Idiots on Parade

As I observe people in this world, I find they may inspire hope, or cynicism. Hope arises from those exceptional individuals who surprise and impress me, who show foresight, humility, and consideration. Cynicism arises from the majority of selfish idiots taking shortcuts and doing stupid, stupid things for their own convenience. A nibble of the former can fuel me and give my spirits a boost for days. A taste of the latter can make for a great story.

I've been loving the weather this week. As soon as the calendar flipped over to September, it seemed to disperse the humidity as well. It's been absolutely gorgeous out there, in the 70s with clear skies and a nice breeze. I'm finally able to take long walks at lunch again. On Monday I headed three miles through nice developments past soothing streams to the best pizza place in town. On Tuesday I hit a bagel deli near the beach, and dined on the covered deck by the pool. As for Wednesday, that was my Taco Bell day.

The T-Bell by my office is part of a small strip mall running perpendicular to a supermarket. There are stools and a raised ledge along the outside window, so I can people watch while I eat. On this particular afternoon, half of the parking lot was blocked off with those orange construction cylinders holding up yellow caution tape. There was a fresh ebon coat of tar sealing the asphalt, clearly wet from the smell and the glint of sunlight off the surface. And despite all this, a vehicle came to the end of one of the rows of cars and, rather than do a three-point turn or simply back out, proceeded to drive over a fallen section of tape into the cordoned off area.

My jaw hung slack in disbelief as this car, leaving tire tracks in the freshly coated surface, swiveled around to leave. I shook my head in disbelief as no doubt were other patrons, from the murmurs and chuckles behind me. But no sooner did this vehicle roll back over the tape then a FedEx truck did the same thing, adding wider tire tracks over the existing loops. It was surreal, and on some level annoying. And if it was bothering me, I can imagine how the two workers running across the parking lot yelling frantically as their work was literally driven over must have felt.

By the time they arrived, a third vehicle, a mini-van, had also crossed over into the empty section of parking lot. I was astounded. Why was everyone coming down that first row by the stores? There were literally dozens of spots by the supermarket on the other side. Was walking an extra 20-30 feet really that bad? The workers moved out an orange divider and lifted the tape from the ground, closing the gap the first driver had taken advantage of. As they continued on their way toward a deli, the lady in the minivan who was now trapped inside by her own stupidity honked her horn, and shot them a really angry face, as though it was their fault she was someplace she shouldn't be. The guys sighed, shrugged their shoulders, and moved the orange blockade aside, allowing the tape to fall back to the ground. She nearly ran them over as she rolled past, barely waiting for them to finish moving the thing, and as soon as she was through, two more cars drove IN! “Ohhh my gaawd, why does everyone keeps driving into there?!” exclaimed some girl in the restaurant behind me. The workers looked at each other, looked at the cars adding more marks to the ground, and walked away to have their lunch.

People can really be astoundingly selfish, lazy, and stupid. They'll trample over others to avoid even the most minor inconvenience. If that's human nature, I'm sorry to be part of the same species. The worst is the “follow the leader” aspect of these moves. If one or two vehicles chose that method of getting out of the dead-end they could and should have seen from the end of the row, I would understand. But the veritable parade of cars one after another, including the ones that got there after the workers tried to restore the tape? Precedent should never be justification for idiocy, but too many sheep are quick to use “the guy before me did it” excuse. There are people in this world who do instill me with hope; I just wish everyone else would follow their example.


Blogger cube said...

That kind of behavior ticks me off for days. Whenever it seems as though basic human decency is at its lowest point, someone will pull something even worse. I wonder about some home sapiens.

9/03/2009 1:46 PM  

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