Attack of the Parking Lot Vultures!

Whatever happened to common sense?  When was common sense replaced by laziness and and a disproportionate sense of entitlement?  No, I’m not talking about human rights, the rainforest, or even the habitat of the ring-necked, blue-beaked flatulent spotted owl.  I’m speaking, of course, of parking lot vultures. You know what I’m talking about.  Drivers who refuse to park more than ten feet from the door of whatever establishment they have chosen to grace with their patronage that day.  Rather than take the first available spot, they circle the parking lot looking for a prime spot.  If nothing’s readily available, that’s when the vulture instinct kicks in.  Just like in the old westerns where vultures circled over the soon-to-die on the prairie waiting for an easy meal, these drivers stalk the parking lot, watching for a prime spot to open.

Now, I’m not necessarily talking about the truly handicapped who have trouble walking; there are dedicated spots for those citizens and I understand they sometimes need to wait for one to open up.  I’m talking about everyone else who doesn’t have a medical condition which impedes walking.

But those vultures aren’t just watching.  Oh, no.  That would be too civil.  They’re stalking.

On the lookout for the bright white glow of an unsuspecting shopper’s reverse lights, prowling for a victim just getting into their vehicle, or worst of all, menacingly rolling behind someone onfoot on their way back to their car.

That last one is the worst of all.  That’s the vulture behavior at its worst.  When it happens to me I feel absolutely stalked like prey; it’s enough to make me want to take a leisurely walk around the lot and then go back inside the store just to piss off the vulture.

And it’s not only the intimdation to pedestrians: vultures obstruct the traffic flow as well.  If a vulture catches sight of a car about to leave, he’ll stake a claim and sit, blocking traffic flow in the parking lot with his blinker on for as long as it takes.  Meanwhile, all of the other drivers (vultures or no) have to sit and wait for him to get his cherry parking spot before they can even resume looking for a space.

But never let it be said that I just bitch and don’t offer a solution, so here it is…

Park in the first available spot and walk your fat ass to the front door.

It’s really that simple.  If you had even a modest helping of that aforementioned common sense you’d see why that’s really a better way to go.  Here are just a few reasons why…

  • Waste of Time  Spending your time systematically trying to score a primo parking space close to the door takes time.  Sure, you may get a great spot once in awhile, but over the course of your life you end up wasting more time sitting in your car waiting for a spot to come open than you will ever save.  Isn’t your time worth anything?  I know mine is.  I chuckle inwardly and roll my eyes each time I drive past a vulture to the first available spot (which is, gasp, a hundred yards or so farther from the front door) and then walk right past that vulture still waiting for a spot, and go right into the store.  Are they so lazy that they’d rather burn fifteen minutes to save fifty steps?  They were in the parking lot way before I was, yet I’m going in and they’re still idling; burning gas & time.
  • Sheer Irony  Surely I can’t be the only one who appreciates the irony of prowling for a parking space close to the door only to walk miles & miles through a mall or supercenter department store.  You apparently aren’t incapable of walking, so why not walk a few extra steps and park farther out?  The added bonus is that you won’t need to block traffic or stalk pedestrians.
  • Did I Mention Fat-Ass?  Is it any surprise that in a culture where people value a premium parking space over their own free time that a majority of Americans are overweight?  Now I’ve fought the battle of the bulge all my life, but it certainly hasn’t been because I’m afraid to walk across a parking lot.  I don’t recall ever seeing a world-class olympian in peak physical condition hop out of a vulture vehicle and jog to the door.  Park a couple hundred yards away and get a little exercise, tubby.

Just please, for the sake of sanity, just park your car and go in the store.  Life’s too short to roam the parking lot like a vehicular grim reaper waiting to pounce on the close spots.  Wouldn’t the return of a little common sense be nice?

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