My town has a big annual event celebrating the end of winter and a fixture for the past twenty or more years has been a big carnival tent. Of course everyone important (or wanting to appear so) must be seen there, and that is especially true for fresh mothers. You can well imagine how packed the afternoons with the children’s programme are just by the number of incorrectly parked vehicles.
A child can’t be expected to walk half a mile from the apartment buildings to the tent, oh no! Never mind that a tent is a bacteria incubator, so toddlers and already ill children shouldn’t go there – no, a mother in appropriate costume must be seen there as well. So what to do when there aren’t enough parking spaces? Park on the sidewalk or pavement (BrE). Nobody will mind, they are all going in the same direction anyway.
No, we’re not. Some people go on a walk with their family and are not at fault that the carnival tent is located in their neighbourhood. We especially don’t like walking the road with oncoming traffic passing us by a hair’s breadth. And we absolutely, under no circumstances, appreciate almost being run over when you’re in a rush to park just there – on the sidewalk.
I was spitting mad by the time that almost happened. Seeing so much stupidity gathered in one place just makes me itch for a dose of common-sense, and the number of times I had to dodge a door or a running child had tested my patience enough. Then there were idiotic drivers searching for available parking space – any space really. Before I knew it I was dodging one determined mother who boldly turned off the street and onto the sidewalk. “Ok, that’s enough,” I thought, but then another decided to try the same manoeuvre. I wanted to shout out: “I’m walking here!”, but only managed to produce some furious hand waving. Fortunately that stopped the stupid driver before she could run me over – on a sidewalk. How ridiculous is that?!
To top all this, when I was returning back home I noticed a small family with the father in a wheelchair. They were going to the carnival tent, based on the daughter’s pink princess costume, and they were going to walk there from the apartment buildings. Yes – a handicapped person could do it and a five-year old. So why drive? I’ll never understand that. But what happened when that family came to the street leading to the tent? The sidewalks with those slopes for ease of movement were chock-full with cars. The sidewalks, so praised for being wheelchair-friendly, were useless. The family had to take the road with two-way traffic passing them by. Brilliant – absolutely brilliant. If I wasn’t furious enough before (when it was just healthy adult people walking that dangerous road), I was now.
So much for cultured people… I’ll believe it when I see you can park your car correctly and so that it does not endanger anyone. Until then, be happy I’m not a maniac with a set of keys available to her. You wouldn’t like your paint job otherwise… but you just might get a note listing the danger you put people in by parking there. I think I can sacrifice a few papers and ink to educate you.