Friday , October 31 2014
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How Do You Play the Game?

How Do You Play the Game?

By Carol Glassman

Have you fully recovered from Olympic fever yet? Even from a distance it’s hard not to get caught up in the fervor and fever of the Olympic Games, getting a camera’s view of a country we may never visit and having an opportunity to witness people striving to be No. 1 after years of training, deprivation of a ‘normal’ life and hard work.

A little of that competitive nature must be spreading, judging by the way people handle that four-wheeled lethal weapon commonly known as the automobile. Give people steering wheels and horns, and they become creatures that would make savages look tame. It’s a close contest between which is more dangerous around here: a car in motion or one that is parked.

Recently, I joined a friend for lunch at a local restaurant, and when I came out, I found a small grey car had parked so closely to my car that there was no way I could open the door. What was worse, that car was parked in a skinny walkway, not a parking spot. I returned to the restaurant where they kindly canvassed the patrons until a very tall woman approached me, placed her arms across her chest and asked, “What’s the problem?”

“The problem,” I replied, as I pointed out the window,“ is that someone has parked that grey car in a way that I cannot open the door to my car.”

“Oh,” she said as she stood there.

I admit I was a little taken aback by her attitude and lack of motion, but the best was yet to come.

“That isn’t a legal parking spot; it’s a walkway,” I added, hoping she might take a hint and move.

Lady Bountiful slowly uncrossed her arms and plodded back to her table, where she slowly picked up her keys and strolled back to me.

“Why don’t you just call a tow truck,” she said, “and then you can wait another half an hour.”

What? I had not mentioned I was in a hurry. What was her problem?

Two can play the game, so I slowly withdrew my cell phone from my handbag, (the battery of which incidentally was dead) and replied, “What a good idea! And while I’m at it, I’ll call the Marco Island Police Department, so they will know why the tow truck came here.”

That moved her. She ambled out and moved her car. Wouldn’t you know it — no iPhone camera to take a photo of this princess.

“I did apologize,” she threw over her shoulder as she returned to the restaurant.

Oh, I must have missed that! Was I supposed to thank her? But it’s a small town. She’s sure to reappear, and I’d know that car anywhere — unless she gets a paint job. Karma is wonderful.

I guess I’m a magnet for parking fools. Just last evening I met friends for dinner at a different restaurant. I parked well within the lines of a parking spot. Wouldn’t you know it! This time a very large white car parked, or should I say squeezed, (you guessed it) onto a walkway beside my car. Fortunately, I had no problem getting out of the space, but in the darkness when we left, I had a problem reading the rather vile two-word epithet the driver had left on my windshield, punctuated with a series of exclamation points (which I hope soothed his anger before he began to drive). It was very breezy; the wind whipped it right out of my hands, so I am unable to frame it for posterity. Maybe it landed on someone else’s car so he too can wonder what is going on with these people.

I would consider riding a bicycle when I go to a restaurant, but I have a feeling that these terribly entitled folks would find something wrong with how and where I parked it at a cycle rack. They would probably manage to park on top of it, or find another reason to become obnoxious.

They say that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones, and I’ll add to that. People who drive unusual cars should not do and say nasty, threatening things, especially to people to have a penchant for unusual cars and are tempted to describe them with their license plate numbers in the newspaper. You know who you are; now try to behave. This is paradise after all. You might upset the angels, and ruin your chances to advance through the gates — and park inside.


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