The Corner Parking Lot

20 Feb

Documentary review time:  “The Parking Lot Movie”.  I’ve passed over it a thousand times on Netflix.  I thought it was something stupid about a drive-in movie theater.  Ahhh…assumptions.  Turns out it was about a parking lot in Charlottesville, Virginia…and the gods who ran the place.

Gods, you say?  Really?  Parking lot attendants??  Pshaw.  If you said, “Pshaw”, you’re an elitest snob who probably drives a Hummer and fights to the bloody death over a 40 cent charge at a parking lot that has clearly, and in NO uncertain terms, specified the word PAY.

This movie chronicles the age-old war between ‘Us’ and ‘Them’, within the confines of a pay-to-park parking lot.  Sorority sisters and frat boys come and go, driving the car their Daddy bought them to block out childhood neglect and disorder.

Then there were those who sat in their $50,000 SUV, fixing to leave the lot, no doubt having a conversation that went a little something like this:

Driver:  Like I’m gonna pay to park in this toilet hole.  Look at this idiot up there in that cardboard hut.  He looks homeless and moronic all at the same time.

(Driver laughs at his brilliant observation and analysis.)

(Passenger  nods with exaggerated enthusiasm.)

Passenger:  Yeah…stupid moron homeless person.

Driver:  Like, what’s he gonna do anyway?  Stop me?

Passenger:  Ha!  Stop you indeed!

And off they go, zipping past the parking lot attendant and out onto Main Street, high-fiving each other over their innate ability to be gangsta in a white world.  What they fail to realize is that the parking lot attendant has grabbed hold of their bumper and is just seconds from entering the passenger side door.

Kind of makes you question what side of the lot you’re on.  I’m definitely on the Attendant side.  There was a time when I refused to be friends with anyone who drove a car newer than an ’82.  You’d be surprised at how accurate this form of screening can be.

My first car was a navy blue Plymouth Horizon with a rusted out 18 inch hole in the back floorboard.  You could only put about $1.16 worth of gas in at one time and you could forget about getting on the expressway.  I mean, you COULD…but passer-by’s would be of the assumption that you suffered from an extreme form of cerebral palsy, and there was a good chance you wouldn’t make it to the first exit without being apprehended.  You could try to explain that the shaking was due to a gimpy engine/steering wheel combination, but they wouldn’t believe you.  Then you’d wind up spending the night in the “special” cell reserved for those with issues of unknown origin.

In my opinion, a crappy car builds character.  I totally plan on tracking down an AMC Gremlin on Ebay and making my kid drive it until she’s 18 and can afford her own brand of luxury.  I’ll also arrange for her first job to be at the local hospital, working as a Candy Striper…reading mail, emptying bed pans, scooping up the poo.  Again…character.

So the next time you find yourself in a parking lot that requires you to pay and there’s an attendant on duty to enforce this rule….take a few seconds and look smack into the face of this man or woman.  I mean, LOOK at them.  Not past them, through them, to the left of them.  AT them.  Because there’s a good chance you’re looking at a philosopher incognito.  So thank them for keeping an eye on things.

Because whether or not you realize it…honked off parking lot attendants WILL urinate in your trunk and put stale Fritos in between your seats so everyone thinks you have an incurable foot disease.

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