Friday, February 11, 2011


Urban Jungle. Asphalt Jungle. Survival of the Fittest.

Call it what you will, but the parking lot of a university is a dangerous place to be...whether you be hunter or hunted! You don't believe me? Listen to this:

When entering a parking lot that appears full, and you hope to find a spot in, you immediate slow down and your eyes start scanning. You aren't just scanning for open spots, but for oblivious pedestrians that may possibly be walking to their car, as well as keeping your eyes open for other predators who are doing the same thing as you...hunting for the elusive free parking spot.

Now, if there happens to be an open spot than you can slide right in and be on your way, but if not -- well, then it becomes a test of skills. You vs. everyone else.

If the parking spot hunter happens to spy a pedestrian in the parking lot they must appraise the situation:
  1. Which direction is the walker moving toward? If they're headed toward campus buildings, odds are they've parked a car and are headed to class. But just in case the walker thinks they're sneaky and are trying to fool a parking predator, the hunter still watches them, alert to any sudden movement that involves ducking into a car and vacating a stall. If the pedestrian is headed away from buildings than the predator needs to take special precautions.
  2. Is the backpack slowly sliding off a shoulder or are keys being handled and jangled in the hand? Now, a beginning hunter would think one of these attributes was enough, but a seasoned stalker knows better. Experience has taught them that sometimes the key fiddling occurs long before arriving at a car...usually parked on the street six blocks down, or the student is just "playing" with the hunter. The walker is probably acting nonchalant and attempting to make make the driver think they are getting near their car -- and the coveted parking spot -- but this is not the case. The pseudo-prey probably doesn't even own a car, but likes all the focused attention they are getting. This also shows the lack of intelligence by the pseudo-driver as they momentarily forget they are fragile humans and the hunter is in an armoured mode of travel that has thousands of horsepower under the hood. Therefore, the dual motions involving backpacks and keys must be witnessed.
  3. Is the driver's side door being opened? Again, caution must be used. Maintaining a discreet distance is necessary to keep from spooking the intended prey, but you must also indicate to other hunters that this is your victim and to keep their distance. Things like blocking entry into a parking aisle, turning on a turn signal pointed toward the side of the aisle where the victim is (hopefully) getting into their vehicle, etc. will aid in "marking" your territory. The important thing at this crucial junction is to NOT hover. If you opt to drive slowly, five feet behind the walking prey, in the hopes of getting their parking spot, this may backfire. They prey may appropriate actions similar to the psudo-driver in #1 and pretend like they don't own a car, only circling back to their parking spot after they have seen you leave the parking lot in frustration or successfully stalk another victim. To conserve your energy, let the prey get situated in their car and, if possible, don't let them see you until the car has started and you see the whites of the reverse lights. Any sight of you hovering is liable to make the prey play possum -- play dead/freeze and not move. (Again, a tactic employed to "mess" with hunter drivers and attempt to assert victim "power").
  4. Once the prey has been defeated and slinked away, do not dwaddle before inhabiting the now vacant parking stall because, if you are slow, another hunter may slide right in and pretend they didn't "see" you're careful tactics enacted to fruition. If this happens to you three options are available: 1) trumpet your disapproval by honking and gesticulating to them or confront them face to face, 2) drive off and start the entire process again, or 3) to "Towanda" on their car a'la the classic movie Fried Green Tomatoes.
Yep, just another day at the office!

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