A Mostly Fractured Take On Current Events

Mall Parking During Christmas Puts The “No” In Noel

In Essays on December 23, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Christmas is only eight days away. As a man, that means I still have six days before I start my shopping. I spare no expense for the ones I love so this year I’m buying everyone a Chia Pet. My shopping experience at the mall should be pretty easy, assuming I bring enough pepper spray. What won’t be easy is finding a parking space.  Unfortunately, parking help is hard to find. The department of motor vehicles teaches us nice things like proper driving technique and the importance of treating others like a number.

But they offer no instruction on how to find good parking. So this Christmas, I’d like to offer some advice on locating the spot of your dreams. Here are 10 tips for finding Christmas parking at the mall:

1) Learn to swear. It’s the native tongue of any Christmas parking lot. As a kid, I once learned three new swear words when my mom yelled at a guy who took “her” space. If you feel your delivery isn’t convincing, watch “John McEnroe’s Greatest Meltdowns” on YouTube for further instruction.

2) Be realistic. Cars parked within 1,000 yards of the mall entrance will never leave. Ever. Intelligent men and women have succumbed to madness trying to disprove this. Forget them and try a different lot in the next county.

3) Think small. Compact cars have a much better chance of fitting into parking spaces. Unfortunately, your Smart Car is way too big. Use a smaller vehicle. Like something a Shriner might drive in a parade.

4) Show empathy. Leaving adequate space between car doors is important. But this is often very hard to judge. Instead, leave your parking lot neighbors some alternatives. Re-entering their car through a sunroof is an option they will appreciate having.

5) Defend yourself. Turn signals are your way to claim a parking space. When this fails to convince others, bring out your secret weapon: Juvenile reasoning. “I saw it first!” is exactly the sort of clever rationale that will hold up in a court of law if acting like adult doesn’t work.

6) Respect the elderly. If you spot an old grandmother with emphysema who has trouble finding her car, don’t berate her for being slow. That’s rude. Instead, honk your horn several times.

7) Play fair. The great temptation of desperate Christmas shoppers is to use a handicapped spot and hope nobody sees them. Don’t even think about it. Handicapped spaces are designated only for people with medical conditions, serious injuries and, possibly, mullets.

8) Stay focused. Holiday cheer and goodwill toward men. Neither of these ever resulted in rock-star parking. Just saying.

9) Step on it. Your heavy car lacks good closing speed. And in order to snag a space, you need to be able to speed up quickly and stalk your prey. To go faster, consider jettisoning some of the heavier items in your car like the spare tire or Aunt Martha.

10) Be honest. If someone parks too close to your car, don’t leave a nasty note attached to his wiper blade. He may not notice it. Instead, write your lengthy manifesto with shaving cream on his windshield. Your message should probably include a reference about how his poor parking skills ruined not only your holiday but probably your entire life up to that point.

Well, there you have it. If you try these and still can’t find a good parking space, consider buying all of your gifts online. You will save time and you just might preserve your sanity. But one thing I’ve learned at Christmas is that sanity can be elusive. Sometimes meltdowns are as common as mistletoe. Regardless, have a Merry Christmas and drive safely!

© 2011 Pat Hester


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