Geometrically Challenged Bumper Puppets


I see it every day. You wannabe bumper puppets wandering cluelessly through parking lots are at the top of my Death-Race-2000, 100-bonus-points, see-how-high-you-ricotche-off-my-bumper list. Why do you think the rules of crossing the street don’t apply in parking lots? If you were crossing a highway, you’d walk purposefully and directly from one corner to the other at a right angle to the traffic. But put that street inside a parking lot and suddenly it’s a geometric challenge to all pedestrians. Right angles no longer apply. The only 10th-grade geometry you can now remember is “the shortest distance between two points is a straight line” from the door to my car. Traffic be damned!

And that purposeful walk suddenly becomes an aimless amble as you walk down the middle of the traffic lane. God forbid, you pull out your cell phone. Now you’re not only geometrically challenged, your head is in a cell-phone fog. Your tunnel-vision has narrowed 97%. If the driver who has been creeping behind you as you show no hope of actually getting out of the lane dares tap their horn in a friendly, “Hey, asshole, try actually crossing the street before I mount the curb,” gesture, you prepare your best stink-eye for a glare in their direction.

The last leg of my morning commute is the long walk from a section of parking lot that, frankly, could use a tram running every five minutes. I see the abhorrent lane-danglers there, too. These are otherwise brilliant people. Some are even rocket scientist, literally. Most ignore the thoughtfully installed sidewalk. God forbid I invite them to trade the asphalt for concrete. I get the extra-smelly stink-eye and my lunch stolen from the break-room fridge.

I’ve struggled with these feelings for far too long. Though, as these paragraphs witness, I haven’t completely come to terms with my geometrical demons, I have resigned myself to trusting in Darwinian evolution to do its job. Let the herd be thinned by metal and plastic flinging the mindlessly self-absorbed into light post and bushes! At least I can enjoy my lunch secure in the knowledge there will be an open parking space closer to the door tomorrow.

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