Backing Into Crankiness

When you drive into a parking lot, do you pull forward into an available spot, or do you pull past the open spot and then back into it? Have you given much conscious thought to the issue of which approach you take, or has your parking practice become an ingrained habit, like the order in which brush your teeth and wash your face in the morning?

Who cares whether you park head-in or back-in, you might ask? Well, the guy who wrote this article cares, and cares very deeply indeed. He thinks people who back into parking spaces are stupid, selfish, and perfectly content to waste the time of other drivers who have to sit there, tapping their steering wheels in frustration, while the back-into-the-space drivers complete their parking maneuvers at an elephantine pace. Never mind that you can find articles, like this one and this one, that argue that backing into parking spaces is the safer course. The writer rejects all of that, believes you are as likely to have a fender-bender when you are backing into a spot as when you are backing out of one, and states (with probably only slight exaggeration) that he considers people who back into parking spots to be–and I am quoting here–“history’s greatest monsters.”

The point of this post isn’t to further fan the flames of debate about whether you should back in to parking spots or not. I happen to be a head-in parker, but I recognize that this is one of those areas where there is legitimate room for different approaches, and American drivers should be free to choose between them. No, my point is simply to note that when you reach the point of writing passionately worded pieces about parking techniques, and urging people to take stopwatches to parking lots to time ingress and egress, you’ve arrived at crank status. A tipping point has been reached, and what would normally be a quickly forgotten irritation instead dominates your thoughts, you become convinced that your perspective is the right one, and the urge to vent becomes so overwhelming that you just can’t resist it.

At that point, you can be officially welcomed to the Curmudgeon Club, whose membership numbers in the millions. Now, if only the crankiness impulse were limited to writing screeds about parking . . . .

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