The Amateur Parker Ö
Thereís no P(ee) in Parking
By Melissa Bean Sterzick
I recently read a news article about two men arrested for using a parking lot as a toilet. They punctuated their performance by flashing two women unfortunate enough to drive by at the time. Then, because they were too drunk to know when to quit and much too drunk to realize they should exit the scene quickly, the cops were called and the two were taken in and reportedly charged with obscenity, disturbing the peace (for being drunk in public), and lewd conduct.
This story pushes so many of my buttons. As a woman, I am seriously offended and disgusted, although not totally surprised. As a person who frequents parking lots, I am horrified and revolted. And as an individual with a sense of humor and a willing observer in this age of overexposure, I am slightly entertained.
As a woman, I already think itís not fair that men have such a convenient waste-management system. Itís the delivery, not the dispenser, I envy, thank you, Dr. Freud.
I think itís the reason men like camping so much more than women Ė they arenít the ones trudging to a filthy, spider-ridden outhouse in the middle of the night or squatting in poison ivy in the middle of what looked like perfectly harmless weeds.
And to add insult to inconvenience, no man is going to be traumatized or threatened by two drunken women exposing themselves in a parking lot Ė thatís called Mardi Gras. Itís women, sober women, who fear for their safety when public nudity becomes a factor. You never hear women described as lewd, just men. I donít know what a woman would have to do to be described as lewd, but a guy can achieve lewdness while visiting his grandmother.
Granted, I admit I might think about relieving myself in a place other than the restroom, if that were a viable option, and especially if I were soggy drunk. But I would only think about it because before I actually did it, the little voice that inhabits my head (call it a conscience, inhibition, or plain old good sense) would stop me. And I think thatís where these guys got in trouble. Not only did they have the physical predisposition to tinkle in public Ė a scenario where ability is temptation enough Ė but they also were completely undone by their low intelligence and high blood-alcohol level.
As a person who parks, I am now concerned with whatís really in that puddle my small child just splashed through. The entire parking lot is dry, but she found a wet spot, and thanks to these two imbecilic parking-lot piddlers, I canít be sure it was just water.
That goes for a lot of other parking lot gunk such as diapers, tissues, trash, cigarettes and gum. It seems a good rule of thumb that things that have been in your mouth or been in contact with any bodily fluid be disposed of properly. What makes a parking lot the receptacle of choice? To paraphrase Rodney King, ďCanít we all just get along and have clean shoes?Ē
Now, I am one of four children and grew up the girl sandwich between an older and younger brother, so I can appreciate bathroom humor and donít pass out like a ninny over things such as bodily functions.
My active imagination played out the scene of the drunk bozos taking a potty break and terrorizing two innocent female passersby during the process. I can only guess how long it took these two men to comprehend the trouble they were in over a demonstration that most 5-year-old boys would not attempt. Maybe it was the next morning, when they woke up incarcerated and hung over, and remembered the events of the night before with shock, shame, regret and disbelief.
This is the kind of story that appeals to my Type A personality and my voyeuristic media consumption habits: Two extremely foolish and intoxicated men who, mind you, could have gotten on the freeway and done real damage, instead vented their stupidity in a way that hopefully taught them a valuable life lesson. They were caught, justice will be served, and no one got hurt in any permanent way.
Maybe this column seems overly critical of men, but itís really only the few, the drunk, and the ill-bred who do this kind of thing. And I guess if you really have to go and you can do it without getting caught, scaring other people, defiling a parking lot, or ending up in jail, we can all pretend it doesnít happen.
Of course, these two guys were professional football players, so that didnít help them one bit.
Melissa Bean Sterzick is PTís amateur parker and proofreader. She can be reached at Melissa@parkingtoday.com.
Article Abstract from June, 2009