An observer from the sidelines.
I saw two men arguing on the street, outside the shack from where I buy my cigarettes…
I didn’t quite know what the argument was about, I could hardly make out what either one was yammering about.
Really, in that moment, all I was thinking was — I need to get my nicotine fix.
The shop keeper noticed me, observing silently.
Handed me my brand of choice, money changed hands; and my thirst for nicotine was now fulfilled.
I figured, I’ll stick around to see where this argument goes; I got no place to be.
I’ll smoke a cigarette and observe, see what comes of it.
Apparently there was confusion about the parking space, the man was confronting the other for blocking his car; whilst the other was defending that if the man was smart enough — he could’ve easily manoeuvred out of the spot.
The evidence was still there, because none of them had quite yet bothered moving there respective vehicles.
And so, as it goes, other observers joined in.
Except these observers weren’t quite so silent, they were picking sides.
Left vs. Right,
The Victim, “You trapped my vehicle”.
The Defendant, “You’re blaming me for your inability to park.”
Victim, had about 8 people on his side.
Defendant, had about 7.
I’d personally go for the victim.
Because he had one extra individual.
Clearly the social balance had struck against the defendant.
Or…if I jump in — and pick the defendant’s side, then we’re 8 Vs. 8.
An even fight.
But I chose not to pick sides, I drive a shitty vehicle; plus I’m no genius at parking.
Then it occurred to me, I’d reached the end of my cigarette.
Which means I’d been standing there for at least 10 minutes.
Surely, if the defendant just moved his car — the victim breaks free from the threshold of being blocked in, and we get on with our lives.
But no, this was now a matter of justice; and hence had to be confronted as such.
The defendant is refusing to accept he’s blocking the victim in.
Ahh, fuck it — I’ll jump it now.
“Hey victim fella, do you mind if I borrow the keys to your vehicle? If I manage to get it out, the defendant wins. If I mess it up, you win and I’ll pay for damages?”
— I had no intention of paying for damages, the thought never occurred to me.
Both parties agreed, so did their newly found members.
And hence, I entered the Parking Colosseum.
I realised fairly quickly, the car was automatic — meaning my job was much easier.
There was no rear-view camera or parking assistance, hence I had to rely on judgement and well…mirrors.
I got the job done, though it wasn’t easy and it took me about Three minutes.
I figured, conflict resolved.
Oh no, how my instincts had deceived me.
“SEE! It took over 5 Minutes (in fact it was less than 3, but who’s counting) to get the car out. Wasn’t easy, was it? There you go. I win! You blocked my car in.”, said the victim.
“He got it out, so what’s the big problem now?”, said the defendant.
Well at this point I really just couldn’t win, so I figured — I best make my escape.
Except, the decision fell onto me — the crowd now looks at me to make the judgement call.
Well, I got the car out didn’t I?
I’m not a great driver, so it took me three minutes — maybe somebody could do it in less or do it in more, or not be able to do it at all. It all personal experience, after all.
I can’t make that judgement.
The crowd refuses to buy my opinion, there’s no logic to it — they tell me.
Ahh so I finally do what I do best, I tell them I’m late for work.
— I don’t work.
And pulled a runner.
Moral of the story is, don’t be me.
Just be a silent observer and rant about it later on Medium.