From last evening as I was leaving the office we have all of the necessary elements – a cozy parking garage, a visitor with a huge vehicle and a tiny brain (or something tiny that he’s overcompensating for), an inability to bother reading directions, and enough Dunning-Kruger to make it into a nightmare for everyone else.
First, the cozy parking garage. There’s only one entrance and upon entering you immediately turn right. The main exit is next to the entrance, but once you’ve turned right after coming in, you really, really need to go around the loop and approach the exit head on. You need to be small and zippy to try to come back out the way you came in and make that turn into the exit lane.
Second, that huge vehicle. A full-sized Hummer. I don’t even see how he got it in to begin with. Not small. Not zippy.
Third, if you’re a visitor you need to pay in advance to exit and get your ticket processed as paid. This is particularly true if you are having your parking validated by whoever you’re visiting – if you’re at the exit you can only pay with a credit card, not the little validation stickers.
Fourth, this freakin’ moron figured NONE of those rules applied to him. The universe would bend to his will…just because!
I had the poor luck to be the one just leaving when Mr. Wonderful roared the wrong way out of that right turn only lane at the entrance. I wanted to get home and realized that standing on principle and getting T-boned by a Hummer wouldn’t expedite that, so I let the asshole cut me off and try to get out that exit.
And try. And try. And back up and try again. And again. Until he finally got those monstrously huge off-road tires up onto the curb and muscled it around to drop down into the exit lane somehow.
Forgive me. I saw what was coming next, as clearly as Cassandra ever did. I looked into my rear-view mirror hoping that I would be lucky and be able to flee toward the other exit that I was quite sure this clown didn’t know about. I looked…and saw three cars already backed up behind me.
Of course, Mr. Wonderful hadn’t bothered to get his ticket validated before he got in. Yet another silly rule that didn’t apply to HIM.
Then the real fun starts. After a good three or four minutes he finally decides he’ll bite the bullet and pay for the parking himself. Of course, his credit card gets declined by the machine. Or he’s such a moron that he’s putting it in wrong. It could have gone either way.
The honking has now started behind me. I look in my rear-view and now see close to a dozen cars behind me, all the way to the back end of the parking garage, with more coming down from the top level and more coming up from the bottom level. God alone knows where security is to punt this asshole out into the night and clear the way for the rest of us to go home.
Of course, now he wants to back up. But he can’t because I’m there. And I can’t back up because the guy behind me is just six inches back. And he can’t back up…
Mr. Wonderful is leaning out of his window and yelling at me now. I spread my arms and shrug, the universal symbol for, “WTF is your problem?”
Mr. Wonderful would now like to get out of his car, no doubt to scream in my face or take a punch at me, but his Urban Assault Vehicle is so tightly jammed into that exit slot that only the Jaws of Life are cutting him out of there. He can’t open the driver’s door because the payment/validation machine is blocking it and he can’t open the passenger side door because there’s a concrete wall there. His Hummer’s tough, but not punching-through-six-inches-of-rebar-enforced-load-bearing-concrete-wall tough.
Mr. Wonderful now decides he’s just going to put it into reverse anyway. No doubt he thinks he can just crush my van like an old beer can. (This may or may not be true – the Big Blue Max does have 198,000 miles, but it didn’t get there by being poorly designed or built.) Except that those monstrous tires are jammed into the slot now between the concrete curb, not quite straight, and he can’t get any torque or movement. He’s jammed.
I figure this is the point where he’s going to just floor it going forward and snap off the bar that’s down at the exit. When suddenly, I see movement in the rear-view.
Somewhere four or five cars back, someone got enough maneuvering room to finally wiggle out of line and cut off into the empty parking spaces. They’re headed toward the downstairs exit. The car behind him promptly backed up and followed, and the car behind me has started to follow as well. Like lightning, before anyone else can pull back behind me, I’m in reverse until I can maneuver and I’m following the line of cars down to the other exit.
First in, last out, so I’m about the fifteenth or seventeenth or twentieth car waiting in line downstairs at the side street exit, but we all have parking cards. With traffic coming out of the Trader Joe’s interfering with the smooth flow of exiting cars it takes at least another five or six minutes, but I’m finally free.
I swing around the side of the building and check as I’m driving by the main exit. There’s Mr. Wonderful in his humongous bright blue Hummer, still stuck like a cork, still with no way to get out of his car, now with a new line of cars honking behind him (what’s the problem with those folks, did they not see the mess that I was escaping from??), still with no sign of security to let him out.
Almost fifteen minutes of my life I’ll never get back just because one asshole has a huge car in order to prove something, can’t read directions, can’t drive, and is too freaking stupid and incompetent to do something as simple as validate a parking ticket (or pay for it) and drive out of the garage.
All I know is wasn’t still stuck there when I got in this morning.