Walking back to my car after work today. It was a long one. I was beat and looking foward to the rice and vegetable mixture I had in a tupperware and left on the dash of my car. I figured it was earth day and all and that, to celebrate, I'd let the sun do my cooking today.
Suddenly my stride was broken when a voice from behind said, "Excuse me, sir?"
Since I am used to being called sir, I turned and was met by the image of a large woman wearing sweatshors and a Snoopy shirt that said, "Keepin' Cool." Snoopy was in front of a fan and his ears were flowing in the cartoonish air stream. However, there was a large brown stain in the middle of the shirt, making it appear that Snoopy was about to be hit by some shit that had somehow hit his fan.
The woman blinked once or twice, giving her brain a chance to catch up with the idea that she'd just mistaken one fine lady for a dude. She mumbled, "Oh, I mean Miss."
"Yes ma'am?," I answered without batting an eyelash. "Can I help you with something?"
The woman pushed back her dried crunchy bangs and said, "Is that your car?" Her finger pointed to Mein Automobile. It schparkled in zee schonleet.
"Yeah, it is."
I admit, a smug grin creeped to my face, expecting to hear a compliment from the Snoopy stranger about how awesome my matching hubcaps and glittery bumpers looked against the shrubbery I had parked by.
I was disappointed when the Snoopy stranger feigned an expression of apology and vulenrabilty as she said, "Can you not park it right there?"
I looked at her and didn't say a word. My brain was scurrying about trying to figure out why this large woman in the snoopy shirt would want me to not park my car where I had. Was this her usual parking spot?
"No. It's just so close to my driveway and I'd like it if you didn't park there."
I turned my head toward my car to examine the offense I had caused. Mein Lieben Vagon was a good foot and a half, if not two feet away from her driveway's edge. You could have fit a well constructed Japanese Housing structure in the space that was between my car and her driveway.
"It's too close to your driveway?" I was stunned.
"Well, lets put it this way. My husband almost hit it when trying to pull his van in today."
"Is your husband a fucking moron?" I wish I asked. Instead, I just stared at her.
HOW TO STARE AT SOMEONE IN SUCH A FASHION THAT THEIR INNARDS WILL TURN TO A BAD TASTING HUMMUS.
- Do not blink.
- While not blinking, make direct eye contact with the offending person's cornea. If no cornea is to be found, or is too intimidating, look at their eyebrow(s). They will be unable to tell the diffence (unless they are an optometrist. NEVER ENGAGE IN A STARING CONTEST WITH AN OPTOMETRIST. YOU WILL NOT WIN. THEY ARE TRAINED. WELL TRAINED.)
- Relax every muscle in your face, except your eyelid muscle. If you accidentally relax your eyelid muscle, return to top of list.
- Repeat this mantra in your head: motherfuckermotherfuckermotherfuckermotherfucker. Feel free to change mantra to suit your need. (fyoufyoufyoufyoufyoufyoufyou for those of you with young impressionable minds. GodBlessGodBlessGodBless for the relgious few that may still be reading.)
- Wait for offending person to bend to your will.
END OF LIST
So I just stare at her. A silence the size of a Japanese Convention center passed. She, yet again, pushed her dried crunchy bangs back and blinked incredibly fast. A small wind resulted.
The silence and stare were too much for her. "And I almost backed into it yesterday."
I nodded, not speaking. Instead, I crinkled my brow and pursed my lips, sucked in my cheeks. I was passively making a face at her. "Well. Can you make a suggestion of how far away from your drive way I should park in the future?"
"I just wouldn't park in front of our house at all. Not unless you want us to hit your car on accident."
"Let's say that this isn't an option one day. Like today for instance, I parked on this public street because it was the only available parking area. So. If tomorrow I park in this space again, can you please tell me what amount of space would be adequate enough so that you and your husband can park your cars without causing any damage?"
I think the word adequate confused her. I think my stink eye was burning her corneas. I think that my not being intimidated by her intimidated her.
"Um. Well, another 6 inches will be okay, I guess. I'll have to ask my husband, but I think 6 inches will be okay."
"In the future I will try to park 6 more inches away from your driveway." I said this as if I were smiling, when, in fact I was not.
She nodded and said "Fine." So I turned and walked away. Giving a sarcastic nod of agreement to signal that this conversation was over.
She walked back to her house, eyeing my departure the entire way. As I pulled away, I raised my hand out of my sunroof and gave her a polite wave.
Tomorrow I shall park 2 feet and six inches away from her driveway. I'll get out, take a measuring tape out of my pocket and make sure that I never commit such an act of terror again.