25 Aug 2015

And Then Some Excitement….

You old? You still driving? You may well empathise with this.

Yesterday my little nest of vipers decided she needed some stuff from some shops. So far, so what? So we headed to one of they big out of town retail parks.

I kind o' knew what to expect, from a car drivers point of view, and wasn't disappointed. The place was huge and the car park matched the hugeness. And why, despite the hugeness of these car parks, are the driveways between the rows of parking bays so narrow? And why, once parked between the white lines of the individual spaces, does it only leave enough room to crack the car doors open enough to exit your car in the manner of a racing snake? To maximise the usage of the space of course. Man, give us another six inches on each bay; please.

Anyhoo, although it was Monday, it soon became apparent that every car owner in the country awoke with the same idea as us as the car park, as big as it was, was full and there was a continuous crawl of nose to tail cars prowling relentlessly round the driveways between the parking slots. All movement came to a temporary halt when a departing car made its move and the faster of two cars, the one in front of the procession heading this way or the one leading the others going that way, made a swoop on the slot. If you've ever been in one of these merry-go rounds, with no sight of the exit, you'll know there's nothing merry about it. Misery-go round sums it up.

Then, at  what felt like close to closing time for the shops, a slot! Right in front of us! Time to make my swoop. Sadly, was left behind many years ago and swooping into one of these minute slots isn't for those of rapidly advancing years. You out there not yet advancing, don't laugh; you'll be there in the mere selection of reverse gear.

I tentatively made my turn but, as you all know, because of the narrowness of the driveways and waiting traffic 'swooping in' nose first is always pretty much doomed to failure. I wasn't disappointed.

Okay, let's do that manoeuvre that, after a certain age should be avoided at all costs; reverse into the slot. This took a few frantic wheel pulling manoeuvres in the driveway until I was as satisfied with my initial approach angle as I was ever going to be and my adrenaline level was at the required level for those of age attempting this move, maximum and pumping.

With waves and smiles of thanks to the now motionless vehicles followed by frantic head and eye movements to check that mirror, this mirror and that other mirror, a twist of the neck to look out the side and back windows to confirm the mirrors were showing a true image of what was out there, pull forward a bit, go back a bit repeatedly in an attempt to get an equal three inches of door opening space each side, the manoeuvre was finally completed and I sat there feeling like a wrung out rag with mixed emotions. A great sense of euphoria that I'd done it coupled with waves of exhaustion washed over me. Her in the next seat offered up words of praise and comfort along the lines of, "Quick; shop shut soon."

As we walked to the shops, although I knew the manoeuvre had taken some considerable time to complete, as anyone of an age will readily  understand, the time taken became all the more apparent as I noted the number of people hastily repacking picnic kit and impromptu barbeque areas back into their vehicles as the sedentary flow of traffic round the car park resumed unhindered by an old guy going backwards.

Upon returning to the car, as I ruminated on the rediscovery of my reversing ability I thought about and was momentarily, I repeat, momentarily, tempted to make the ten mile journey home in reverse.

Quote;  Dave Barry.

“The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we all believe that we are above-average drivers.”


Caratacus said...

I usually leave the final reversing into the miniscule space provided until after the Memsahib has disembarked and retreated to a safe spot, the better to fix unwary passers by with a basilisk gaze until the final berthing has been completed.

Recently I questioned a young chap who was busily scrawling some chalk marks on the tarmac around a BMW in our local Tesco car park. I asked him if he needed any help; from his terse reply I gathered that my helpfulness was entirely superfluous and that he could manage quite well thank you very much. I thought no more of it until emerging from the store some time later and saw the completed work. The BMW, which had been considerately parked across two parking spaces, had been chalked in by a temporary notice which suggested - in rude and intemperate language - that the driver had returned to the Onanistic habits of his childhood and, further, that he ought to consider employment in the field of sex and travel. Well I was shocked of course, but could not help but think that the young gentleman had made his point with commendable brevity and clarity. I was tempted to wait upon the return of the owner of the BMW, but decided not to after A Look from the Memsahib ... discretion and all that.

Mac said...

All sounds a tad grim for the genteel confines of a Tesco car park!
As a by-the-by, while slowly motoring out of the car park we saw five near-miss incidents of various descriptions. Looked like a bunch of folks had cars running under Windows 10.....