The other day, directly after pulling into the Bashas' parking lot, there was a fellow standing in the middle of the lane, staring into space, lost in some daydream or nostalgic memory or temporary coma.
When he snapped back to reality and saw me in my car, waiting patiently for him to get out of the middle of the lane so I could park my car, he threw me a nasty and accusing look that said, "You are a slope-headed cretin of the first magnitude for wanting to drive where I have chosen to stand and stare into space."
What is it about people that turns their brains to Malt-O-Meal the very moment they enter a parking lot? Based on personal experience, here's what a list of parking lot safety and etiquette rules would look like if they were devised by the general public ...
Rules for Drivers
Always park on the lines, taking up as many spots as possible (diagonal parking is preferred). As you pull into a spot, if you see that the space ahead of you is empty and you see another driver signaling to take it, pull though and take it from him. Always park close enough to the adjacent car so that the other driver must grease up with Vaseline to squeeze into his or her car. Ignore all painted lanes and drive diagonally from one end to another at a high rate of speed. If you don't see a speed limit sign in the shopping center parking lot, there is no speed limit.
Rules for Pedestrians
Walking in parking lots can be a dull and unrewarding experience ... but it doesn't have to be. Why not pretend you are blind, deaf, dumb as an eggplant, and totally oblivious to the fact that there's a guy directly behind you who's been waiting 20 minutes for you to move so he can park his car.