Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Drive (Past) My Car
Yesterday’s Martin Luther King Day celebrations involved a lot of staying home from work for people, but that didn’t keep them off the streets. My early-morning coffeeshop visit was one of surprising quiet until about ten o’clock, when folks poured in and packed the place.
I had joined my wife on her day off in a succession of errands that took us next to Colonie Center, an older shopping mall on which some new facades have been slapped within the past decade, increasing business to a point that strains the front-of-the-mall parking lot some weekends and in the run-up to Christmas.
When we arrived – it couldn’t have been much before eleven – there still were plenty of spaces. When we emerged after a lousy food court lunch, the lot was jammed with space-seeking cars circling the aisles, the drivers no doubt fortified by all the coffee they’d consumed while annoying me earlier in the day.
This was where I turned evil. I have no excuse for this behavior except that it satisfies some hobbledehoy urge for mischief.
With packages in one hand, I fished out my keys with the other and held out the one meant for my car. I focused on an automobile not too far down the aisle I walked. I saw peripherally that I’d already picked up a stalker – a minivan crawling in my wake, ready to seize the space I’d open up.
“Oh, honey,” my wife said with despair. “Why do you do this?”
“See the blue Camry up ahead? Walk along the passenger side.” Annoyed as she was, she did it. I stopped by the Camry’s driver door, then looked across the top of it at her. “Okay! Let’s walk.” And on we went, leaving what I hoped was a disgruntled would-be shopper in our wake.
“Come on,” I said to Susan. “Don’t you hate getting followed by cars like that?”
“They drive like idiots,” she conceded.
“Let’s do it again.”
Best is when you can get a car stopped in each direction, as if they’re going to conduct car-to-car combat once the ersatz space is offered. Although we weren’t able to achieve that one, we at least were able to piss off a Mercedes, and it doesn’t get much better than that.