The Amateur Parker
Oh, Deer - Parking Shoot Out
Melissa Bean Sterzick
I already feel like parking lots are dangerous places, but some crack pot in Pennsylvania has upped the ante. It’s a shocking story, and perfect for making the kinds of generalizations that are so much fun in a column like this one.
Authorities in Derry, Penn., reported that on the opening day of deer season in November 2012 one of its residents, who shall remain nameless, was headed into Wal-Mart when he saw a 10-point in the parking lot. The man stopped his truck, pulled out a gun and fired. He chased the buck to the side of the store, continued shooting until it was dead, and then retrieved it from across the highway where it fell. Frightened witnesses called 911. The carnage was recorded by surveillance cameras.
After a four-month investigation, the man was charged with reckless endangerment and several hunting law violations. He and his attorney agreed the charges were fair. Wildlife conservation officers agreed the buck was the nicest one they’ve seen taken in Indiana County in recent years.
I’m sure many respectable people shop at Wal-Mart, but it’s the wacky ones who get all the attention. There’s an entire website devoted to the characters who stock up at America’s superstore. It’s called www.peopleofwalmart.com and is a much better timewaster than Facebook, because it’s not going to make you feel insecure about your job, children, clothes, cooking skills, or social life. The website, which is definitely not G-rated, aptly illustrates the wise words of my father: “Look around you. Goblins everywhere.”
Regardless of where they shop, the goblins are driving. Driving and parking. They don’t watch where they are going when they enter or exit the parking area. They don’t look behind them or in their rearview mirror when they reverse. They don’t watch where they are going when they walk, amble, limp, strut or teeter through the lot. They’re dangerous.
As for the hunters, there are people out there who are just too dumb to own a gun. However, I believe the right to bear arms is fundamental to democracy, and I guess that has to apply to the intelligent and not-so-intelligent. Some of the people I love own guns and shoot animals for fun, and they all assure me that respect for the power of their weapons was part of their training and that safety is a gun owner’s top priority.
I can’t look at a gun without wanting to cry, pee my pants, and then run away shrieking and tearing out my hair, so I don’t get the fascination. Hunting just sounds like the worst camping trip ever. I know there are many responsible and sensible hunters out there, but I bet there are also a few so devoted they would rather miss the birth of their first born or their mother’s funeral than opening day. Of course I guess you could say that about a few Dodger fans I know, too.
Hunters or not, the wingnuts are driving. Driving and parking. They hit speed bumps at 40 miles per hour for fun. They don’t notice anyone else in the parking lot. They ding your door without a thought. They leave their trash behind them. They murder Bambi with a handgun right in front of small children and the elderly.
All generalizations aside, this is the kind of behavior the parking industry must deal with every day. You can plant trees, provide trashcans, paint lines, post “no hunting” signs, and hope for the best, but you can’t fix crazy.
Melissa Bean Sterzick is Parking Today’s proofreader, occasional writer and amateur parker. She can be reached at Melissa@parkingtoday.com.
Article Abstract from June, 2013