My idea of hell, version #53427901345

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I decided to start my Christmas shopping on a busy Saturday morning when a lot of the shopping centres in our area were having 30% off, no tax, etc. Great idea, huh? I set out pretty early with hopes of beating others to the punch. Not surprisingly, everyone seemed to have the same plan.

I went first to Chapters (mostly so I could sample a Caramel Brulee Latte) and then headed to Dartmouth Crossing to pick up some gifts. The stores were busy. The lines were long. The people were slow. AND THEN I got trapped in the parking lot, which has got to be one of the most frustrating experiences ever, particularly when you can't wait to escape. Allow me to use the powerful medium of visual art to demonstrate the scenario:

So you can see me parked in my spot in my little car, not hugging the yellow lines, being a responsible parker.

On my left you will see a GMC Envoy that was parked pretty much right on the line--to get in the car, I had to kind of turn and shimmy sideways to avoid nailing him (you know it's a man, shut up and let me generalize) with my door. On my right was a humungous black pickup that was parked pretty much on the line and also stuck out a bunch into the road. And directly behind me was yet ANOTHER monstrous black truck, with his nose also sticking out into the road, and a very classy guy at the wheel. Every time I looked in my rearview mirror all I could see was the colourful lenses of his Faukleys circa 1997 staring back at me. There was also a car parked directly in front of me so I couldn't just drive out of the space.

I tried to back up but I was completely trapped. I couldn't turn to either side because the trucks were so close, and I couldn't get backed up enough thanks to Faukleys to execute an Austin Powers-style 200-point turn to get out.

So I had no choice but to sit.

And fume.

I got more and more upset. And there was nothing I could have done!

I sat in the car and listened to my new Glee soundtrack, which kind of calmed me down. It was my Christmas present to myself. FYI, when Christmas shopping, the "one for them, one for me" present buying philosophy makes the whole thing a lot less painful.

Finally, Faukley's poodle-headed woman came out from wherever she'd been shopping and after what looked like a brief argument from my rearview mirror vantage point ("I've been sittin' in this truck all goddamn mornin' and now my Tim's is cold." "Well, you coulda told me there's no K-Mart in Dartmouth Crossin', lazy asshole!") they left. I took the opportunity to scoot. I felt like an animal that has been released from captivity back to the wild.

In total, I was probably trapped for 15 minutes. It felt like hours.

For the rest of the morning, I parked at the edge of every parking lot I entered to make for easy escapes. It meant having to hike a little longer carrying my bags but being able to leave when I felt like it was completely worth it. I made a little dent in my Christmas list and didn't cry or get into a fight--a successful shopping day.

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