so you know I have a dash cam and a rear cam. My dash cam does indicate my speed, and that I was in park, and my rear cam will have notated this accident.”

Guy: “YOU KNOW WHAT? I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR YOU!” *drives away*

(I did end up filing a police report later, just to cover my own butt, but nothing ever came of it. And when I watched the rear cam footage online, he was clearly on his phone when he hit me, and made the biggest “oops” face to boot.)

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