Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sixteen-Point Turn

I drove myself to work today. In part, because my van is getting me down these days and also because I'm leaving early today.

Traffic dictates that if I leave for work later than 6:40 a.m., I will be met with a bumper-to-bumper snarl that easily doubles my commute time. With my trusty radar detector guiding the way, I arrive at work shortly before 7:00.

Once I'm in the parking garage, I usually spend a few minutes sitting in my car listening to NPR, finishing my coffee, and otherwise preparing for the day.

This morning, however, I had a front row seat to what I am calling, Parking for the Uninitated: A Play in Three Acts. This impromptu melodrama forced me to consider that the reputation of women as profoundly awful drivers is not entirely undeserved.

Curtain up:

vAnnie sits in an unassuming Volkswagen, drinking coffee from a local convenience store, serenely absorbing NPR's Morning Edition.

Tires squeal as Minivan Driver flies into the parking garage, she narrowly avoids sideswiping a cement column.

vAnnie's head jerks as she watches MiniDriver in her rear view mirror dart past.

MiniDriver's tires squeal to a halt. For a moment, the van is still. Suddenly, the reverse lights illuminate and the vehicle lunges backward.

MiniDriver has spotted vacant parking space next an unassuming Volkswagen, and she begins her approach.

MiniDriver darts behind the Volkswagen in reverse, then makes an attempt to pull into the adjacent space. The attempt is unsuccessful and MiniDriver reverses from the space in a blur of steering wheel spinning and brake lights.

The intervening moments find MiniDriver driving partially into and out of a parking space that is more than amply sized for her vehicle. Upon the fifth or so failed attempt, MiniDriver actually attempts to reverse into to parking space. More brake lights, more jerky lunging, more squealing tires, etc.

Inexplicably, MiniDriver manages to reverse into the parking space and thoughtfully leaves a 2.14" wedge between her vehicle and the Volkswagen.

vAnnie stares at the MiniDriver who, by now, has flipped open the lighted vanity mirror on her sun visor and is applying lip gloss with the steady hand of a surgeon.



Anonymous said...

"Mr. F%@king' minivan!" pat.. pat.. patpatpat.

vAnnie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vAnnie said...

So much van mayhem in the world, I guess I should consider myself lucky.