31 May 2020

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Yesterday, I visited a store I had previously vowed to avoid due to its customer base. I plead "time pressure" and "desire to limit the number of virus exposures." It was a mistake.

I pulled into a spot in middle of the badly-designed parking lot to munch on my COVID-19 drive-through burger before grocery shopping. Across the aisle and a couple of spots closer to the store, there was a high suspicious vehicle taking up a space and a half (diagonally): A white oversized suburban assault vehicle with a disabled-parking permit. I noticed a couple of other warning signs on the bumper; NRA stickers are bad enough, but the White Pride sticker was a real problem. All of the doors on this vehicle were flung open as the two white, able-bodied occupants loaded their groceries and other purchases in.

But this is a notoriously small parking lot for the store size. Along came a subcompact that parked next to the SUV, on the "short" side, because that was the only visible open space; this car was occupied by a man, a woman, and two preteen kids. However, the driver's side doors were blocked from opening by the SUV's flung-open doors (on the side not being loaded) and selfish parking job. The nonwhite family in the subcompact patiently waited at least two minutes (as I munched on that burger) while the SUV was slowly loaded from the other side, the two SUV occupants appearing to spend more time yakking than loading. Especially when another white middle-aged woman came up to them and engaged them in conversation.

Care to take a guess who was wearing masks?

Once upon a time — a lifetime ago — in the city of the store's corporate headquarters, a shortstop linked arms with a second baseman against the bigotry of the customers. Not so much these customers. But at least there weren't any Seattle cops (or Minneapolis cops) to make things worse; had the driver of that subcompact opened his door and dinged the SUV's door…

I blame the Washington Department of Licensing, at least in part: None of the public guidelines for obtaining disabled-parking permits indicate that pathological narcissism is sufficient justification.