In that eerie glow the old faithful changes colours, and mindset is equally affected

There’s something ghostly about an underground parking lot and it’s easy to get disoriented. My wife was busy texting after a long Mall Call shopathon when she got into the car and shut the door. A strange voice said, hello what do you think you are doing? And she said, who are you, why are you in my car, get out now. Your car, this is my car, lady, you go. She went. Speedily.

Even cars start looking different under that eerie glow and old faithful literally changes colours. There you are en famille in that argument over we parked at F33, no, no, S22, pulling out that key fob and hoping the lights will come on and horn will blare. Equally affected is the mindset in a car park. People will circle 20 minutes to find a spot closest to the entrance like there was some prestige or a prize for the nearest placement. They won’t walk 27 metres but they’ll go round and round endlessly so they don’t lose face.

Car parking itself is a saga. You have that smart alec who has to reverse park so he can get that 2-second lead on departure and so what if he holds up the traffic while squeegeeing into position. Then there’s the guy who parks left align or right align in the block and you cannot get into your car because the door won’t open and so, hemmed in, all you can do is fume at the acre of space he didn’t use. But for sheer outrage he’s beaten by the guy who parks over two spaces, the front tyre on the white line, the rear one  over it, cheerfully intruding into the second square.

And on the days you surrender to domestic pressure and knowing the Mall’s going to be madly packed you find yourself desperately hunting for a slot, engaging in ingratiating facial expressions with strangers supported by equally desperate sign language – going, leaving, well get on with it, how long does it take to start the engine and leave. Then you find that one space at right angles to the world with a pillar and a wall and you know it’s that leftover bit and I’m not Lewis Hamilton.

Malls have skinny circular entrances that give you a 50/50 chance of denting a fender but departure’s where they excel. Doesn’t matter where you park, EXIT calls for a major odyssey like it was a pirate’s treasure map … left, then left then right, another right, right again, here, here, right, yes yes, right, then left, left now right and finally there’s salvation and sunlight except your car will be behind that one where the driver is in argument with Security.



This article is intended to bring a smile to your face. Any connection to events and characters in real life is coincidental.


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