Did I miss the memo?

It’s that time of year when the stores get crowded, tempers heat up and people stop thinking, or perhaps they just have their minds on other things. I was out with my wife this last weekend and while I sat in the car waiting, I watched the people around me interact.

In the small town where I grew up, drivers were always aware of other drivers and if someone was backing out of a parking spot, we would stop and wait for them. The driver backing up has limited visibility and it was the courteous thing to do. Over the past few years in Ottawa however, I have noticed that the opposite is actually the case.

I don’t know if the laws changed or if I missed a memo, but in Ottawa it seems that the correct thing to do when you see a car backing out of a parking spot, is to race behind it and force the other car to stop. I kid with my wife that motorists wait at the end of the isle for someone to start backing up so they can see if they can get by. I don’t know how the game is played or scored, but I’ve had a few close calls over the past couple of years.

Racing behind a car backing up seems like an accident waiting to happen, but this weekend while I was watching a rather large couple was talking and walking through the parking lot and stepped behind a car that was in motion backing up. The man was carrying his two or three year old daughter and when he realized that the car was moving he yelled at the driver, banged on the car and gave the driver a nasty look.

I’m not an expert but in a dual between a person on foot and a car, I suspect the car will always win. Pedestrians always have the right of way, but stepping into the path of a moving vehicle, carrying a child makes me shake my head. The people were not paying attention and in their minds the driver was at fault. It was one of those moments when see what is about to happen and you want to dive across the parking lot in slow motion screaming Noooooo.

I’m sure the gesture would not have been appreciated because this guy seemed to believe that he owned the world.

In order to make it into the Darwin awards you have to have done something stupid before you reproduce. This particular couple would not have qualified, but I’m certain that life will get them sooner or later if they don’t smarten up.

If you see potential candidates for the awards, drop me a line and I’ll BLOG about it.


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