You can’t see and it’s my fault?


By Al Vinikour    

Last week my wife and I went to our local shopping mall and had the most bizarre event happen since being told by my Uncle Barney that I was raised in an Indiana farmland by a family of sheep. As we were driving up this parking lane (the correct way, I might add), a Ford F-250 4x4 started to back out of a parking space right as I was even with him. I was driving a Fiat 500, which even Mt. Palomar Observatory’s telescope couldn’t make big.

I laid on the horn and the truck driver stopped about two inches or less from my door. As usual, my first thought when coming this close to a mishap is, “my apartment in Hell apparently isn’t ready for occupancy.”

I pulled in to the place I was after, cut the ignition, opened the door and was putting my sunglasses in the console when I notice that Truck Boy was parked behind me, stopped. Naïve me thought he was either going to apologize or make some joke about that being a close one, to which I would have returned the sentiment and my wife and I would have put it behind us forever. But NOOOOOOOOO, not this baboon.

He started throwing toilet words at me and then made one of the dumber statements I’d ever heard (second only to my saying, “I do,” when I married my first wife); he said, “You expect me to see you back there in this big truck?” I sat there stunned and immobile — feeling like a boil on the ass of the Pharaoh’s son at the First Passover in Egypt.

However, proving that nobody gets the best of me – the very model for Eric Cartman from South Park – when it comes to coining filthy phrases, I let fly with all four barrels. By the time I was out of breath this guy was more horrified than a two-time Medal of Honor recipient who passed out drunk and woke up in a Berkeley motel room with a war protester.

He asked me what I intended to do about my taunts and assumed threats, to which I squeezed myself out of the Fiat (I told you it was small) and asked him politely if he’d wait a few minutes because I was calling the police to iron this mess out. The next thing I see is a blue streak and a quickly-disappearing Ford Oval on the tailgate as he headed for the hills, which is not easy in the flatlands of Michigan.

As my wife and I were “calming our frayed nerves” eating ribs at Ruby Tuesday’s, I got to thinking about this dumbass’s comment about my expecting him to be able to see. As it was this jerk barely had enough space between his truck and either car alongside him, and the truck itself extended out quite far because he had a full-size pickup bed on it. Don’t get me wrong…I love trucks and live in an area where pickups of all sizes are almost as prevalent as passenger cars.

Sometimes it’s the only vehicle in the family and is used for everything from taking the kids to school, to use as commuter transportation for work, for shopping and then hauling boats and deer carcasses on weekends. But there unfortunately is a price paid for the one-upmanship of “My truck is bigger than yours.”

If a pickup truck is larger than a half-ton 4 x 2 model it’s too large to park amid cars in a lot like a shopping mall. There should be a separate area with larger and longer defined spaces for 4 x 4s and trucks of half and 1-ton size. This suggestion is not meant as punishment or anything discriminatory. It’s a simple fact of physics. Most people actually try to avoid dinging the vehicle next to them because it’s going to come back to bite them on the ass as well. But when you have a Ram 2500 dually parked near the front of the lane with its “ass” hanging out…this is not good. 

In the case of “Man Mountain Monk,” if he’d been parked at the end of the row in a trucks and larger vehicles-only parking place then this entire exercise of his missing brain cells would have been moot. Yes, these people will probably have to walk farther to reach the mall’s doors but at least they can feel more comfortable that their vehicles will be safe from a potential battering ram parked next to them.

Let’s look at it another way. Let’s say you have a Toyota Yaris and you park it in the middle of your painted-out lane. Nothing is on either side of you and you can see first-hand how little room this vehicle takes up. So you walk into the mall thinking all’s right with the world. You return to your vehicle and … on one side of you is a Ford F-350 Super Duty Crew Cab and the other has a half-ton Chevy Silverado 4 x 4.

There is NO way you are going to get your doors open until the insensitive truck owners return…and who knows how long that will be?

I have three words for you to consider if you happen to be a truck owner and pull the crap these two pulled on the little accountant who has been penalized by the misdeeds of others…DAVID and GOLIATH.