Applied geometry

Waiting to pick up Beta for our drive home yesterday evening, I watched with increasing discomfort as the driver of a compact car tried to parallel park across the street from me.

The driver backed in to the space, which was rather short. The rear tire bumped up against the curb before the driver had enough time to straighten the car out at all, so the driver drove back out into the street for another try.

This particular maneuver was repeated with little variation for about ten minutes. Talk about perseveration. Talk about no interest in geometry. Talk about magical thinking. Talk about someone had never played pool.

I had nothing better to do so I watched. I felt a thought deep down in my subconscious begin to rise to the surface. I tried to suppress it, because I didn’t want to think it consciously.

The car backed into the space at about a 45 degree angle. “Bump” went the tires against the curb. The car drove back out into the street, a little further this time, before backing into the space exactly as it had been doing for the past ten minutes.

Finally the thought was there.

It has to be a woman, went the thought, and she has to be blond.

It was more than just a thought, it was a depressing thought. Depressing because 1) I try to avoid clich

4 responses to “Applied geometry

  1. I was an awesome (brunet) parallel parker until I hit 40. Well, there was some grey before that, but with the wonders of science and Clairol, not many people knew. I blame high headrests on my little Toyota for my poor backing-up abilities these days, although it could be age, or inattentiveness to details, or … was that something shiny? Excuse me; I need to see a man about a tortoise.

  2. mig

    i’m probably less tolerant of the parallel-impaired than i should be. in fact, i’m really intolerant, although i try to hide it around strangers.

  3. sue

    Age might have something to do with it. When I got my first driver’s license in 1953 parallel parking was a required part of the driving exam. So was a “three-point turn” to reverse direction in a two-lane road.

    I can still parallel park on either my left or my right.

    (And I’m not sure that my kids can!)

  4. Jim

    I got my driver’s license in 1962, and two of the things I had to demonstrate a proficiency in were the K-turn (also know as the “three-point turn”) and parallel parking. I have little or no patience with people who lack the ability to put a vehicle into a parking place. I can put my car into places that are only minimally longer than the vehicle in question-a skill that comes in handy when I visit my daughter in NYC.