Friday I had some errands to run, like picking up about 100 pounds of chemicals to feed Poolio, and cashing a mileage reimbursement check for Hick, and picking up some shredded lettuce for my Super Nachos from Save A Lot. Technically, Hick had commanded The Pony to go get the Poolio chemicals, but I didn't see why TWO of us should drive to town, so I roped him into riding shotgun with me in T-Hoe.
Sure, I had to promise him Domino's Pizza after procuring the chemicals. But I had a companion and a go-fer, which I am not going to have ever again in three-and-a-half short weeks...Excuse me. I had something in my eye.
We picked up the pizza, and The Pony feasted on the way to the rest of the errands. Of course on the way home, I stopped for my 44 oz Diet Coke. Courtesy of The Pony's two feet. My regular parking spot that I am SHOCKED does not display a RESERVED FOR VAL sign was taken. Taken by a ne'er-do-well who could not even manage to pull all the way to the concrete tire-bumper. The spot over on the side, where you can drive into an unpaved drainage ditch between the gas station chicken store and CeilingReds Pharmacy if you go over the concrete tire-bumper, was taken up by a truck and trailer parked sideways. Taking up about 5 spaces. It's not like the gas station chicken store has unlimited parking. Probably about 15 spots at the most, if you consider the whole perimeter.
Lucky for me, my second-choice spot was open. It's at the side of the store, by the dumpster and the air hose. There are two spots there along the building, end to end, parallel-parking style. The first one is marked HANDICAPPED. I never park there. But other cars do, without H plates, and without H placards hanging from their mirrors, and disgorge drivers who have no discernible impediments. I drove through that one and parked in my regular second-choice spot. Within the lines.
The Pony went inside for my magical elixir, and I sat in the comfort of T-Hoe with the air conditioner blasting. It's been in the upper 90s here for two weeks, you know. No sooner had The Pony rounded the corner of the building than a car pulled up on my right. A man motioned for me to put the window down. I did. That's how we roll around Backroads. Perhaps he needed directions.
"Are you using the air pump?"
This guy must not have been very bright. Because I was obviously sitting behind the steering wheel, chillin' to extra Freon Hick had added a couple weeks ago. I was not bent over the tire with a pink rubber hose in my hand.
"I need to use it."
As we would say at the teacher lunch table: "Sounds like a personal problem to me." Of course, I am no longer on the payroll, and somebody else's butt will be in my unofficially reserved chair in the cafeteria come August 18th. So I did not utter that retort out loud. I did, however, roll my eyes at him, heave a heavy sigh, jam T-Hoe into reverse, and back into the handicapped spot behind me.
Little Mr. Self-Important was mouthing something through my just-upped passenger window. It didn't look like anything vile, but then again, I'm no lip-reader. Perhaps he was passive-aggressively saying he would wait until I left. But what would be the purpose of THAT, since he had the nerve to suggest that I was impolitely parked? I put on my sunglasses and glared at him as he pulled his car over perpendicular to my previous parking spot.
That's right. He parked IN FRONT of where I had been parked anyway. My space was of no use to him. Had I chosen to put T-Hoe into DRIVE, I could have T-boned that car. Let the record show that the air hose is plenty long. That I've been parked there before when people pulled in and aired all four of their tires. And that one day, a truck pulling a long trailer loaded with a backhoe and a Bobcat parked by the dumpster, and the dude aired up the tires on the backhoe. No shortage of air hose.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE? Why do they feel so entitled? Why can they not delay the gratification of their deflated tires? It's not like I parked there and unloaded a suitcase or pitched a two-man tent for an extended stay. The Pony was out within 60 seconds with my soda.
When I used to put air in T-Hoe's tires (and by that I mean when The Pony used to hop out once a week to air up that bad tire that Hick almost had fixed after 6 months except for telling the guy the wrong one so that the good tire was fixed), I did not run up next to people parked in front of the air hose at Casey's and ask if they were using the air hose. Because, like the one at the gas station chicken store, that was a marked parking space. NOT a reserved space for air-pumpers.
I suppose I should just take this as a sign that it's time to redouble my efforts to get my proposed handbasket factory off the ground.