Pay that attention bill

By Steve Estes

Strictly Drivel

Wednesday was a day for the proof of the human condition called “Lack of an attention span.”

In my less sober moments, I call these episodes an outbreak of hedupyerassitis, otherwise known as cranial/rectal inversion.

Before I got started for the day, I wanted to go to a local convenience store and purchase my daily quota of caffeine. I have all but given up Mountain Dew and replaced it with Pepsi Max. I’m told it has fewer calories and is less harmful to my system.

But it sure doesn’t hand out the immediate charge that a good swig of Mountain Dew does.

But that’s another story.

Had I noticed what was going on I probably would have avoided the parking lot altogether and gone somewhere else, but my attention was on making the turn and not the metal dance being conducted in the parking lot.

I got off the street…barely…and had to stop for another car. It was a large sedan with out-of-town plates and it was stopped because there was a fuel truck filling the station’s in-ground tanks.

Normally, the drivers are courteous enough to leave some room past the truck. This guy had left barely enough room to get by, but then he left his driver door open.

No way could any vehicle, except maybe my low-slung car or one like it, have gotten past the door except by going under it. The sedan wasn’t going to.

After a few blasts on the horn, the truck driver realized his rudeness and closed the door. The sedan still barely made the lane to the gas pump, then stopped before clearing the front of the tanker. I was still stuck in place because on the other side of the parking lot was a beer delivery truck and two cars at the pump leaving no room for a passing vehicle.

I decided that time was better spent going elsewhere so I turned around and started to head out onto the street.

Just as I got straightened out to approach the exit, the passenger in the sedan whipped open that sizable door and smacked it right into the bumper of the tanker. The tanker absorbed the shock and didn’t even rock.

But there wasn’t enough room for the ample passenger to exit the car. The door stopped, and as the passenger was struggling trying to get his ample butt out the door, the tanker driver just fired up and began pulling away. I’ve never seen a car door whipped across the parking lot, and don’t really care to.

So we had lack of attention by the tanker, the beer truck and the sedan all going on in the same parking lot.

That, my friends, was a recipe for disaster. I hit the gas and pulled out into traffic, heading to the other end of town for caffeine.

As I pulled into that parking lot, a large truck with a boat behind it picked that exact minute to make its way to the driveway I was using for ingress, only his intention was egress. And he came from the side of the building, directly across my path. My little sports car is in no way a threat against a pick up truck so I slammed on the brakes and just shook my head while the truck driver continued on his merry way never even glancing in my direction.

Lack of attention.

That, I thought, had to be the end of the morning surprises.

Yeah right.

As I hit the driveway for our office parking lot, I was again intent on making the turn, watching the traffic around me and not focused on the events in the parking lot. If I had been focused on the events in the parking lot, I would have chosen the second driveway.

The parking spaces by the entrance were mostly taken up by large trucks. Just across the lane from those is a newly installed automatic ice machine.

Parked in front of the ice machine, right in the middle of the only travel lane, was a large pick up truck. Its driver and passengers were obviously the three guys at the ice machine filling water coolers with ice in preparation for a day at work, on the beach, or out fishing.

There was just enough room to squeeze my skinny car past the truck, or there would have been if the driver hadn’t left his door open.

Lack of attention.

No way could I squeeze under the door and I didn’t really want to be the catalyst for a movie-style flying car door scenario, so I waited.

Every person at the ice machine looked at me three times. They looked at the truck. Either they didn’t see the open door of the truck, or didn’t care—I believe the latter because no one made a move to discover why I just sat there in the travel lane without moving.

Finally the guy who turned out to be the driver walked over and shut the truck door. Saved.

Nope. Then he opened the rear passenger door on my side.

Blocked again.

I had to yell. I’m sure it was indecipherable over the roar of my car, but it felt good.

The driver finally realized that I really, really did need to get past him so he shut the door and climbed in the driver seat.

I should have anticipated him tossing the truck in gear and pulling away, but I didn’t. Lack of attention on his part or mine…not sure so I call that one a draw.

But pull away he did with me right next to him, sandwiched between his truck and a large box truck. I couldn’t take it anymore and just punched the gas. Luckily I didn’t go sideways because I would have hit one truck or the other and then I’d have been really ticked off.

But just to prove that it probably wasn’t me with the short attention span as soon as I got past the truck the driver stopped and…opened the door…again.

A definite candidate for Wednesday’s hedupyerassitis award.

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