Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Chronicles of Laziness: Parking Lots

If ever the topic of laziness in American society comes up while you are having a conversation with someone and you are in need of an example to show just how lazy people can be, you need look no further than the nearest grocery store (or retail outlet) parking lot. I guarantee that you will immediately and easily find two prime examples of pitiful laziness.

For the first example, take a look at the 25% of the parking lot nearest to the store. Observe the people parking and un-parking their cars there for just a few short minutes. Before long, you are sure to spot a prime example of what I like to call "The Lurker." Lurkers are those individuals that are willing to spend 5 minutes driving up and down the aisles until they see someone loading their car in a space close to the store entrance, then another 5 minutes with their blinker turned on, blocking the aisle while they wait for the person to un-park, all so they can avoid spending about 30 seconds walking the 100 extra feet between the first empty space and the "great" space they got.

parking lotLurkers are especially frustrating when you are loading your car and notice that one of them is waiting to prey upon the space your vehicle is occupying. Suddenly it becomes your responsibility to hurry up and move your car so this person can avoid less than a minute of extremely mild physical activity. In my possibly un-humble opinion, if you don't want to get off your lazy butt and walk an extra 100 feet, that's your problem, not mine. When I see someone lurking for my spot, I am in fact more likely to move slower, or maybe get all packed up, start my car, and even put it in reverse before I realize that—whoops!—I forgot to get something in the store and I need to head back into the store all together. Drat.

Another thing Lurkers like to do is loiter near the store exit and watch for people heading to closely parked cars so they can follow them like some twisted parking lot stalker, then lunge upon their vacated space. A fun way to take advantage of this behavior for the purpose of your own amusement is to start walking from the exit toward a nearby parked car, get out your keys, and pretend you're about to enter the car, only to get a confused look on your face, act flustered, and head to a different nearby car, repeating the process until the Lurker gives up. Alternatively, if you actually have your car parked in an enviable spot, you can actually get into your car and shut the door before you decide that you really aren't ready to go yet, so you'll have to go back inside. I can personally verify that this kind of Lurker-baiting can lead to amusing results all around. My friends and I walked out of The Old Spaghetti Factory occasionally patting our bellies while generally looking quite full. We then got into our car only to get back out a moment later and head back into the lobby (we were actually still waiting to be seated). Even the Lurkers that were victim of this ruse got a good laugh out of it.

The second example of laziness you will find in a parking lot can be observed in shopping carts. As you stroll through the parking lot you will no doubt find carts that were not brought back to the nearest cart return, but were instead left sitting by the shopper in whatever location was deemed convenient at the time. I deem those who do this to be "Droppers," as in they drop the cart wherever it is once they have emptied it. I have personally observed cases in which a Dropper is parked no more than 10 feet from a cart return, and yet they do not deposit their cart in it. Clearly they are above such loathsome and tedious tasks. Besides, that's what "the help" is paid to do, right?

Lurkers and Droppers both derive the motivation for their actions (or inactions) from simple, base laziness. They are two prime examples of the disgusting laziness that pervades our society, and if someone wanted to pay me a nickel for every one of them that I doused with cow urine, I would gladly accept.
image sourceCategories: Culture

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