Thursday, August 01, 2002

SUVs. OK, I know, everyone loves to talk about hating SUVs.

I hate them too. They are environmentally unsound. We all know that. And they don't have enough wood panelling anymore.

But the real problem is poor shmucks like me who drive VW Golfs have to share parking lots with them. I happen to work in a city that is the epitome of the "my Planet Eater is bigger than your Behemoth!" mentality. As a result, everyone has Suburbans and Excursions and Monstrosities or whatever. These vehicles are about 47 feet high, at least half a mile long, and are usually parked in alternating parking spaces, leaving little alleyways between them, where I can dock my cute little car. This is, of course, just fine, and the natural order of things.

The problem comes when I want to back out.

There's no way to see what's coming on either side when you have two morbidly obese "off-road" (yeah, right) vehicles sandwiching you. Today I was at the store, picking up a new shipment of tree frogs, and when I was ready to leave I was put in the familiar position of putting my car into reverse and uttering silent prayers that no-one would come roaring down the parking lot, as people are wont to do in this town. You see, not only do we have the mongo SUV brigade, we have the ridiculous "my spoiler has a spoiler" Nissan/Eclipse/Geo Metro brigade zooming around town with megaphones scotchtaped onto their mufflers for added effect.

But back to me in the parking lot. I put the car in reverse and just drift backwards at roughly the pace of a three-toed tree sloth or a hermit crab with a limp, knowing that the only thing that will save me from major body work is pure blind luck. Inevitably, I get to the point where I know any rational human would see me and stop their car, at which point I begin to relax, and ease into the backing-up process.

Roughly 1/2 a second after this occurs I will hear the squeal of brakes and look behind me to see a very angry Escalade driver. On the phone.

Well, that was an extremely unpleasant, and frankly kind of whiny, blog entry. I hope we all learned a little something.


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