Dear Backroads Miz Manners,
Since when did parking lots cease to become places to park cars? This morning, as I attempted to find a spot in the lot of the local Walmart Supercenter, a young girl darted out in front of my large SUV. Her mother grabbed her hand, and proceeded to drag her in front of my two-thousand-pound vehicle as if they had the right-of-way. It just so happened that the place they were in a hurry to get to was the very parking place I was turning into. It was a prime location, right next to the cart return. Her husband and another man already stood in it. They had the good sense to back up against a pickup hood when they saw my signal. But mom and daughter strolled into the space, then turned and looked at me like I had two heads when the men told them to watch out.
THEN, they proceeded to inch over onto the side yellow line that marked the parking space. I was halfway in, thinking they were getting out of my way, but had to abort, lest I crush the toes of those dimwitted idiots. I removed my vehicle from temptation, and cruised to the food end of the store to a less desirable slot.
Was there a memo that I missed about pedestrians holding sway over drivers in a parking area?
Baffled in Backroads
There was no memo. Today's adults under the age of thirty were born knowing that they are very special, and the world will bend over backwards to accommodate them. Cars will stop in their tracks rather than pulverize them. Planes will refuse to fly until they board. Teachers will "recalculate" grades if their offspring forget to turn in a major assignment. Likewise, a project that is completed without following the proper instructions will be graded over, once Mommy calls the teacher to report that it was HER fault, not little Fauntleroy's, because she could not find time to go to the store over those four weeks to buy paper or fabric or clay or paint or twigs or rocks or weeds or grasses, and the child should not be penalized, but should be graded AS IF he had followed all the rules the other kids followed who turned their work in on time, rather than having their sister build it of Legos the night after it was due.
Those lot squatters believed they were being perfectly reasonable. Because everyone but you, Baffled, understands that the middle of an awkward ballet of heavy machinery is the best place to chat up old friends. They allowed you space to do your thing. If a few toes were inadvertently amputated in the process, so be it. Your insurance would cover it, and they would be set for life. Especially if it was the youngster who lost use of her complete set of ten phalanges.
The sooner you understand that life is skewed in favor of the young, the less baffled you will be.
Backroads Miz Manners