Monday, October 23, 2017

Ignorance Must Be Bliss

While waiting to pick up my mother-in-law from a hair appointment, my youngest and I swung into a nearby ice cream shop for a treat. It is a local institution that has been around since before I was born and thus it doesn't have such modern amenities as a big parking lot. The parking lot has parking perpendicular to the building on one side and about a lane and a half of room on the other half for cars to enter and exit parking spots. On the far side just off the parking lot are a row of tables and benches to enjoy your ice cream before driving home. I tell you this to set up the story I will now relay to you.

A beat-up minivan that has obviously been in several fairly violent collisions, to the point that the rear hatch had a padlock screwed to it to keep it closed and prevent people from stealing the van, pulled into the parking lot and parked about three feet from the row of benches where my daughter and I were consuming our ice cream. I thought the occupants were going to get ice cream and leave right away and thus the reason for their laziness of not walking the extra ten feet had they parked in a parking spot. However, after getting their ice cream they sat in their van and leisurely ate it.

Other cars came and went having to squeeze between their van and the row of parked cars or wait until a car squeezed by so they could squeeze by heading in the other direction. My vehicle was essentially blocked in by this minivan because I didn't think there was enough space to back out and get it turned in any direction without hitting the cars parked on either side of me or the minivan parked about ten feet behind my car. So we waited, and we waited, and we waited.

The occupants of the minivan, a man and woman in their upper 50's rolled down their windows and the man stuck his feet out the passenger side window. They were there for the long haul evidently. My vehicle has a backup camera so I figured that I might just be able to squeeze back and if I jockeyed it back and forth, I might escape. So we got in the vehicle and started slowly backing up.

Now modern backup cameras are quite good and even have several reference lines on them to tell the driver just how close you really are to something. Mine has a red line letting me know when I am within a foot of something though the resolution is good enough I could get within an inch and stop without touching. I was about half way out of my parking space when the lady sitting in the minivan started honking. I was probably at that point five feet away from her bumper. I stopped, raised my hand acknowledging that I knew she was there and proceeded to back up further. She kept on repeatedly honking. I still had a couple more feet to go. I paused and then very slowly kept backing up and then she just laid on her horn in one continuous beep.

At this point I was getting quite hot around the collar as she kept up her honking and everyone else in the parking lot turned around to see what was going on. I got within about six inches of her bumper and pulled forward until I couldn't go any further towards the car parked next to me. I backed up again cranking the wheel and again earned another continuous beep. I pulled forward a second time and still couldn't quite make it out, I backed up for a third continuous beep. Finally I was able to clear the car parked next to me and the minivan blocking the other lane in the parking lot. Since I was now heading the wrong way, I turned around and drove right by the lady in the minivan.

I rolled down my window.

"Ma'am, thanks for your honking but I have a rear-view camera in my car and knew how close I was without your blaring it at me. Perhaps if you had parked in a parking spot like every other person did, this whole thing could have been avoided."

She replied, "Kiss my ass."

It is times like this I wonder what the world is coming too.


Susan said...

Some days it literally feels like you are surrounded by idiots. Ignorance is one thing. Stupid is terminal. You have WAY more patience than I have. My handling of this would have been more like a certain scene from Fried Green Tomatoes.

Kelly said...

What rude people! My husband always tells me I'm "big talk, little do" (thank goodness), but I can think of so many retorts I would have had to that line.

Leigh said...

Good grief! No wonder their vehicle is in the shape it is. Wouldn't normal people simply park normally or get out of the way of someone trying to back out? Seems "normal," however, is becoming extinct! We pretty much lost common courtesy awhile ago, but now reason and logic are apparently on the way out as well.

Tewshooz said...

You were too nice. I would have confronted them before I got into my car to leave. People like that do not respond to politeness...

Ed said...

Susan - I think I was more flabbergasted than anything.

Kelly - I thought of plenty of retorts on my way home.

Leigh - I always say people are all about themselves and less concerned with what is happening around them.

Tewshooz - Perhaps, but perhaps she had a gun with her. These days I find it best to vent online and let karma bite them later on.

Bob said...

How you kept from giving her the one-finger salute is beyond me! Unbelievable.