He’d go places if he could park
Burt's Eye View
She stared out the front window. “Why do we never go anywhere?”
I lowered my newspaper. “Parking lots.”
“It’s part of the package,” she said. “If you go somewhere, you need a place to park.”
“Exactly. I knew you’d understand.” I went back to reading a very important panel of “Curtis.”
She slumped onto the couch. Her sigh wilted the comic pages. She didn’t get it, although I couldn’t figure out why. I set aside the newspaper, leaving both “Zits” and “Ziggy” unread.
“Parking lots are a hazard,” I said.
“What did parking lots ever do to you?”
“For one, they move my car. It’s never where I left it. I wandered around the mall lot for 20 minutes last week before I found it. It took nearly 45 minutes a couple weeks ago.”
She rolled her eyes. “You’re blaming the parking lot?”
“What else could it be? I think when nobody’s looking, parking lots undulate like ocean waves, washing our cars clear into different lots.”
“And if it’s not the parking lot messing with you,” I said, “it’s the people. Have you noticed how nobody else knows how to drive?”
The corner of her mouth twitched. “Oh, I have,” she assured me.
“Why just today, I realized I was low on strawberry Pop-Tarts, so I pulled into the mart at that little plaza.”
“You refuse to take me anywhere, but you stopped for Pop-Tarts?”
“Medical necessity. Anyway, I saw three open spaces, so I pulled into the middle one. Just as I opened my door, another car whipped beside me so fast, it barely skidded to a halt before nearly snapping my door off its hinges. And my leg off its hinges.
“I closed my door. The car snugged in close and the driver jumped out of her car and scurried to one of the stores. I could barely get my door open six inches. I had to hold my breath to squeeze out of the car.”
“I got scuff marks all over my back. Parking lots turn people into jerks.”
“I noticed,” she said.
“People will drive circles around parking lots for an hour just to find a space two cars closer than the one that’s open. They’ll hunt in packs. When a spot opens, they screech and crunch, cutting off each other until one slides into the space. They’ll try to park across two spaces.”
“Maybe they don’t want anyone boxing them in from their Pop-Tarts.”
I shook my head. “One of the circling miscreants saw me coming out of a store the other day and followed me in his car across the parking lot. Then he sat there waiting for me to start my car and back out. Well, I was kind of cranky that afternoon.”
“Do tell,” she said.
“Drives me nuts to have someone sitting there staring at me. So I pulled out my laptop and lunch bag, and went to work in my brand new mobile office.”
She smacked her forehead.
“He sat there and honked. The cars blocked behind him honked. I honked back. At one point, we tried to coordinate our horns into ‘The Hallelujah Chorus,’ but we were missing a G. And a B-flat, I think.”
She buried her face in her hands.
“I finally left. It was too hard to concentrate on my bologna sandwich.” I picked up my newspaper. “I’d love to go somewhere if it weren’t for parking lots. Parking lots kill my drive.”
— Beat Cole to his space at email@example.com or at the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook