The “Parking Lot” (unlike the more hospitable locale of Salem’s Lot) is a forbidding, lawless place where strife and aggravation reign. It’s in the parking lot, after all, where drivers decide that the rules of the road no longer apply. Signaling? Speed limits? Right of way? Those are for streets and highways. The parking lot is Mad Max without the cool soundtrack.
Of all the creatures that inhabit this jungle, the Parking Lot Vulture is the worst. These drivers circle the lot on the hunt for the perfect spot. They’re self-obsessed opportunists for whom courtesy and public safety are optional.
Can you spot one? Could you be one? Take the Road Sage Parking Vulture Quiz and find out.
1) The lot is full and you see a driver about to back out of her space. You…
a) Pull up seven inches from the spot, crowding her so badly that she must execute a 12-point turn/reverse in order to leave.
b) Stop a few feet away, turn on your blinker, pull out your cellphone and block traffic.
c) Stop, turn on blinker and honk your horn angrily.
d) Wait an appropriate distance away and back into the parking space once it is vacant.
2) The Canadian Tire parking lot is full. You circle and circle. No luck. Then you see the open handicapped spot right beside the entrance. What do you do?
a) Continue searching. Someone with a disability and mobility issues may need it.
b) Pull right in. You are handicapped by a desire to get in there and buy a no-stick skillet on sale and a hockey puck.
3) After 15 minutes of fruitless searching, you see an open space across the lot. You…
a) Drive towards it carefully at a speed of 10 km/h – this is a parking lot, after all, and there are pedestrians and other motorists present.
b) Pedal meets metal. You hit 55 km/h making a beeline for the spot. After all, there are pedestrians and other motorists present and if they intend to get in your way they will reap the whirlwind.
c) Drive toward the spot while texting on your phone. You’re only going 15 km/h, so if you hit anyone, you probably won’t hurt them too much.
4) You see a man with his vehicle’s trunk open. He’s handling shopping bags. You roll down your window and ask if he’s leaving and he politely tells you he’s heading back to the mall. You…
a) Politely thank him.
b) Glare at him as if he’s just told you he’s emptied your bank account, shot your dog and sold your grandmother into indentured servitude.
c) Swear at him. Give him detailed anatomical directions. Who does he think he is? Living his life when you want his parking space?
d) All of the above, with the exception of answer “a.”
5) There are spots available but they aren’t right next to the shop entrance. What do you do?
a) Drive around slowly and glare at everyone who isn’t leaving.
b) Pull up by the entrance and put your vehicle into park, blocking cars and pedestrians while your car spews carbon monoxide.
c) Idle in the empty handicapped space and wait until a spot close to the entrance opens up.
d) Create a space that does not exist by parking on the clearly marked no parking space, thereby causing trouble for anyone trying to get in or out of legitimate spaces.
e) Park in one of the more remote spaces and walk to the entrance, getting your annual five minutes of exercise.
Bonus Question: You’re in your car preparing to exit a parking space when a driver pulls up very close, turns on his signal, and impatiently waits: a Parking Lot Vulture. You…
a) Adjust your mirrors. Readjust your seatbelt. Check radio. Take a few breaths. Check your hair in the rearview. Once again adjust mirrors. Did you forget anything? Check car’s interior. No? Good. Maybe check the radio again. If you wear make-up, apply make-up. If you don’t wear make-up, pretend to apply make-up. Shoulder-check and then one more mirror adjustment. Turn on ignition. Check the check-engine light. Is it on? How’s the temperature? Check mirror and see the guy freaking out. Feel warm glow. Execute final mirror adjustment. Exit parking space. Justice is served.
Answers: 1) d 2) a 3) a 4) a 5) e Bonus) a
Your score: If you got any of these questions wrong, you need to do some self-examination before you head out to the mall.