So, today we had to go out for some errands, the first of which took us to the local Best Buy.
It was Big Stupid Truck Day — I’m talking about the four-door GMC pick-up trucks, that take up a full space and then stick halfway out into the lane behind. Who drives a four-door pickup to Best Buy? I suppose someone buying a 120″ flat screen television. Except that the driver got into the truck while we were trying to get out of our spot beside him, and it looked like he’d bought a single DVD. Maybe a memory stick. Maybe just a candy bar. The truck bed was empty.
It seemed like every vehicle in the lot was competing with the rest for machismo points, which must have been some sort of town festival I hadn’t heard about. I could only assume the GMC driver’s wife had taken the 18-wheeler to the grocery store, and left him stuck with the “little truck.” I almost felt sorry for him, until he shifted into reverse and started to back up while we were still trying to negotiate around his big tail end sticking into the lane.
We managed to avoid that hazard, but had to circle back down the next aisle, where a Big Van went into reverse beside us to back out of its parking space. This would have pinned a pedestrian against the side of our car, and so the pedestrian started yelling at the driver, while her companions stopped and turned to gawk at the scene. Meanwhile, another Big Van tried to negotiate the turn into the aisle from the other direction, and rolled right over the curb. These are not small curbs. He seemed totally oblivious. The person he was behind, to our left, was apparently trying to turn into the spot about to be vacated by the Big Van trying to pin the angry pedestrian against us, and we were blocked by the milling family members between us and the Big Truck in front of us, who was waiting for the curb-jumper to move clear of the intersection.
We eventually got out of the lot. I have blank spots in my memory regarding exactly how, and suspect that a space-alien intervention was involved.
A little later, in a completely different parking lot, we were driving a straight stretch where a blind alley did a “T” into our road. Never trust a blind T intersection in a parking lot: BMW’s lurk in places like that, waiting for a chance to scream into the road and scare the crap out of you.
Sure enough, a woman in a BMW convertible with the top down, screamed out of the blind alley and turned right, directly in front of us. Her head was turned to the right the entire time: she never so much as glanced in the direction from which she should have been expecting a four-door GMC pickup truck driven by a man chewing on a candy bar.
Marta, who had had quite enough of this nonsense, yelled out the window, “Hey, lady, did you leave your IQ at home?”
Both of us got a bad case of the giggles over that. I commented that she had probably just forgotten to renew it, and that had us giggling harder.
And so we made it home, still chuckling.
Still, I think today would have qualified for something I’d like to see instituted: the “no-drive day.”
We have “no-burn days” here, when we get one of those nasty thermal inversions over the town — something that only happens in the dead of winter, when everyone who has a wood burning fireplace is creating some “atmosphere” in their living room, and eliminating a whole lot of “atmosphere” outside. The city shuts down wood-burning for people who don’t need to be burning, and you can be fined enough to make you feel warm without the fire.
So my idea is that a “no-drive day” gets slapped down when the collective driver IQ has dropped more than ten points, as was the case today. A big siren goes off, and then you have to stop the car, turn off the engine, and take a ten minute walk.
Anyone with me on this?