(Don’t) back that car up

There are a lot of things people enjoy that I just don’t get.

For example, I don’t understand why new pop music is so popular, despite my daughter’s affinity for it. (I’m more of a The Police guy.)

I also don’t get why new country music is popular, despite my wife’s affinity for it. (I’m more of a George Strait guy.)

And I have no idea of the appeal of new rap, despite my son’s affinity for it. (I’m more of a Run-DMC guy.)

So, what we have learned is that I have diverse music taste, and harumph at new things. But it doesn’t bother me if other people like those things, because, hey, you be you.

I try to live my life in a manner in which I try to do the right thing in life and hopefully have a positive impact on the world. If other folks are doing things that aren’t necessarily my cup of tea, then fine, so long as it doesn’t have negative impact on others.

Which is why I’m having a tough time with folks who back into parking spaces.

It makes no sense to me. It takes way more time than just pulling in normally. And sure, while you may be able to zoom on out of your parking spot when you are ready to leave, the amount of time it takes you to navigate into the spot in the first place is way more than the amount of time it takes you to back out into a wide-open parking lot. I can confirm this is true, because I once timed this with a co-worker. Despite my very scientific findings, she refused to concede the normal way was more efficient.

But no harm, right? After all, how did it actually affect me if she backed in? It didn’t.

But then a couple of instances happened where folks backing into parking spaces DID impact me, which leads me to the conclusion that, if you are going to back into your spot, you’ve got to give in on a few items.

First off, you can’t get mad at me because you passed a spot and I pulled into it. This happened recently when my family and I were heading to dinner. A car was in front of us and cruised on past an open spot. I swung on in and parked the car. As I got out, the driver, his car still in reverse, made a comment to me that somewhat impugned my character. He put the car in drive and zoomed off, backing into a spot a few yards away. I approached his car, and when he got out, I said, “Hey, I’m sorry about that. I didn’t realize you were backing into that spot.” His response was less than warm.

Second, you can’t hold up the flow of traffic to back into a spot. This happened at the grocery store recently. I was the middle car in a pack of five heading into the lot. There was a stop sign, and I was about five feet short of being able to turn into an open spot that the first two cars had passed. As traffic started to move, I went to turn in. The car in front of me pulled up a few feet, and then put the car in reverse. We were both about equal ways into the spot when she saw me, paused for a second, then waved, put the car in drive and headed on for greener parking lot pastures.

So at least she got that I had claim on that spot. But it really never should have been an issue. Cars behind you? Don’t even consider backing into a spot.

I know this may seem like a petty thing. But it’s the little things in life you can do that make the world better. If we all just try and keep the world moving forward in a positive direction, it will all be good. And at the end of the day, we can kick back, relax, and listen to a really diverse playlist that includes The Police, Run-DMC and George Strait. But none of that new stuff. Harumph.

Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he now lives in Mt. Pleasant. You can e-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike or at


Leave a Reply