Friday, December 08, 2006

Hope for Humanity

I like to think I'm a pretty positive guy; I look generally for the bright side, and wish to attribute to people good intentions more often than not. Live and let live.

However, it is true sometimes that good intentions pave the road to you-know-where.

If one is looking for evidence that the human race is not yet ready to go to the stars, or achieve world peace, one needs look no farther than my neigborhood Rite-Aid's parking lot, just around the corner from my house.

I find it astounding that people who supposedly passed a driving test before being allowed onto the public roads can get so confused in a store's acre-sized parking lot.

Really, it looks like outtakes from a Keystone Kops movie -- with a fair dash of the Three Stooges and Abbott and Costello sprinkled on top.

Hey, Moe! Hey, Larry! Look at me, look at me, woo-woo-woo-woo-woooo -- !

It's not that complex a parking lot. It is large, mostly square, a drugstore on one end, and bermed on three sides, so there's nowhere to go except in and out and there is only one way to do that. It has one-way rows, head-in, angled parking off each row -- bright, yellow, parallel, painted lines to delineate the slots, each space wide enough to pull a big honkin' truck into with room to open doors on both sides -- you wouldn't think there'd be a problem, but trying to cross that space is as risky as traversing a minefield. At night. In a rainstorm. While drunk. Wearing sun-glasses. On acid.

People stop, miss turns, back up, cut across the lanes, and generally look as if somebody had just that morning picked them up from some tiny, remote, radioactive atoll where they had been raised buck naked by rabid bats, then handed them a set of car keys, and pointed them at the Rite-Aid parking lot. Their entire education in the art of automobile driving could only have consisted of flapping wings and ultrasonic cheeps, and not many of those.

It's amazing to watch. Better from atop the berm, though.

Coming home an hour ago with a couple sets of Christmas tree lights -- 30% off on the price this week at Rite-Aid -- I saw a woman pull a minivan into the lot and drive smack into a concrete island bristling with signs that Stevie Wonder could have avoided, bam!

I mean, she could have driven around for hours and missed it, but no, she made a beeline for it, looked like Wile E. Coyote smashing into that painted tunnel on the rock wall.

Another woman pulled a station wagon in, and on a row that held two cars in twenty spaces, missed turning into the slot she wanted and had to back up and jockey back and forth three times to get lined up. Why she didn't just take the next one? Or go around?

Maybe God knows.

A guy in a pickup truck crossed the entire lot diagonally, missing me only because I was agile enough to leap out of the way.

And they all honked at each other so that it sounded like a flock of Canadian geese going south for the winter.

And get this -- none of them I could see were on cell phones.

All of this in the space of time it took me to haul ass across the lot to the safety of the berm.

Hahahahhaaa! Missed me, you bastards!

I hate to say it, but if these folks are the hope for our future?

We're doomed.

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