The travails of the modern day parking-slot seeker
Not too many people have been able to master the art of parking a car in our busy cities. In recent times, with cars having gotten bigger, and egos bigger still, the task has become next to impossible.
In earlier times, while planning one’s day, one did not have to cater for the extra time it would take to deposit one’s car in a comfortable slot. Nowadays, in some cases, one could arrive at a meeting 20 minutes late simply on account of parking woes.
The number of vehicles on our roads has boomed so significantly that finding appropriate parking spaces for all of them is a humungous job.
Certain other extraneous influences have also contributed towards creating this unhappy situation for motorists, of late.
To start with, some big-car owners have the tendency to be in a tearing hurry while parking their monsters, and thereby position their cars at angles that take away at least three slots. These couldn’t-care-less gentlemen can safely be labelled as ‘spoil-sports’.
Then there are the ‘obstructionists’- those who park their four-wheelers behind those already parked, thereby getting an earful when they finally return from their shopping, for having delayed the poor occupants of the blocked vehicle, and having made them miss the beginning of a movie, or whatever.
Next up, there are the ‘novice-parkers’- drivers who just do not know how to manoeuvre their cars into the narrow spaces available, thus holding up those behind them inordinately, and ultimately having to seek an expert’s help to do the needful.
Even worse are the ‘snatchers’, who though well aware that a vehicle-owner is politely awaiting the exit of another car, rush their machines into the vacant area in a flash, thereby turning the well-mannered other into a fist-pumping angry young (or old) man.
The ‘extremists’ are those who park their cars so close to others that the neighbours cannot enter their own vehicles without acting like contortionists and wriggling through the narrowest of angles in order to get in.
There are also the ‘day-spenders’- those couples who view parking slots as places to spend a day cosily, and who do not emerge from their cars at all, having found the ideal setting for their discussions, or for other activities.
I myself fall in an entirely different category, that of the ‘parchi-loser’. It is quite a mystery to me as to how I manage, without fail, to lose the small slip that parking-lot attendants hand over to me. Try as I might, keeping it safely in my wallet or in my shirt-pocket or elsewhere, I can never find it when it is time to leave. Luckily for me, the other occupants of my car normally do not look like car-thieves or the attendant in question would never allow us to exit.
A recent incident amply highlighted the travails of the modern day car-owner. What happened was that one worthy found a car positioned right behind his own, and having no time to lose, he decided to try to push the offending object away. He prayed that it was in neutral gear and happily, it was.
Having discovered amazing reserves of strength and having managed to get the other car to move sufficiently away from his, he discovered to his horror that it had hit a mini-slope, and wouldn’t stop! The resultant thud, bang and crash were heard many a mile away and soon enough our friend had not one, but two offended owners, to deal with. There was much pushing around thereafter, but it did not involve the cars.
Our man made a pledge that day. He decided never to use his car again, and to depend only on public transport. After all, he reckoned, the best place to park his car was surely his own home.