Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Documenting Human Stupidity

Click on This!!

This photo was taken for the sole purpose of documenting human stupidity.  There is no artistic value, but it is absolutely crucial to the story.  I was compelled to do a quick hand-held panorama shot because I was so bewildered by my fellow human being who inexplicably parked next to me.  Go ahead and click on it to make sure you understand the full picture of what I am about to describe.

Moments before this shot was taken I was parked completely alone in the back of this parking lot eating my lunch (mine is the pickup).  I chose this distant spot, as I often do, so that I could eat in peace and listen to the radio without being disturbed by others.  When I do this I might sit there for ten to twenty minutes and then I'll be on my way.  The weather was sunny and pleasant, mid 60's, with a slight breeze.  This type of weather is the best because it means I can sit in the car without having to run neither the air conditioner, nor the heat while I sit and eat.  On this occasion, my dad called so we were talking when the idiot unexpectedly pulled up and parked alongside me despite the fact that there were at least 100 spots available elsewhere in the parking lot.

Coincidentally, my dad and I engaged in a conversation a few weeks back regarding the propensity for people to park close by despite a plethora of open options, all of which would leave at least one space in between all parked cars.  His specific example involved an early morning scenario at the grocery store where there were 3 cars in the entire lot, yet somebody pulled up right next to him and parked.  He was situated at the front of the store which makes the chances of this happening more likely, but there were other equally as good parking options available at the time, none of which required parking next to his vehicle.  In spite of this fact, the person chose to park in the spot next to his.  Although I in no way condone the actions of that individual (it's reprehensible, in fact), I can at least understand the flawed logic.  After all, we're talking about being closer to the store.  My scenario, however, boggles the mind.

I've been searching for any line of logic to my situation, and I can't find any.  I can think of three potential reasons, yet none of them pass muster and I must conclude that the person was simply stupid.  There is no other possibility.

My first line of thought was that the person specifically sought out a shady spot and this was one of the few available.  I'm skeptical, though, because he/she quickly got out of the vehicle, yoga mat in hand, and presumably walked to the gym.  There were no dogs or children in the car that would require shade.  Plus, the weather was cool and a person could sit in an unshaded car for hours with no ill effects.   In addition, the interior of the vehicle would not be too hot upon his/her return.  Conclusion: Doesn't make sense.

Secondly, I thought this must be her customary spot.  I can imagine he/she might attend yoga often and chooses this spot often based on theory number 1.  Again, that might be valid in the summer, but even then only if there is a clear and open spot to be had.   As you can see, he/she could have left an open spot and still had some shade available to him/her (although, as we have established, shade was unnecessary on this day).   If the spot is taken, you move on, especially in a lot this size with this many open options.  Conclusion:  Inability to think and reason in real time.

Finally, I thought he/she must just be plain stupid.  I suppose I mean this in the "inability-to-navigate-social-rules-including-those-that-are-unwritten-but-clearly-set-in-stone" type of way.  Similar to Rain Man.  Why in the world would you park right next to me when so many other options are available?  Not only did he/she park directly next to mine for no reason, but look how it is also skewed within the parking space to the line closest to my vehicle.  Conclusion:  Yes, the person is stupid.

Folks, I'm begging you, as you go out in this world, please be aware of things around you.  Consider the environment you're in and analyze it, and do what is right.   Give me some hope that we may yet survive as a species despite these acts of wanton stupidity and egregious over-stepping of established social norms.  Some people are worried about global warming, and some are concerned with peace in the middle east, but I'm worried that if we can't solve something so simple as choosing the correct parking space we are ultimately doomed and need not waste our time with these other complex issues.


  1. funny. No different than the mens urinal game... sometimes, and I have to be in the right mood, I will pull up right next to a guy - despite there being empty urinals available all around - totally ignoring all rules of etiquette.

    90% of the time that I do this - the guy usually looks around then starts laughing or chuckling and of course I join him and we get a kick out of it. 10% of the time - I freak the guy out and he finishes quickly and leaves the scene - - then he probably writes a blog about it and questions humanity.

    1. I thought about the urinal as soon as she parked by me. I would have laughed if she winked, but she was dead serious. Hopefully you can tell this is tongue-in-cheek.

      By the way, how did you come across my blog?