Wednesday, August 8, 2012

If You Can't Parallel Park By Age 30...

If You Can't Parallel Park by Age 30

I get it, some folks are coming from small towns where they just don't have the chance to enjoy the pinnacle of driving experience.

No, I'm not referring to NASCAR or Formula 1 racing.
No, not alcohol fueled funny cars at the drag strip.

This is much more basic.

You see, here in South Florida, we have people from all over the world wash on to our shores and try to take root here.  Some come from Northern climes where Salt and Sand means Icy Winter Driving.  Others from a tropical island where the best road they have are pitted with holes and may end at a sheer cliff face with a drop off.

Things are not quite that bad here.  We get our rains, sometimes literally at the flip of a light switch.  For the most part, at some point it will be sunny and warm, with a slight chance of a few rain drops.

Roads are paved smooth in the Urban Areas and those are the only areas that you will be visiting unless you are on a tour on the back of a boat. 

It's not that tough to get around here, roads run in right angles, all four compass points.

So come and visit.

That must be what the car load of four grey haired grandfatherly looking men must have been thinking.  It will be easy to pilot their large Cadillac Sedan to my little island and find some gentle entertainment at the bar that caters to Older Gentlemen, typically.

They turned off of Wilton Drive onto NE 21st Drive to search for parking. 

Pulling into the neighborhood, they missed the turn for the valet parking and panicked.

Jamming the breaks on, they immediately began to perform a three point turn.


I had seen them come around the corner from about 200 feet away.  Mrs Dog was happily sniffing a Palm Tree, I was chattering to Kevin, and we nudged her forward.

One of us had said to the other those faithful words:  "I think he missed his turn".

The "scary dark neighborhood" had the confused old grey haired man pull to a stop and he had begun to back traffic up to The Drive. 

He begun to pull toward the parking space on the wrong side of the street so slowly that one of the cars behind him had decided that there was someone who should be riding a bus, a short yellow one, instead of a large pearl colored Cadillac.  That second car weaved around the confused gent, up onto the verge of the road, over the grass, into the parking lot for The Towers, and around the scene.  He sped off into his future and out of our lives.

We were now 100 feet away.

The Cadillac was now perpendicular to the flow of traffic. 

Nearing the car, it was almost as if we could hear the passengers say "Wait for them to pass".  We went in front of their bumper saying "Sorry, Pal, We've got the right of way".  Dog leading, we got to the side of the building as the Cadillac FINALLY made the three point turn.

I guess he must have thought that it was too much to ask for him to allow the pedestrians to have the right of way.  He pulled ahead of us three, flung the doors open wide enough to block our egress, then apologized as they all got out of the car in a "Chinese Fire Drill".

He grabbed his door, closed it enough to allow us to squeeze by and we got past this train wreck of a visitor's comedy as the youngest driver in the car got into the driver's seat. 

That was when I heard myself say "If you can't parallel park your own car by age 30, turn in your license".

All four doors slammed shut in unison, and the new driver begun to clumsily try to park that beast of a vehicle in the last parking space before The Drive.

All in all, a great argument for narrowing Wilton Drive and making it easier for bad drivers to get out of their car and park.

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