The only explanation I can come up with for why people (other people, not me, of course, nuh-uh) suddenly drive in a numb daze as soon as they enter a parking garage is because the little ticket booth with an automatic gate is actually bombarding vehicles with some kind of Bozo Beam.
How is that you can be behind someone for several downtown city blocks, watching him in front of you as he weaves back and forth through lanes to insert himself into nearly evaporated pockets in traffic, squirts through yellow lights to gain every imaginary advantage, dodges jaywalkers and suddenly-opening parked car doors, and generally drives like an over-caffeinated kid playing a video game, and then, after he turns in to the same parking garage you happened to be aiming for, he suddenly becomes . . . what, overwhelmed by the task of navigating an open garage full of parked vehicles?
The parking lot is rectangular, one lane spiraling up, one lane spiraling down, parking spots slotted on both sides. WHY do some people drive through this at barely walking speed? Yes, for safety you want to go slow enough to stop should someone walk out from between the cars or back a car out right in front of you (un-park it.) But when you can see the length of half a football field in front of you, and you have two lanes empty in the middle, and it’s in the middle of the day so it’s a safe bet that nearly all of the cars on the first few levels are commuter rides and not going anywhere, why do some people feel the need to ca-rawl up the ramps? A little faster than walking speed – 5 mph – is too fast?
And WHY do they keep looking to the left and right at the parked cars all the way up the straight ramp – do they think maybe one of the parked cars will spontaneously disappear to open a space for them?
And WHY do they get to the top of a ramp and STOP and look both ways? There are two lanes making the wide U turn between ramp levels, and no incoming traffic coming from THE WALL on the right . . . (And no, it’s not because they’re trying to send me a message because I’m tailgating them, emotionally pushing them to go faster. I hang back because I need time to brake if they brake for one of those spontaneously-appearing parking spots . . . )
And hey, didn’t we figure out the layout of the garage on the first 6 or 7 half-level ramps we’ve already successfully put behind us? Seriously, is there something about spiraling roadways that blows some people’s minds?
And no, after the car in front of me went through the Bozo Beam, no, I was not subjected to an Angry Ray or an Impatience I-Ray . . . I had just come out of downtown traffic with at least a couple hundred ka-zillion cars, so I was not fazed by one dazed driver in front of me when I’m essentially at my destination. Puzzled, bewildered, yes; surprised, not at all. We’ve all seen this before, haven’t we? This is just one of those things that remind me of my nephew when he was young and just learning to talk: “Why ‘dems do ‘dat?”
2014, Mik Hetu, author of Napism.Info (for people who take their naps “religiously”)