Park on this.
I started to reply to Lorna’s comment on the post below, about my outrage at the “Preferred Parking for Alternative Fuel Vehicles.” It got so long that I decided to make it into its own post. Lorna, no disrespect taken! From you? NEVER! But here’s the answer. The reasons I got so bent out of shape are many, but the gist is sorta this: Some unseen person, out there somewhere, is deciding who is ultimately deserving of better parking. The shadowy Parking Tsar, sorting out the wrongthinkers. Helping the public to judge me by my CAR! I completely understand that certain parking designations must be made.
Handicapped parking: Absolutely necessary, and often abused by truly insensitive jerks.
Parking for new mothers: OK, whatever. I'll abide by that. It's a valid thing. Even though I'm not entirely sure that the difficulties associated with being a new mommy are greater than a myriad of other concerns. Like a sudden attack of your chronic IBS compelling you to get into the store as quickly as humanly possible. Or a sore ankle. But still. OK.
But now? Parking for alternative fuel vehicles? NO.
First of all, define "alternative fuel". That could mean anything. A horse-drawn carriage is certainly one alternative, and not a very “green” one. And why give them preferred parking? What makes them better? Many alternative fuels are dirtier and/or more expensive to produce than good ol' gasoline. The jury's still WAY out on this stuff, and I will not let a group of believers in dubious, hip science take away my right to park in a free, public lot. Is my money not as good as the poser's?
And let's say I DO give in on the alternative fuels parking. What's next? What kind of pecking order will finally be arranged for me in a free, public lot? And what will be my place in this future hierarchy of hipness?
Will there be:
Parking for Alternative Fuel Vehicles with Drivers who Remembered to Bring their Own Bags
Parking for people who would LIKE to buy an alternative fuel vehicle, but cannot afford it, due to some vague social injustice.
This Space Reserved for a Local. You may not park here if you drove in from the suburbs.
Parking for Green Party activists.
Parking for Obama supporters only.
Parking for Hillary supporters only. (That’s a little further away from the store than the Obama one, naturally.)
Parking for vegans.
Preferred Parking for gay people and Muslims (We’re not JUST tolerant! We prefer you!)
And finally, way, way, way in the back, in the pouring rain, six miles from the store, where all the bird poop lands, somewhere just a little closer to the store than Evangelical Christian parking:
Parking for Kristine, because she drives a Jeep 15 miles to get here once a week, and listens to conservative talk radio on the way. Even though she DID bring her own bags, and came here specifically to purchase organic and local veggies. While you're at it, Kristine, report to the Politburo for questioning.
“Please, comrade! Look! I wear really unattractive Birkenstocks and long, flowy skirts! I buy local! I recycle! I tolerate those energy-efficient light bulbs! For crying out loud, comrade! Look at my groceries! Tofu! TOFU!”
“NOT GOOD ENOUGH! Report to The Reprogramming Office, and then the Department of Random Additional Taxation.”
Am I over dramatic? ALWAYS. Overreacting? Maybe. But these little things get to me like annoying pinpricks. So, I suppose, I’m only angry because this is one example, one very small (but annoying) example, of the slippery slope that is political correctness. I see more and more of this mindless crap every day. I watch it as it trickles down from the top, little by little, taking away our freedoms of speech and parking. And so many people are just too afraid to protest it. I’m telling you, I don’t merely dislike this direction. It scares me.
And, for the record, I actually really do like alternative fuels, and John and I are actually looking into producing our own bio-diesel as a real alternative. It's surprisingly do-able. But I won't expect to be thrown some kind of cookie for it when I do.
Also for the record: I parked there anyway. And I will again.