5.16.2008

Baby Got Back?

I usually have a daily annoyance when we go to the park and ride each morning, but since I am such a nice, quiet, un-opinionated person, I will usually mutter it to Mark and leave it at that. For some reason today though I feel I need to share it with the world because for the life of me, I can not wrap my head around this one.
So the park and ride...everyone knows what that is, right? No? OK, crash course. It is an extremely large parking lot where people park their cars to ride a bus and/or train into their destination. For us, it takes us from our Northern suburb into downtown Minneapolis. We ride in early, we catch a 6:18AM bus, the second bus on our route in the morning. These first two buses are always full, but the parking lot is so big that you'll always get a spot.
Now, on to my annoyance. I don't claim to be the best park-er in the world, and Mark will vigorously agree with that, but I can pull a car into a spot without hitting others cars and do so in a very timely matter. You're probably wondering what could possibly be my annoyance with a parking lot, right? Maybe not, but I will tell you anyway.
People who BACK IN. Why? Why do you do this? Is it really necessary? I know your car has the ability to drive because you just drove to the parking lot. So, perhaps there is an unseen force pulling your car backwards into the parking spot? I can't think of any other reason why you would want to take the extra time to have to drive past the spot, put the car in reverse and then slowly back yourself in, possibly straining your neck in the process. not to mention annoying everyone who has just driven in behind you because now we all have to wait for you to finish backing in your car so we can drive by to a spot of our own (where 3 out of 4 drivers will also back in. I would be the minority in that situation).
Maybe what annoys me more is the reason I have uncovered for this backing in phenomenon. It all begins with the bus ride home. Yes a good 35 minutes before we even get to the cars. See, the folks who ride our bus are crazy. Everyone sits at the front. The back could be completely empty, but nope, they will jam their little bodies into a seat beside someone as close as possible to the front of the bus. Just last night when I got on the bus, I went to my usual spot (the seat before the back door of the bus - we have the bendy buses, or articulated buses for those of your wordsmiths) and saw that every other person who had got on the bus with me was sitting at the front. Same thing at the next stop...about 85% of the riders squished their bums in beside some other person while there were plenty of empty seats in the back. Anyway...the whole reason people squish together in the front is so they can get OFF the bus first and fastest. Considering the bus empties out like an airplane...seriously...row by row. If you even make a move that someone might interpret as trying to get off the bus in front of them...I hope you have enjoyed your life, because you might die. Now, it's not just good enough to sit at the front of the bus, oh no. When it is your turn to get off the bus, you must RUN down the steps, through the parking lot and into your backed-in parked car. Hurry!! If you don't get out of your spot, you might have to wait a minute at the parking exit because someone got in front of you.
It really is something you need to see...I know I am not explaining it well, but something needs to be said because I just sit there shaking my head at all of the people who take the line for the bus so seriously. I had one lady (I secretly call her the line Nazi - I have names for everyone), scold a new comer to the line because when she joined the line she took the line out to the right when it should have curved to the left. Seriously, people? We're all going to get on the bus.
Mark and I discuss whether or not it would be worth it to show up at the stop at like 5:45AM one morning just to be the first people in line to shake things up a little and then steal the front seats. I'm not sure that people would know what to do...

I think the thing that makes me laugh the most is trying to picture anything remotely like this happening on a NYC bus. Can you imagine the M15 with a nice, orderly line waiting to get on, and then an orderly and polite line getting off?? That makes me laugh.
If anyone has a legitimate reason for backing a car into a parking spot, will you let me know?? I am trying to come up with one and I can't!

3 comments:

Stephen and Katherine Heggie said...

I am not sure I know a good reason to back in to a parking spot, but Stephen does it all the time! I asked him why and he says so he doesn't have to reverse out of it, and I say "but you have to reverse into it, isn't that harder" he still insists on doing it when the opportunity arises. But I am with you in thinking that it is really a waste of time.

Jared said...

I think a lot of reverse parkers do so because they know the parked cars are unlikely to jump out of place and ram them. This allows them to pull straight out of the slot with better visibility. Whereas if they backed out of the stall, there's a slightly higher possibility of running into some other fanatical bus rider hellbent on being the first one out of the parking lot.

Or maybe they're just idiots.

Erin said...

The only reason I ever back into a space is if I have something to load/unload in the back of my car. It makes for less steps, and less chance that I will hit the car next to me or my own.