We’ve all been there before, running late to class because you woke up five minutes later than usual. It’s the worst way to start your day. These days seem to bring out the most awkward situations and rare happenings that make you even later.

Here’s an example of starting a day off poorly. When you woke up, you jumped out of bed and stubbed your toe on the door frame on your way to the shower. After you finally make it into the shower, you realize that you’re out of soap. Then, as you’re getting ready in the dark, you can’t see the pile of dog vomit that appeared in the middle of the night because your dog ate the entire pizza you left out the night before when you fell asleep while doing your homework. Right after you clean out the dog vomit from between your toes, you realize you’re hungry, so you pour a bowl of cereal and realize you don’t have milk. So you make a batch of milk using dehydrated milk. And just as you are about to dig into this much-deserved breakfast, you realize you’re behind 15 minutes and need to leave without eating.

Since you’re 15 minutes behind schedule, cue the road rage and parking wars.

There is nothing like the relief of pulling up to campus and finding a parking spot opening up as you pull in. This rarely happens, but is sweetest when someone has been stalking the aisle next to the one you found a spot in.

These people are known as the parking lot predators. Some call them stalkers. We all know these people. We see them and are intimidated by them every day. Many of us have been in the position where we need to park but have nowhere to park. It doesn’t seem useful to drive around campus searching every W lot on campus and hopefully find something; rather, we have the option to keep driving around our parking lot frantically, or we can stay and stalk one aisle, hovering over it like a wildcat stalks its prey.

These people deserved to get messed with. This is a great routine to show these parking lot predators who is boss. Pay attention.

Here’s what I do. I’ll start by making eye contact with a predator while walking to my car, but I’ll choose a different aisle to walk up to make them think they’ll get my spot, then last minute, after dropping my keys and pretending to turn around and walk back to campus, I’ll cut across into the next aisle over. There, I will play games with the predator who possesses that aisle (hopefully starting drama between predators). There I’ll walk to my car, open the door and get in. You can see the predator creeping closer at this point. Since it feels so good, I will just simply sit there for a few awkward moments. Then I’ll get out, put something in my trunk, rearrange my back seat, get back into the driver’s seat, throw the car in reverse, sit there while in reverse, put it back in park, roll down the windows, turn the car off, and then tilt my chair back and take a quick nap. Rarely do the predators last this long waiting, but if they’re desperate, they’ll wait and be super irate.

Driving to school can be a chore in itself. It amazes me how backed up traffic gets in the mornings while coming to class. Even traffic on campus can be ridiculous. There are people who don’t stop at yield signs, people who won’t stop for pedestrians crossing, and the crazies who honk and flip each other off. This is very weird behavior.

On that note, our campus is so small that we should always remember that we’ll most likely see that person on campus again sometime soon, so keep your cool and watch out for pedestrians. We should act like we work with everyone or have classes with everyone we share the roads with. This way, we know that we’re OK and don’t have to worry about ending up in a class taught by someone we just flipped off on our way to school.

If you’re familiar with any of these situations, may I make a suggestion to you? Take the bus or bike to school. Can you imagine what it’d be like if 1,000 more students rode the bus or biked in the mornings instead of driving to and parking on campus? That’s a simple solution to our parking crisis at school, also known as Parking Wars WSU.

If you need me, you know where to find me: any W lot, playing jokes on parking predators. Cheers, and happy parking!

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