Wednesday, December 21, 2005

On the way home yesterday I made a quick stop at the Reston Best Buy for one last gift. Best Buy is nestled in one of those cozy yuppy strip-malls where the patrons outnumber the parking spaces like girls at a traditionally female liberal arts college trying to recruit guys for extra tuition. Now that the Christmas season is fully upon us, we're once again exposed to the yearly customs of how to behave in a parking lot. Here are a few pointers on proper Christmas shopping etiquette, if you are new to the area:

  1. If you can't find a spot, make your own spot: Especially good places for this are the loading area in front of stores, which is really just a bunch of wasted space, or the yellow curb at the back of the lot, directly next to an exit onto a main road. Your time is too important to cruise around the lot looking for spots, and shopping a couple weeks earlier is just unthinkable.

  2. Screw around with other drivers on your way out of the store: Walk tall, with keys in hand and a determined look on your face. Stride down a row of cars as if you know exactly where you're going. At the last second, turn into a CIA spy and duck left behind the black Chevy, cutting through several rows of cars to get to your own.

  3. Anyone can be an expectant mother or senior citizen: Those spots they reserve near stores for the elderly pregnant are completely up for grabs at Christmas time, because who can tell if you're 1-month pregnant? You can also take the sign's wording literally and claim that you're already a mother, but now you're just waiting for something. Even men can use these spots -- science has made great strides in recent years, so it's very plausible that I could have a fetus inside of me, and I don't even eat (many) babies.

  4. Screw around with other drivers on your way out of the store, part II: Pretend you don't know where you parked your car. Wander the lot, often cutting between rows. Find one that looks like yours and try to unlock it, then shrug apologetically and cut over to the next row.

  5. If you see someone leaving in a spot on your immediate right, you can claim it: Contrary to popular belief and/or physics, cars can make a perfect 90 degree right angle turn into a parking spot without having to back up or swing wide to the left. Try it.

  6. If someone is backing out, you should get right up on their bumper to make sure everyone knows you're taking that spot: If the guy leaving cannot maneuver because you're riding his bumper like a Depression-era hobo, that's his own damn fault for not planning ahead. Selfish asshole.

  7. If it's painfully obvious that the lot is full, check anyhow: Especially if you see cars cruising down every row looking for spots, you should come to a complete stop at the entrance of each row and stare down to the end with your superhuman vision. Maybe, just maybe, there's an open spot that the other twenty drivers missed, and it will be your lucky day! Woo.

  8. If you put on your turn signal, it means you get the spot: This is the consumer-method of marking your territory, and is much friendlier than getting out and peeing on someone else's car. If someone still takes your spot, you have the right to pee on their car anyhow. And poop. With corn.

Following these tips should make the holiday commute more enjoyable for everyone involved. Happy Shopping!

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